Honeycrisp Wheat Germ Muffins

I thought I’d share a family recipe with all of you! “Easy Wheat Germ Muffins” is the official title, but I’ve made these into an apple cinnamon muffin. But what is wheat germ?

Wheat germ is the reproductive part of wheat that can produce a whole new plant. Because of that, wheat germ is a concentrated source of essential nutrients. Of course on the list of nutrients that it has, it does include gluten. So if you are gluten intolerant and needing to stay away from gluten, wheat germ would be something you’d need to stay away from.

If you are not allergic or gluten-intolerant, then I’d suggest looking up wheat germ. It’s an easy thing to add in for extra nutrients and basically replacing what is stripped away from wheat when it’s processed in a concentrated form.

There is more about wheat germ on my post on another family recipe, “Amelie’s Wheat Germ Pancakes”. And yes… apples are in those too.

Wheat germ has a nutty flavor to them and I guess I just always think of apples, but with this recipe, you can use berries, nuts, etc. or leave them plain. Up to you. For me, I’m not a huge sweet person, but I love baked goods. So this muffin is a delicious nutty flavored baked muffin that’s slightly sweet.

Oh! And I almost forgot – because I always do – if you buy wheat germ, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator after it’s open. Although it’s a flour, it needs to be stored in the fridge. I always forget this. I got a few cups from my mom who had just bought some. She put it in a zip lock bag and in big letters said, “STORE IN FRIDGE”. I still forgot. It contains unsaturated fats, which can become rancid. It has a shelf life of a year if it is stored properly. The way to tell, if you forget to store it in the fridge like me, is that fresh wheat germ has a slight nutty smell, similar to toasted nuts. Not sour.

You could bump up the sweetness with adding a streusel topping, but I don’t think these guys need it. So let’s get to the recipe, but first… don’t ya’ll love this melted butter shot I got?! I’m so proud!

WARNING: Your house will smell like baked cinnamon apple muffins and you will have to slap hands away from people trying to eat them before you can take a picture!

Honeycrisp Wheat Germ Muffins

  • Servings: 9 large muffins
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (I use almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped honeycrisp apple
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare muffin tin with liners or grease with small amount of vegetable oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients: all purpose flour, wheat germ, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg until well beaten. Add to the large bowl with dry ingredients.
  4. Add in almond milk to large bowl. Mix all ingredients together.
  5. Add in the apples and cinnamon, or any other add-ins, and fold into the mixture.
  6. Fill in large muffin tin about 1/4 cup each.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Let rest for about 5 minutes before devouring.

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Breakfast – When To Eat It?

Timing of meals can be a big topic. For today, we are just going to dive in and look at breakfast.

There is a lot about how, when, and what to eat for breakfast. And there’s even debates about if you should or shouldn’t eat breakfast. Let’s look at a few different topics about why people have said to eat or not to eat breakfast.

Effect on Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is the thermic effect on food, which is increases the calories burned after you eat. Interestingly enough, what matters for your metabolism is how much you eat throughout the day, not when you eat it.

A study in 2014 shows that there was not a change in calories burned over 24 hours between people eating or people skipping breakfast.

Eating breakfast does not boost or kick-start your metabolism.

Effect on Weight Management

Not having breakfast and waiting for lunch does make you more hungry and you will most likely eat more at lunch, but on average, it’s not more than what you would have eaten had you had breakfast and lunch.

Some people like the idea of intermittent fasting, which is fasting for certain times of the day, which can include not eating breakfast. This can result in a calorie deficit throughout the day, and thus over time results in weight loss. However, if you planned out your day and still had the same amount of calories, whether eating breakfast or not, it would result in weight loss as well. However you can safely and easily maintain a calorie deficit over time, you will loose weight. For some that might mean skipping breakfast.

There was a 4-month long study that compared eating and/or skipping breakfast in over 300 men and women. After the study was over there was no difference in weight loss/gain between the groups.

