Hi Guys! It’s Friday, Friday, Friday!!!
Part of me wants to put a big frown after that last Friday. Since it’s Friday, that means it’s also soon to be one of my last days of vacation. I have two weeks of vacation left and because I resigned from my job last week decided to take a few days off this week to get a few appointments in before switching insurance. I’ve been off since Wednesday and planning to return Tuesday. Where does the time go?
I’m so glad I took a few days this week before starting. I really needed a timeout to reset myself physically and mentally. Mostly mentally. Everything that’s happened with my injury has drained me. I needed this week to work through my emotions and come to terms with where I am with my body and fitness. I can’t say I will ever fully accept what’s happened to me, but I’m working on it & my talk with the doctor Wednesday helped. One step at a time. <3
As you know from my recipes, I’m just a little obsessed baking and with nut butter. Nut butter has heart-healthy fat and is packed with protein. Eaten in moderation, nut butter is great for overall health (key word –> moderation).
What a lot of people don’t know is there are so many varieties available of nut butter outside the traditional peanut butter – almond, hazelnut, cashew, sunflower, macadamia, etc. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had plain old peanut butter. Now that I’ve discovered other types, I have no desire to eat regular peanut butter. It no longer tastes good to me.
I guess you could say I’m sort of a snob when it comes to nut butters. I will only eat certain brands. Some of my favorite brands are Justin’s, NuttZo, Barney Butter, Wild Friends and Kolat. When I buy a nut butter, I always, always, always read the labels. A good nut butter should have nuts as the#1 ingredient and ideally nothing else. No gunk ingredients. That’s what I look for. One of the reasons these are my favorites is for their real ingredients and of course, they’re flavors are incredibly delicious too.
Recently a lady at Target saw me grab a jar of Justin’s Hazelnut Butter and asked me if it was better than Jiff. “Whhhhhhhaaaaatttt???” My response to her as I grasped my chest in shock. Ok, I’m being dramatic. That was my reaction in my head. I told her the two can’t even be compared. I showed her the list of ingredients in both jars and pointed out the questionable things in Jiff (sugar and vegetable oil) and the difference to Justin’s ingredients. I love it when people ask me for help with something I feel so passionate about.
It got me thinking that we seriously are in desperate need of more education about foods, ingredients & labels in our country. I fear too many people have no idea what they are eating and what it’s doing to their health. Why are we not teaching these things to kids in school? I should be writing my Congressman right now and holding a protest at a McDonald’s. I should be, but instead I am writing this post for you because…
I have an amazing gluten-free muffin recipe to share with you instead. This particular creation is packed with hazelnuts. Hazelnuts contain a vitamin known as B9 or folate. Folate is great for those who are anemic (like me) to increase red blood count production and help prevent bone fractures & osteoporosis (that’s me too). Irritability, mental fatigue, muscle weakness and insomnia can be signs of low folate. Of all tree nuts, hazelnuts has the highest folate content. [Source]
If you’re low on folate or just looking for a delicious, low-calorie, dairy free, gluten free treat, then I have you covered with these delicious muffins. I highly recommend you make these chocolaty goodies with Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. I also used hazelnut flour which you can find here or GF oats would be just as good too if you’re not into fancy flours like me.
Now I’m off to figure out how to educate the world on food!
One last tip! I also toasted a handful of hazelnuts and chopped them finely. You can omit those if you like. I like the crunch it adds to the creamy texture of the hazelnut butter. It also enhances the overall hazelnut flavor. Have a great Friday!
- 1/2 cup hazelnut butter
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 light honey
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 baking soda
- 1/2 cup hazelnut flour (or GF oat flour would work too)
- Optional - 1/8 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped finely
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Prepare a muffin pan by cooking spray or lining with muffins liners
- Add egg white, banana, vanilla, honey and hazelnut butter to a food processor
- Blend all ingredients until smooth
- Add dry ingredients to a bowl with wet ingredient and combine, but do not over mix
- Hand stir hazelnuts into batter
- Add batter to muffin pan, fill each cavity ~3/4 full
- Bake 12 minutes or until top of muffin sets up well
- Cool muffins in pan 5-10 minutes before removing
- 155 calories w/o hazelnuts
- 162 calories with hazelnuts
Have you tried hazelnut butter? What’s your favorite nut butter flavor and favorite brand? Do you feel knowledgeable in food labels and ingredients? Do you think there should be more education?