I'd like to believe that dietitians are the gurus of weight management and that if people want to successfully lose weight, they should always see an RD! I've learned though that many people find their own way and that the most successful weight management program is often a blend of many different ideas tailored to fit an individual's lifestyle and preferences. One example is my friend Liz who decided to start eating a plant-based diet in March with her husband Dave who, based on his body mass index, is obese and at risk for several chronic diseases. His goal was to lose 60 pounds by next February and he has already lost 37 pounds with dietary changes alone!
Although Liz felt that she had been cooking healthfully and the family had been exercising regularly, she was inspired by the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman to improve the quality of their diets even more. Other books in which she found recipes and inspiration included Forks Over Knives: The Plant-based Way To Health and The Engine 2 Diet. Liz and Dave are eating mostly plant foods, having eliminated dairy, eggs, meat, added fats and refined carbohydrates. The best thing is that they're satisfied and excited about the meals they're eating. Liz is now able to create her own recipes, always focusing on a high ratio of nutrients to calories. She raved about this muffin recipe that the whole family including her 5-year-old son loved. I tested it out since it sounded like a perfect back-to-school snack or breakfast! Instead of added oils and a lot of sugar (like most muffin recipes have), this version relies on peanut butter and some jam for its richness and light sweetness. If you enjoy peanut butter, you'll become addicted to these muffins! Check out Liz's recipe substitutions at the end in case you don't have all of the original ingredients on hand.
PB&J Muffins by Liz Caraway
1 1/2 T ground flaxseed meal
3 T water
2 cups oat flour (or use old-fashioned oats ground in a food processor)
2 T date sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup Smart Balance creamy peanut butter
½ t vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
- Stir ground flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and let thicken for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine oat flour, date sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk almond milk, peanut butter, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Stir in thickened flaxseed meal.
- Add milk mixture to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened.
- Fill each muffin cup with batter about 1/4 full. Place 1 teaspoon of raspberry jam into the center of each muffin. Top each muffin with remaining batter.
- Bake at 400 F for 10-12 minutes.
- 1 egg or 2 egg whites can be substituted for the ground flaxseed meal and water mixture
- Whole wheat flour can be substituted for the oat flour
- Sugar or agave nectar can be substituted for the date sugar
- Cow’s milk or any non-dairy milk can be substituted for the almond milk
- Use favorite flavor of jam in place of raspberry