Thursday, September 20, 2012

Healthy Breakfast; Freezer Style

When I do my big freezer cooking day, I usually concentrate on making just dinners - enough to get us through two weeks.  We are generally a cereal/frozen waffles/toast for breakfast kind of family, but I was getting a little tired of that.  I also had about 6 over ripe bananas that I had to do something with.

I found the individual portioned baked oatmeal on pinterest and just decided to give it a whirl.  I'd never made anything like that before, but it ended up being super easy.  I think I expected them to turn out more like a granola bar/fiber bar, but they're a little softer/chewier than that.  They are GOOD though, and my husband loves them, so that's a win.

One of the best parts about it is you can add any topping you want or none at all depending on what you/your family likes.  And since it's just topping, you can make as many different ones as you like.  I chose to use chocolate chips because that's what we like, but I think fruit would be really good too.  

Some points about this recipe:
  • The recipe says to use stevia or honey, and I used 1/2 cup honey because that's what I already had.  It turned out great
  • It's supposed to make 18 muffins, but I feel like I could have made more.  Maybe 20?  I had to bake the remainder of the batter in a casserole dish though because I ran out of paper liners.
  • Speaking of paper liners, I wouldn't recommend them.  I will get the foil ones next time I make these.  They end of being kind of difficult to get out of the paper liner after sitting for a day.  
  • I might just stir the chocolate chips right into the batter next time, because I think that would be really good too.  I just need to be careful about not going overboard on the chocolate because that can really add unnecessary calories.
  • They freeze fabulously.  After they cooled, I just threw a bunch into a gallon size freezer bag and popped them in the freezer (you might notice a few of them look a little freezer-y in the picture) and then I just take out a couple before I go to bed and they are perfect to eat the next morning!
  • The breakdown for 18 muffins with chocolate chip topping: serving size: one muffin, 190 calories, 5g fat, 34g carb, 6g protein.
For the banana muffins, I took Skinnytaste's Low Fat Banana Nut Bread recipe, omitted the nuts, and turned it into muffins.
  • Again, I will definitely use foil muffin liners next time.  Why did I ever decide to buy paper ones?
  • The recipe calls for 7 medium bananas; I used 5 large-ish ones and they turned out great.
  • Since I was making muffins, I only baked each pan for 12-14 minutes or until the tops were golden.  
  • Made 24 muffins.
  • Breakdown: serving size: 1 muffin, 111 calories, 2g fat, 22g carb, 2g protein.
Easy, healthy breakfast for the win!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

True Life: I'm Addicted to Freezer Cooking

Yes, it's a good bit of work.  
I usually spend a whole evening or morning prepping (finding and choosing recipes and making a grocery list), about 1.5 hours shopping (I try to be as budget conscious as possible which sometimes means going to multiple stores for the best prices on what I need), and 5 hours or so cooking.
BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT.  It is so worth not having to stress over what's for dinner during the week.  No more last minute stops at the grocery store on my way home from work (such a hassle when you have to get the baby in and out of the car just for one or two items), no more of those frozen bag skillet meals that are loaded with calories, no more "I'm too tired to come up with anything, I'm just going to swing through this drive thru here."

Also, I really like to cook, and since I don't have time to do it during the week, I've really been looking forward to my cooking days.  I still don't look forward to cleaning up all the dirty dishes it creates (I always manage to use literally every measuring cup and bowl and spoon that I own), but even that really isn't so bad.

I've only ever cooked enough to last us for two weeks, and I mostly just cook dinners.  We've enjoyed almost everything I've made so far and have only had a couple flops.  

Two of our favorites so far have been Chicken Tortilla Soup and Tomato Beef Stew, both of which are pretty low calorie!  

Since I'm starting September off right, Friday I cooked all low-calorie, healthy recipes that I can't wait to eat!!  I also baked some yummy items for breakfast that I'm excited to try.  Recipes coming soon!!