Breakfast Is Up To Preference

If or when you eat breakfast is up to you. I’m usually a breakfast eater, but other mornings I’m just not hungry and skip it all together. It’s up to how you feel.

However, having a healthy variety of foods throughout the day is important, as well as your overall daily caloric intake.

This was all a long winded way to say – if you’re hungry in the morning, eat. If you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t. Breakfast does not have a determining factor in weight gain/loss or in your metabolism. Now – keeping your blood sugar from spiking and dipping is a whole other topic about when to eat. I’m sure we will be covering that topic soon. But for now – enjoy breakfast, or not.

Green Chile Egg Muffins + Green Chile Garbanzo Flour Muffin Version (egg, soy, dairy, corn, gluten free)

An easy savory breakfast to prep is always something I love! And green chilies. Eggs have had some hype over the last few years and there is debate over whether they are something healthy to eat or not. Let me take a minute to talk about them and why you might not need to be so afraid to have them.

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Eggs have gotten a long and bad reputation for being bad for your cholesterol levels. True, eggs are high in cholesterol and there is no nutritional need to ingest cholesterol since our body, mainly the liver, makes it for us. However, eggs or other foods high in cholesterol are not necessarily the culprit when it comes to high cholesterol. Here is a peer reviewed study of egg consumption and the risk of increasing high cholesterol and stroke risk. They found there was no real evidence that eating high cholesterol foods, like eggs, resulted in high blood cholesterol or a greater stroke risk.

That being said, here are some tips on how to lower cholesterol which includes decreasing weight (even 5 lbs.), eating high fiber foods, and eating less saturated fats.

So now that we know eggs aren’t as bad as they might have seemed before, let’s look at the Green Chile Muffin recipe and nutrition!

Green Chile Egg Muffins

  • Servings: 6 Servings/Muffins
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Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 4oz can of chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup minced green onion
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Take a medium muffin tin and if not using liners or it’s not a non-stick tin, coat the insides with oil. I used a small amount of coconut oil.
  3. Put about 1 teaspoon of green chilies in the bottom of each of the 6 muffin molds, and about 1 tablespoon of the green chilies.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper until mixed together. Pour into the muffin molds until almost fill. Start with 3/4 of the way full and fill with what may be left.
  5. Cook for about 15 minutes. Top with cheese and cook for another 3-5 minutes
  6. Let rest for a few minutes before trying to move the egg muffins out of the tin.

To store, place in the fridge for about 3-4 days. For a more balanced breakfast, have 1-2 egg muffins with 1/2 cup of fruit.

Nutritional Information

1 Egg Muffin = 192 calories | 12.7 g total fat | 1.72 polyunsaturated fat | 5.37 monounsaturated fat | 3.89 saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 626 mg cholesterol | 8.27 g carbohydrates | 3.5 g fiber | 2.92 g sugar | 12.89 g protein

Now that we have the egg version, and after all this is Food Allergy Awareness Month/Week, here is an egg/soy/gluten/corn/dairy free version for a savory Green Chile Breakfast Muffin.

Tip: You might want to eat this with some green salsa since the garbanzo flour can make it dry.

Green Chile Garbanzo Flour Breakfast Muffins


Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened, plain plant based milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 4oz can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 c minced green onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 cup plant based cheddar shreds

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Take a medium muffin tin and if not using liners or it’s not a non-stick tin, coat the insides with oil. I used a small amount of coconut oil.
  3. In a medium-large bowl whisk together all ingredients, except for the plant based cheddar shreds if you are using, until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into the muffin tin. It will not rise very much so fill them to the top.
  5. Cook for 18 minutes. Top with the plant based cheddar shreds if using, and cook for 5 more minutes. 23 minutes total.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes before moving them from the muffin tin.


For a more balanced meal, have with a 1/2 cup of fresh fruit.
If the muffins seem a little too dry, have a small amount of salsa to eat with it.

