Healthy Whole Wheat Date Bran Muffins

Date bran muffins made with whole wheat flour and flax that are packed with fibre and low in sugar!

Date bran muffins made with whole wheat flour and flax that are packed with fibre and low in sugar!

I’ve spent 20 minutes trying to start writing this post about muffins, but all I want to write about is my sister’s new Samoyed puppy, Hudson! She picked him up last Saturday, and I’ve been going to visit every weekend since then because I just can’t get enough of him!

He’s the cutest little thing and he’s still in that stage where he’s a little clumsy and unsteady on his feet. We get a lot of laughs out of him, like when he tries to sit but his back legs slide out from under him. Or when he covered his face with his paw when we tried taking a picture of him. I don’t think he’s camera shy though because he can definitely ham it up for photos. Isn’t he adorable?

Me and Hudson

I keep begging John to get a dog, but I know it’s not the right time for us with our busy schedules and small condo. For now I’ll settle for being a puppy aunt!

Besides for right now, having a full time job and sporadically posting on this blog keeps me busy enough! I haven’t had much time for it lately but that’s something I want to change in 2017, starting with this whole wheat date bran muffin recipe. I think these are the healthiest muffins I’ve ever made – skeptics, don’t let this scare you off, I’ve made these muffins in some of my cooking classes and they always get the thumbs up!

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I love a good muffin, but often times even the healthier ones I’m hesitant to call a healthy snack (maybe more of a healthyish snack, which let’s be honest, I’m totally on board with too). But not these date bran muffins. These guys are:

  • Made with no refined flour
  • Packed with 5 grams of fibre per muffin thanks to the whole wheat flour, wheat bran, AND flax
  • Low in sugar with only 6 grams of added sugar per muffin

Despite sounding like they might taste like a mouthful of hay, these bran muffins still taste great. My favourite way to eat them is warmed in the microwave with a pat of butter…healthyish at its finest!

Date bran muffins made with whole wheat flour and flax that are packed with fibre and low in sugar!

Healthy Whole Wheat Date Bran Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Date bran muffins made with whole wheat flour and flax that are packed with fibre and low in sugar!
Author:
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup wheat bran
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup unpacked brown sugar*
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup ground flax
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a muffin tin.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix together the wheat bran, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix together then stir in the chopped dates.
  3. In a large bowl mix the flax, water, canola oil, applesauce, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Make sure not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter into the muffin tin and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Notes
*You can decrease to ⅓ cup for a less sweet muffin. I still find this option sweet enough!

Looking for more healthy baked good snacks? You might like:

Healthy oat and flax date squares
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffin tops
Nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies

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2016 in Review

Happy 2017!

I’m not ready for one of those motivational, here’s-some-advice-from-an-RD-on-achieving-your-New-Years-resolutions type posts because honestly? I spent my first day of the New Year hungover on the couch without even a thought about goals for 2017 crossing my mind. Instead I watched 9 hours of movies with my family and ate Swiss Chalet.

Maybe I’ll get onto some health talk in another post, but today I’m going to keep it simple and take a look back at the last year:

Top 3 Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen Posts of 2016

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  1. Mediterranean Halloumi Toast
  2. Tropical Mango Coconut Energy Balls
  3. Tempeh Quinoa Power Bowl

3 Favourite Food and Nutrition Trends of 2016

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  1. Avocado toast – I don’t care who says they’re sick of this trend, I will never get tired of the combination of perfectly ripe avocado with a thick slab of crusty bread and a dusting of salt. And I usually top it with an egg for some staying power too.
  2. Smoothie bowls – I never liked smoothies until I learned you can eat them out of a bowl with toppings!
  3. Beans – with 2016 being the Year of the Pulses, it was awesome to see beans step into the limelight. This year I especially loved roasted chickpeas, beans in enchiladas, and homemade hummus.

3 Least Favourite Food and Nutrition Trends of 2016

  1. Turmeric – with the evidence being shaky on the nutrition benefits of turmeric, I haven’t jumped on board with adding it to everything from oatmeal to lattes. I’ll stick to just using it for its flavour in cooking.
  2. Cashews – purely because of my allergies to nuts, otherwise I’m sure I’d love this trend!
  3. Allergy testing – it’s so trendy to get tested for allergies these days, but some of the tests used actually aren’t accurate! Read my post about allergy testing if you want to learn more.

Top 3 Restaurant Meals of 2016

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  1. Duck bolognese pasta at Lafayette in NYC
  2. Mushroom pizza at 7 Enoteca in Oakville
  3. Avocado toast from St. James Espresso Bar & Eatery in Hamilton

Top 3 Life Highlights of 2016

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  1. My first trip to NYC
  2. My sister moving back from England
  3. Cooking so many great meals with friends

And that’s wrap on 2016. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and delicious 2017!

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A Dietitian’s Rant on “Fitspo”

I came across a post on social media this month of a transformation picture – you know one of those before/after body comparisons highlighting someone’s weight loss. This transformation picture, like many others I came across, showed off a stark contrast between the before picture and a lean, ripped body as the after picture (often referred to as “fitspo” aka. fitness inspiration).

Now I don’t want to criticize this individual, that’s not my intention. This person clearly put in a lot of hard work and dedication to fitness. However, I think it’s unfortunate that so often health is shown in extremes on social media. From a starting point of overweight (clinically speaking) to an end result of six pack abs, people rarely seem to set their goals on the in between.

But maybe they should be.  Because “healthy” isn’t black and white like that. “Unhealthy” doesn’t mean overweight and “healthy” doesn’t mean six pack abs. Getting healthy can mean small changes – and in fact this is much more sustainable in the long term. Not to mention for some women, getting visible abs means dropping to an extremely low body fat percentage that can actually be harmful to our reproductive system and bones.

And it irks me to see these transformation pictures with captions that make it sound like anyone can achieve this physique: “You can do it too!”, “Work hard and get this body too!”, “What’s your excuse?”, etcetera etcetera. Sorry, but six packs are not realistic or even possible for some people. And I’m sure those captions have the intention of being motivational, but they can have the exact opposite effect for some people. No, not everyone can achieve six packs abs because some people don’t have the genetics, the time, or the budget. Some people worry about having the time to see their kids between working two jobs let alone having the time to work out at a gym for a hour and a half. And some people’s genetics mean it is difficult to the point of being impossible to get abs, like me. I have never and will never have them – I could go to the gym for 1 hour a day and run and do ab exercises til I’m blue in the face, drop 20 lbs, and I still won’t have abs (believe me, been there, done that).

So amidst all the “fitspo”on social media these days, focus on what’s right for you and remember that drastic change isn’t always the best change.

What do you think? Do you find “fitspo” motivating or unrealistic?

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