Smoothies & Muffins

Smoothies and muffins, a match made in nutritious breakfast heaven.

It was an accident, these peanut butter muffins.  But they were a delicious accident indeed.

Amber came to my new house for her first ever visit last weekend.  Being the foodies that we are, we talked a lot about what we planned to prepare for the meals that she would be in town.  Breakfast? Definitely a smoothie-with kale, Amber suggested.

I’ve always been intrigued by kale.  It looks like lettuce but has a vastly different texture and flavor.  I tried to make kale chips one time, which I believe I blogged about, but weren’t crazy about them.  Chopped kale inside a delicious fruit smoothie sounded like something I think I could fall in love with.  We decided to pair the kale with a couple of peaches, bananas, a handful of raspberries, ice, two scoops of GNC Lean Shake protein powder and some vanilla almond milk.

On the last morning of her visit, I woke up earlier than Amber and began to prepare the smoothies.  I couldn’t wait to try the kale.

First, I put two scoops of protein powder and about a cup of almond milk in the bottom of the blender.  I knew that would have to be blended well first before I added the fruits and vegetables.  Next, I washed the kale and removed the leaves from the stem.  After peeling the peaches and banana, I added it to the blender a little at a time, making sure to blend well between each.  The kale made the smoothie a fantastic green color.  I was already in love and I hadn’t even tried it yet.

We planned to go to Topsail Island to see the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean that morning so when Amber was ready, I poured the smoothies into a couple of straw cups and off we went.
Wait, back up.  Didn’t I say muffins? Of course.

The accidental muffins weren’t really an accident but they definitely weren’t planned.  When we went grocery shopping, we talked briefly about what to have with our smoothies and I suggested muffins, thinking I had a couple of packets of mix in my pantry.  I’m not sure what happened to them (my husband!) but when we arrived home, I couldn’t find them.  So, I began looking online for a recipe that I could use with only the things I had on hand.  Enter Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip muffins.  If the title didn’t catch my eye, the pictures sure did.  The finished product looks gorgeous on Kathy’s blog.  I’m a big fan of her vegan food blog by the way.  She has a spot in my Google Reader.

I had to make a couple of tweaks to the recipe, because I didn’t have all the ingredients.  I used agave syrup in place of the vanilla extract (I’ve been doing that for quite awhile now because I ran out of vanilla extract and it seemed like a worthy substitute).  We didn’t have any dark chocolate chips so we used different toppings for each row in the muffin pan instead.  As you can see from the photo, we used nuts, raisins and white chocolate.  Next time I make these, I will most definitely use dark chocolate chips.

Let’s talk about nutrition.  What do the smoothies and muffins offer us to help us be the healthiest, fittest we can be? The smoothies have antioxidants, energy and fiber in the fruit, protein in the powder and almond milk.  The muffins have the advantage of the whole wheat flour, which is way better for you than white flour because it retains the wheat germ.  The wheat germ contains fiber, protein, zinc and antioxidants which keep you feeling fuller and longer and are a consistent form of energy.

If you make either of these creations, please comment below and let us know how they turned out. Image