Nutritional Information

1 Garbanzo Flour Muffin = 170 calories | 6.46 g total fat | 2.5 g polyunsaturated fat | 2.3 g monounsaturated fat | 0.9 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 21.5 g carbohydrates | 6.1 g fiber | 3 g sugar | 8.72 g protein

The Difference Between Steel-Cut, Rolled, Quick and Instant Oats

Oatmeal is a staple for me! Depending on what you are using it for and what recipe you are using, it might call for different forms of oats. What’s the difference? Why is it important to know? Is there a difference in nutrition?

Photo by Daniel Hansen on Unsplash

Forms of Oats

Oats are usually found in three styles:

  • Steel Cut (Irish Oats)
  • Rolled Oats (Old Fashion)
  • Quick Oats
  • Instant Oats

All oatmeal is made from oat groats which is the whole grain of the oat. The only thing missing in oats is the hard outer husk of the groat. The main difference is in the cut. Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages to these to know which style of oats you might want to get.

NOTE: For the nutrition information, there may be difference in cup size, but it’s however much 1 serving is for each. For instance, since steel cut oats are more dense and will cook/puff up more, it’s only 1/4 cup uncooked. Instant oatmeal is already cooked and dried, so it will be 1 cup dried oatmeal since it won’t puff up. Total, after cooking/preparing each serving would be about 1 cup. Also there might be a slight change in some of the nutrition facts depending on the brand. I’ve seen some steel oats being 6% DV of Iron, and others being 10%. 

Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

Steel Cut (Irish) Oats

Steel cut oats are cut whole oats. Meaning the oat groat, which is the whole grain mentioned above, is cut into smaller pieces. It’s chewier than traditional oats and are digested more slowly so it may keep you fuller longer.

  • Chewy
  • Digested Slower / Longer Satiety
  • 30 Minutes to cook

NUTRITION: 1/4 cup serving | 170 Calories | 2.5g Total Fat | 31 g Carbohydrates | 5 g Fiber | 5 g Protein | 2% Calcium | 10% Iron

Rolled (Old Fashioned) Oats

This is the most common of oats you can find on the shelves. They are made by steaming the oat groats and then are flattened (rolled) to create the flakes.

  • Common
  • Used in other recipes as a binder that cooks longer (muffins) which makes it more versatile than steel cut oats
  • 5 Minutes to cook

NUTRITION: 1/2 cup serving | 150 Calories | 3g Total Fat | 27 g Carbohydrates | 4 g Fiber | 5 g Protein | 2% Calcium | 10% Iron

Quick Oats

Quick oats follow a similar method as rolled oats, but they are pressed into finer thinner flakes and cut into small pieces.

  • Cooks in about 1-2 minutes
  • Does not digest long, which may not be good for diabetics
  • Used in quick cooking recipes like pancakes

NUTRITION: 1/2 cup serving | 150 Calories | 3 g Total Fat | 27 g Carbohydrates | 4 g Fiber | 5 g Protein | 2% Calcium | 10% Iron

Instant Oatmeal

Instant Oatmeal is oatmeal that has already been cooked and dried. Simply cook by adding boiling water and eat. They usually have additives and sweeteners for texture and taste so make sure to read your labels!

  • Fast
  • Less chewy/texture
  • Many instant oatmeal products have added sugar, there is plain varieties
  • Great to use to traveling, but maybe not as your regular breakfast

NUTRITION (Plain): 1 cup/packet serving | 151 calories | 2.6 g Total Fat | 27 g Carbohydrates | 4 g Fiber | 6 g Protein | 2% Calcium | 9% Iron

Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

Bottom Line

Depending on what you need it for, there can be advantages and disadvantages to which oats you use. Nutritionally the worse one would be the instant oats since it was previously cooked and dried again, plus the chance of there being unnecessary additives and sweeteners. If you are looking for a quick meal, quick oats would be the better choice if available. You would just need to add the hot water and cover it for an extra minute or two. All in all – most versions of oats have roughly the same macro nutrients. It depends on your preference in texture and how long you need it to digest. Breakfast before a long day? You might want rolled oats. Before a run? Maybe a small bowl of the quick oats with fruit.

