Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heart Healthy Recipes: Banana Oatmeal Muffins

In lieu of last weeks healthy, fast dinner, I'm sending you a nice yummy recipe, specially created by yours truly.  Not only is February the holder of Valentine's Day and President's Day but it's the time to focus on your heart health.  Heart diseases are the number one medical problem for both men and women, and it's our job to promote natural, healthy living to our customers!  We care about you and want you to take good care of yourself so always think of three things for your heart:

1.  Get more fiber in your diet.  Even if it's switching to whole grain breads or cereals, eating an extra piece of fruit or another serving of veggies, fiber is number one in helping your heart, your body, and a big step towards better health.  Did you know that we are supposed to be getting at least 33 grams of fiber a day and that the average American only gets a third of that?  This leads not only to heart issues, but digestive ones, and is a key factor in obesity.

2.  Take those vitamins and get some fish oil into your diet!  If you aren't a fish person, there are fish oil gel tabs you can take that have those omega-3 oils everyone so desperately needs you can take.  In fact, the places with the lowest rates of heart disease are countries that rely primarily on fish and legumes for their primary sources of protein.  Vitamins help keep your body running, even when you can't eat the healthiest.

3.  Up off the couch!  Even 30 simple minutes of a walk, stretching more often, any extra physical movement will help your heart keep pumping healthfully.  If you can do it at least three to 4 times a week, great, and if you can do it every day, even better.  I, myself, am often guilty of not getting enough exercise and when I don't, boy do I pay!  My stomach hurts more, I get sluggish and sore, and have little to no energy.  Exercise also helps your heart clean out plaque build up so it lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, and how hard your heart has to work.

I would love it if you tried this recipe.  It's moist, yummy, and chock full of heart healthy things like Niacin and fiber.  Plus, who doesn't like a nice warm muffin in the morning?  Breakfast, especially fiber filled ones keep you energized throughout the day and helps curb your appetite for unhealthy munchies.  Let me know if you enjoyed the recipe!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins

-1 1/2 Cups of whole wheat flour (I use the King Arthur brand)
-1 Cup of quick cooking oats
-1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
-1 Tbs baking powder
-1/2 Tsp baking soda
-1 Cup (or 3 whole) ripe, mashed bananas
-5 Tbs margarine or butter, melted (I use Brummel and Brown)
-1/2 Cup milk
-1 egg, beaten
-1 Cup of unsweetened applesauce
-1 tsp Vanilla

-Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
-Spray your muffin pans' cups and use liners if you prefer.
-In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients and set aside.
-In another medium bowl, blend your wet ingredients well.
-Add your dry ingredients to the wet in 3 additions, each time stirring until just combined.  Do not over blend the dough.
-Fill the muffin cups 2/3's full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes and remove.  Serve.

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