cherry

Recipe: Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins

These delicious muffins deliver 5 grams of protein each - plus 2 grams of fiber! The fiber and protein boost comes from the lentils incorporated in the muffins. Check out this recipe and to learn more on how lentils can benefit your health - listen to a recent radio interview registered dietitian, Molly Morgan, click here.

Photo Credit: Novel Studios

Photo Credit: Novel Studios

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins

Yield 16 Muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (370 mL) lentils, cooked
1/2 cup (120 mL) 100% orange juice
2 cups (475 mL) white wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chia seeds
1/2 cup (120 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup (120 mL) vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) dried tart cherries

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Prepare 16 muffin tins with paper liners or non-stick cooking spray.

2. Combine the cooked lentils and orange juice in a food processor until the lentils are pureed.

3. In a large mixing bowl combine the pureed lentils, white wheat pastry flour and salt. Stir to combine.

4. Then add chia seeds, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla yogurt, and eggs. Stir to combine. Then add-in the dried cherries and stir to combine.

6. Pour 1/3 of the muffin mixture in each of the muffin tins. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7. Cool the muffins on a cooling rack.

Nutrition Facts (per muffin): 210 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 32 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 5 grams protein

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Kefir - What is it & Recipe Idea

What is kefir?

I first learned about kefir from a European hockey player I was working with about 9 years ago! At the time I didn't know much about kefir, since then I have learned a lot about kefir and enjoy it as a regular part of my eating routine. 

Kefir is a probiotic rich, cultured milk beverage. Kefir comes for the Turkish word keyif, which means “good feeling”

I enjoy making my own kefir at home, it's relatively simple to make (see step by step instructions and resources in Drink Your Way to Gut Health) or you can buy store bought kefir that is plain or flavored, like Lifeway Kefir (pictured left).

Each cup of kefir (8 fl oz/240mL) provides 11 grams of protein, vitamin D, and calcium too!

Work kefir into your daily routine by adding to smoothies, using plain kefir to pour over cereal, or just enjoy a glass of flavored kefir. Do use have kefir in your eating routine? Share with me in the comments your favorite ways you enjoy it!

Here is one of my personal favorite kefir recipes: 

Tart Cherry Kefir from Drink Your Way to Gut Health

Tart Cherry Kefir

Tart Cherry Kefir

Serves 2 (1 cup each)

Tart cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory impact on the body. Researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University presented a small study of 20 women with inflammatory arthritis (osteoarthritis); it showed that having 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for 3 weeks led to a reduction in inflammation markers. Similar inflammation reduction has been found among athletes who added tart cherry juice while training for long distance running, and the runners experienced less pain. When shopping for tart cherry juice, opt for 100 percent tart cherry juice to gain the maximum health benefits.

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen dark cherries
1/2 cup plain kefir
1/2 cup 100 percent tart cherry juice
4 or 5 ice cubes

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until icy and smooth.

2. Divide between 2 glasses and serve, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 110 calories, 1/2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 4 g protein, 4% vitamin A, 8% calcium, 10% vitamin C, 4% iron

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