Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Namaste Foods GF No Sugar Added Muffin Mix - Two Types of Muffins

Muffins aka cupcakes(sometimes) fall into that category  of ‘good feeling’ food.   Of course, I love muffins, but don’t need all of the sugar and carbs.

I had been looking at this muffin mix and never actually read the ingredients, just assuming that it meant artificial sweetener added.   NO, it means no sweetener added. This is great for those who want to use a sweetener other than granulated sugar.

A week or so ago, I received a complimentary Namaste  package  via a giveaway from Maria at http://fructosemalabsorptiondiet.blogspot.com.  After getting that package, I actually bought the muffin mix because I wanted to try it first.

Basically this is a very good basic muffin flour mix.  I did not follow the instructions on the bag.
Recently , I started adding almond meal or flax meal to muffins. This muffin as I prepared it, is fluffy and has a very good texture. Next time, I will double the lemon juice and of course increase the sweetener.

One note, arrowroot can make a mix a bit gummy with too much liquid(water, milk,etc.).
There is also a review of this mix here: Product Review- Namaste Foods Gluten Free - No Sugar Added Muffin Mix.

I haven’t made lemon poppy seed muffins or cake in a while, so decided to use a half-box to make 6 to 8 muffins.

Lemon Poppy Seed  Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed  Muffins - single


1/2 14-oz. pkg. Namaste No Sugar Added Muffin Mix
1 tbsp flax meal
3 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 tbsp poppy seeds
Stevia sweetener equivalent to 4TB sugar
1/4 cup liquid egg white product
4 tbsp margarine (70% fat margarine)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice), more if needed by tsp

  • Measure one-half of muffin mix, whisk in the flax meal and poppy seeds.

Lemon Poppy Seed  Muffins - mix- seeds-flax

  • Beat egg white, margarine and sweetener until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in lemon juice, extract and lemon zest.

Lemon Poppy Seed  Muffins - beaten until fluffy

  • Beat in muffin mix and milk until blended, about 1 minute.

Lemon Poppy Seed  Muffins - mixed

  • Divide batter among a paper lined cupcake pan.
Lemon Poppy Seed  Muffins - ready for oven

  • Bake in a 375F preheated oven for about 20 minutes until edges are lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven; remove from cupcake pan to wire rack to allow cooling...

Servings: 8
Yield: 8 cupcakes

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per muffin - as prepared): 157 calories, 7.7g total fat, 3.1g monounsaturated fat, 1.9g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fatty acids, 0g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, <1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 295.3mg sodium, 41.7mg calcium, 40mg potassium, 1.4mcg folate, 19.4mg phosphorus, 2.2mg phytosterols, <1mcg lycopene, <1mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 0mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mg vitamin c, <1mg zinc, 21.5g carbohydrates, 1.8g fiber, 19.7g net carbohydrates, <1g sugar, <1g fructose, 0g galactose, <1g glucose, 0g lactose, 0g maltose, <1g sucrose, 2.9g protein, 0mg caffeine, 4.1 points.

 used the other half of the package to make Blueberry Muffins.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Lemon Blueberry Muffins - display


1/2 14-oz-pkg Namaste No Sugar Added Muffin Mix
1/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
4 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated (zest of a large lemon)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking powder, reduced sodium
1/4 cup Coconut Crystals (coconut sugar)
6 pkts Pure Via Stevia (or  4TB sugar)
2 large eggs
3 tbsp Reduced fat/sodium butter (used KerryGold)
1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or milk of your choice), more if needed by tsp

Topping (optional):
1 tbsp Turbinado or coarse sugar

Procedure1. Measure 1/2 of muffin mix.  whisk in almond meal and nutmeg.
2. Beat eggs, butter and sweeteners until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in lemon juice and lemon zest.
3. Beat in muffin mix and milk until blended, about 1 minute. Fold in blueberries. . Divide batter among a  cupcake paper lined cupcake pan.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins - ready for oven

Lemon Blueberry Muffins - ready for oven 2

4. Bake in 350F preheated oven for about 22 minutes until edges are lightly browned or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Move to upper rack for a couple more minutes if additional top browning is desired.

