apple cider muffins

Happy November! Keep the pumpkin spice and apple cider coming.

It’s easy to overeat or overindulge as the weather gets cooler, but a healthy diet doesn’t involve skipping out on sweets entirely.

This healthy recipe for Apple Cider Muffins (or donuts if you’re a lucky foodie who owns one!) will satisfy your fall cravings without setting yourself back on your goals.

These donut/muffins are not only whole grain and low calorie, they are made with natural sugars (dates), have a healthy dose of unsaturated fats, and they’re vegan and gluten free! There is no reason for anyone to miss out on the holiday food fun, no matter their dietary preferences.

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 11 pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups oat flour

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

  • 1/4 cup stevia baking blend
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

apple cider muffinsSteps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Add the dates, apple cider, and nut butter to a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. Pour the date mixture into a bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet. The batter should be very thick and sticky!If not add 1/4 cup more flour.
  4. Line a muffin tin with silicon liners (or paper, if you’re less environmentally friendly). Spoon the batter into the pan filling each muffins cup to the top.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Remove muffins from the oven and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Feel free to drip some water on top, too, to make it stick better and turn into more of a glaze.
  7. Enjoy! Keep in the fridge and coat with cinnamon sugar just before serving.


Nutrition info: (9 muffins)

Calories: 145 // Carbs: 26g // Protein: 4g // Fat: 5g // Sugar: 14g // Fiber: 4g

autumn quinoa salad

Autumn Quinoa Salad
Recipe adapted from Blue Zones

It’s finally starting to feel like fall again! Which means I’m getting ready to start cooking warm, fall foods. For me that means cinnamon, root vegetables, squashes and cranberries. It does NOT have to mean you throw away your summer diet! It’s still just as easy to find healthy fall foods as is is to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies of summer.

What’s in season in Massachusetts at this time of year? Here’s a quick list:

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Broccoli raab
Brussels sprouts
Celeriac/celery root

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Peas and pea pods
Peppers (sweet)
Shelling beans
Squash (winter)

I have no idea how to use escarole, so if you have any ideas, let me know! I’m going to focus today’s blog on an autumn recipe that involves the nutrient-dense, ancient grain: quinoa. Why is quinoa so great? It’s a high protein whole grain, which can actually make you live longer. By eating 90 grams of whole grains a day, you can reduce your risk of mortality by 17%! Crazy!

autumn quinoa saladHere’s what you need to make this delicious autumn quinoa salad:

  • 1 1/2 cup quinoa
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

So how do you do it?

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the green onions, carrot and peas, and set aside to come to room temperature.
  3. Add the beans, peanuts, cranberries, oil, vinegar and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
    *Variation: Substitute cooked brown rice for the quinoa, or a different type of nut in place of the peanuts.

That’s it! It’s great hot or cold, so feel free to use the extras as leftovers the next day.