POWER Muffins (a.k.a. Sweet Potato, White Bean, Spinach + Banana Muffins)

Those of you who aren’t new around here know that my kids love muffins. In fact, when my oldest was a toddler, we called him the Muffin Man, because he ate so many of them. So since then, I’m always looking for a good muffin recipe that is healthy, easy to make, and kid approved. And now that he’s in school and taking nut-free snacks, I am making more muffins that are nut free so he can bring them in. 

These muffins have protein, fiber and vegetables. Oh, and chocolate! What’s not to like? That’s why we call them POWER muffins! 

Power muffins - i crashed the web

POWER Muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
  • 1/2 banana (about 1/3 cup mashed)
  • 1/3 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs  
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon  
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup flour (I’ve used white whole wheat and all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your muffin tin – I use silicone reusable baking cups and spray them with non-stick cooking spray.  
  2. In a food processor, combine sweet potato, banana, beans, eggs, oil and syrup.
  3. Add cinnamon, oats and flaxseed and mix well.
  4. Add in flour and baking soda and pulse a few times until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. 
  7. Cool muffins and then enjoy! I like to keep 6 out and then freeze 6 so I have individual muffins ready to go whenever. I simply take one out of the freezer and defrost overnight OR in the microwave. 

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Seeking a non-healthy muffin? Give these a try instead!

Some questions for you:

  • What do you do with spinach? We just bought a big tub of it at Costco!
  • What’s a healthy-ish recipe you made recently?

5 Ingredient Garlicky White Bean Dip

You may recall, B and I were assigned appetizers to bring to his family’s Memorial Day gathering. We were going to be bringing two appetizers, and this bean dip was the second appetizer we brought, along with Buffalo Chicken Dip (recipe coming soon). It’s so easy, I managed to make it AND clean up while the Buff Chick Dip was cooking.

Seriously, this is possibly the easiest appetizer you can bring to a party or get together. Not lying – there are 5 ingredients (salt/pepper don’t count in my opinion), only one cooking/mixing container is used (and thus needs to be cleaned), and it’s somewhat healthy. See? A win-win!

5 ingredeint garlicky white bean dip

5 Ingredient Garlicky White Bean Dip (from Giada)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley in your food processor. I have a Cuisinart Mini Chop and it is THE BEST. Small and works perfectly for something like this.
  2. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with something yummy – I served our with pretzel crisps, pita and veggies. It’d also be great on some crusty bread (Because really, what’s NOT good on crusty bread?). Enjoy! Mine made about 3 cups or so, which was plenty (esp. with the Buff Chick Dip).

5 ingredient garlicky white bean dip

Put the ingredients (beans, oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley) in your blender or cute Mini Blender.

5 ingredient garlicky white bean dip

Blend until slightly lumpy, like this.

5 ingredient garlicky white bean dip

Serve with crackers, pita, bread, or pretzel thins and enjoy!

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash

This recipe comes from another attempt to take B up on his new offer “to try anything that I make even if it’s vegetables” (including vegetables he doesn’t like, like squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, chard, arugula … the list really just goes on).

I’d call this one a hit. B ate his whole half-stuffed squash (along with some chicken) and mine made a perfect dinner. I made the whole recipe (2 squashes =  4 servings) and had leftovers the rest of the week for lunch. I kid you not, I think it got better each consecutive day!

vegetarian stuffed acorn squash

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash (from Eating Well)

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tsp plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (homemade is always the best!)
  • 8 cups chopped chard leaves (about 1 large bunch)
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans or chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut each acorn squash in half and remove seeds. It’s easiest to do this if you microwave each squash for 40 seconds first – it will make them soft enough to cut in half.
  2. Cut a small slice off the bottom of each squash half so it rests flat. Brush the insides with 1 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place in a 9-by-13-inch (or large enough) microwave-safe dish. I used a pyrex so I could also put it in the oven. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High until the squash is fork-tender, about 12 minutes.
  3. While squash is microwaving, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic to cooking onion and cook for about 1 minutes. Stir in water, tomato sauce and the remaining salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in chard, cover and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in white beans and olives; cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
  7. Preheat broiler. I put mine at 500 degrees F.
  8. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Remove squash from microwave (they should be fully cooked) and fill each squash half with about 1 cup of the chard mixture. If not already in a broiler-safe dish, place in a baking pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Broil in the center of the oven until the breadcrumbs are browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Enjoy! Serve alone or as a side dish.

ingredients vegetarian stuffed acorn squash

Here’s what you need

vegetarian stuvegetarian stuffed acorn squashffed acorn squash

Fill microwaved squash with bean mixture.

vegetarian stuffed acorn squash

Serve with a side salad!