5. Remove from oven, remove from cupcake pan to wire rack to allow cooling..
6. Enjoy!

Lemon Blueberry Muffins - display close-up 2     Lemon Blueberry Muffins - sampling

Servings: 8
Yield: 8 cupcakes

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 174 calories, 6.6g total fat, 2.2g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fatty acids, <1g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, <1g trans-polyenoic fatty acids, 1.2g linoleic acid, 2.4g saturated fat, 64.1mg cholesterol, 280.8mg sodium, 38mg calcium, 59.4mg potassium, 7.7mcg folate, 39.5mg phosphorus, <1mg phytosterols, <1mcg lycopene, 4.5mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mg vitamin c, 4.4IU vitamin d, <1mg zinc, 26.7g carbohydrates, 1.9g fiber, 24.8g net carbohydrates, 5.9g sugar, <1g fructose, <1g galactose, <1g glucose, <1g lactose, <1g maltose, <1g sucrose, <1mg stigmasterol, 3.8g protein, 0mg caffeine, 4.4 points.

I loved the Lemon Blueberry Muffins, as they were a little sweeter!   I will make the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins again, increasing the lemon and sweetener and I will probably use almond meal instead.

© 2012 retiredwithnoregrets.blogspot.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

Simple Snacks - Easy Roasted Red Pepper Spicy Hummus

I love hummus, but usually only buy roasted red pepper. This recipe is an easy one-shot  method to  make your favorite treat!
I really do not like the taste of chickpeas, but I figured if I spiced them enough I could mask the taste.   So one day, I decided to ‘roast’ some chickpeas.   I mixed up Cajun spices, a little cayenne, garlic-infused olive oil and some salt-free savory seasoning. The chickpeas were rinsed and drained as usual and mixed with the spices and oil.
I baked them until they were dry and thought “oh my goodie”.    Well, they still tasted like spiced up chickpeas.  But on the other hand, I thought ……why not just make hummus?
Most hummus recipes call for tahini.  Since I did not have any, needed to improvise.  So this recipe makes both tahini and hummus in one recipe.
Easy Roasted Red Pepper Spicy Hummus
This hummus is thick and more like a spread rather than the loose hummus that is purchased.

Easy Roasted Hummus


Roasting mix - oven
2 cans(15-oz) chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 tbsp garlic herb blend, sodium free
1 tsp olive oil for spraying (garlic infused, if you have it)
1 tbsp low sodium spray like Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp salt-free Cajun spice
1 tsp chili powder

Tahini mix - iron or non-stick skillet
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp olive oil

Food processor
3 cloves caramelized garlic1
1 Tbsp olive oil (included for nutrient calc. for caramelized garlic)
2 tsp lemon juice (fresh is best)
2 tbsp roasted red peppers, drained
1 pinch cayenne pepper, optional
---Sesame seeds from iron skillet---
---Chickpeas from oven ---


  • Mix the Roasting mix and spray aluminum foil with oil. Spread the bean mix onto the aluminum foil.
  • Spray with the Liquid Aminos or soy sauce.
  • Bake  at 300F until dried and edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow cooling.

Easy Roasted Hummus - roasted chickpeas

  • Place  Tahini mix in an iron skillet or non-stick skillet heat to medium, stirring until toasted. Reduce heat to prevent burning. Remove from heat and allow cooling.
  • Scrape the Roasting mix from the aluminum foil into the food processor and pulse to completely puree.
  • If too dry, add 1 tsp olive oil. When smooth, add in Tahini mix and remaining Food processor ingredients and pulse until smooth. Add 1 tsp water at a time if additional liquid is needed. Taste for seasoning to your taste. Pulse to puree in additional seasoning.

Easy Roasted Hummus - Food Processor
  • Feel free to add additional garlic or sodium-free savory seasoning and pulse until smooth.

Servings:  about 20

Yield: makes about 2 1/2 cups hummus 2-tbsp per serving

Approximate Nutrition (per serving): 68 calories, 2.1g total fat, 1g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 176.8mg sodium, 28.1mg calcium, 85.5mg potassium, 30.2mcg folate, 47.9mg phosphorus, 11.7mg phytosterols, <1mcg lycopene, 1.3mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 0mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, 3.3mg vitamin c, <1mg zinc, 10.4g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 8.2g net carbohydrates, <1g sugar, <1g fructose, 0g galactose, <1g glucose, 0g lactose, 0g maltose, <1g sucrose, 2.4g protein.