I’d like to know – how do you like your oatmeal?

Why Easy Breakfasts Are Important + 4 Simple Breakfast Ideas

My mornings usually go as follows…

  • Wake up and do stretches
    • Depending on morning, exercise
  • Shower/Get Ready
  • Drink my 16 oz of water or more
  • Make my lunch
  • Make my coffee
  • Make/Grab breakfast
  • Run out the door!

Actual Instagram post from a few months back.

Are your mornings about the same? Easy breakfasts or simple breakfasts you can easily prepare for the week are essential. If I don’t prepare my breakfast I’ll usually grab something that is not nutritious and will not help my goals OR it will be a small piece of fruit and I’ll be hungry by 10:00 am.

Why Breakfast Is Important

There are a lot of people who will talk about when to eat breakfast, but I know many people are not hungry right when they wake up. Sometimes I’m hungry and will eat at 7:00 am, sometimes I won’t eat breakfast until 10:00 am. Other times it’s closer to lunch time depending on the day. The important thing is what is going to be the first thing you give your digestive system after it hasn’t had anything for 8+ hours.

During the night your digestive system rests and because of this your blood sugar falls. When you wake up, everything else is waking up as well. Drinking water as the first thing on your stomach is so important! Check out my post about it here. After that I usually suggest things that are easily digestible and will not be a huge hit to your blood sugar levels. Things with some sugar/carbohydrates and fiber are a good choice to have with breakfast like fruit and/or yogurt. Sugar/carbohydrates without fiber or protein like juice or pastries can make you crash mid-morning. Make sure what you have is easy for your system to digest, good for the digestive system, and will help get your blood sugar back to normal levels.

This is the start of the rest of your day. It can determine how the rest of your day will go. Will you crash later? Will you be tired? Will you feel sick to your stomach? Will you be able to go to the bathroom later in the day? All of that can depend on what you have for your first meal.

Photo by Keegan Evans on Pexels

Why Should Breakfast Be Easy?

Simple will mean we will most likely do it. If it’s not convenient, there is less of a chance we’ll keep with it. Since breakfast is important to the rest of your day you want to make sure it’s:

  • Easy to prepare
  • Easy to grab and go
  • Be balanced and easy to digest

Simple Breakfast Ideas

Actual recipes for some of these will be coming! But here are some basic ideas and some to mix up your breakfast if you are looking for something fresh.

  • Yogurt Parfait:
    • 1 cup yogurt, fresh fruit, nuts, granola, etc.
  • Protein Shake/Smoothie:
    • If you are having a protein shake in the morning, I’d suggest making sure you blend it with a serving of fruit or spinach for fiber and simple easily digestible carbs for your blood sugar.
  • Mason Jar Oatmeal:
    • I’m not a huge fan of overnight oats personally, but what I do is prepare my own dry oatmeal pack in a mason jar. Make it for the week and you’ll have grab and go oatmeal!
    • 1/2 cup oats, dried fruit, nuts, sweetener if needed, spices like cinnamon
    • You can also add 1/2 cup protein powder
    • When you are ready add hot water to the jar, seal/cover it for 5 minutes and eat!
  • Muffin Quiches
    • Easy way to eat eggs on the go! (Plant-based version coming!)
    • 4-6 servings: Preheat over to 350 degrees F. 6 eggs, small amount of onion diced, 1/2 tomatoes diced, 1/2 cup spinach chopped, small amount of cheese if desired, salt & pepper if desired, 2 tbsp milk or milk alternative to make them fluffier. Whisk together. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on size of muffin tin. Store in fridge until ready to grab and go!

Like I said, more information and recipes will be coming, but this can give you some ideas for some easy, simple things to prep and grab and go for breakfasts that are healthy, balanced, and easy to digest.