1If you do not have caramelized garlic, use fresh, but sauté it in olive oil on low until tender.  Caramelizing increases the flavor of garlic.
I have used this hummus on pizza and mixed into tuna salad, as a dip and a plain old sandwich..
Hummus Tuna Salad
Hummus Tuna Salad - A
Hummus Tuna Salad
Hummus Sandwich
Hummus Sandwich
Hummus Pizza
Roasted Garlic Hummus Pizza with sweet peppers mushrooms basil and asparagus - yum
© 2012 retiredwithnoregrets.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Not Just another Smoothie - Frozen Peachy Kiwi-y Nutty Smoothie

There isn’t really a recipe for smoothies…..     Decide what you want to add and whirr away!

There are often smoothies presented by different food companies and even recipes posted on blogs or in cookbooks.  Most ‘recipes’ are simply suggestions as to what great taste combinations can be made to satisfy the need for ‘frozen’ and ‘delicious’.

It doesn’t matter which season, I prefer ‘frozen’ versus liquid or ‘pudding-y’ type smoothies.

One ingredient that I haven’t added yet is spinach. Maybe it’s because I haven’t tried blanching, freezing and adding it.   So that one is still in the planning mode.

I prefer to freeze my own fruits, because I do not add any sweeteners before freezing.  A couple of frozen fruit is a nice quick treat on a hot day too.

There are frozen fruits without sugar in the food cases at grocery stores, just check the label to omit the ones with added sugar or any other sweetener.  I have tried store-bought frozen strawberry/banana and frozen pineapple that did not have sugar.  They were just like fresh.

For quite a few years, I have frozen strawberries, blueberries and bananas.  Within the past year, I started freezing peaches, nectarines, kiwis and even  broccoli (cutting into smaller pieces and blanching).

So maybe, I could quickly blanch the spinach or kale, spin dry a bit, spread on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Then it would not be all clumped up and easier to puree.

Although, sugar is not a nutrient that should be ingested in unlimited quantities, the sugar from fruit is still sugar and should be balanced between the high and low sugar varieties.

At one point, I always added bananas to smoothies, now it is once or twice a week, because of the higher sugar content.

I also discovered that I purchased sweetened almond milk.  Although it adds only 3 grams of sugar, it’s a definitely a no-no.

When I make a smoothie, it is actually a meal for me.

This is the latest of my ‘frozen deliciousness’.

Frozen Peachy Kiwi-y Nutty Smoothie

 Frozen Peachy Kiwi-ey Nutty Smoothie

Ingredients  (all fruits are frozen)
  • 1 small peach
  • 3 large strawberries
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 tbsp brown rice protein powder
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (this one is sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup natural almonds


  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or tall container except the almonds.   
  • Blend or use a stick blender to puree to a fluffy mix.  Stir if necessary and puree again. 
  • Add Almonds and pulse just enough to chop the almonds.

Frozen Peachy Kiwi-ey Nutty Smoothie - adding almonds   Frozen Peachy Kiwi-ey Nutty Smoothie - adding almonds another view

  • Chopped almonds can also be stirred in after the other ingredients are puréed.

  • Enjoy!   Serve immediately, eat with a spoon.

Peach and Kiwi flavors are dominant

Servings: 1

Nutrition Facts - as prepared
472 calories, 20.1g total fat, 12g monounsaturated fat, 5.1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g trans fatty acids, <1g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, <1g trans-polyenoic fatty acids, 4.3g linoleic acid, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 89.2mg sodium, 369.7mg calcium, 1106.8mg potassium, 70.6mcg folate, 335.9mg phosphorus, 28.9mg phytosterols, 0mcg lycopene, 2mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 1.5mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, 129.8mg vitamin c, 50IU vitamin d, 2.4mg zinc, 57.1g carbohydrates, 12.8g fiber, 44.3g net carbohydrates, 33.8g sugar, 10.2g fructose, <1g galactose, 10.3g glucose, 0g lactose, <1g maltose, 9.3g sucrose, 1.4mg stigmasterol, 23.3g protein, 0mg caffeine, 11.9 points.

Frozen broccoli and kiwi
This broccoli can also be used for quick stir-fries or microwaved to thaw and eat. It has been washed, trimmed and any bad spots removed.
Frozen Peachy Kiwi-ey Nutty Smoothie - Broccoli   
I have even eaten this frozen, just like frozen bananas.
Frozen Peachy Kiwi-ey Nutty Smoothie -Kiwi

© 2012 retiredwithnoregrets.blogspot.com