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Before & After: Room & Dresser Transformations

23 Feb

I found this oak dresser for $10 at a local thrift store, and spent the better half of my summer fixing it up on weekends. It was a more intense project than I anticipated, but the results were exactly what I was going for.

This inspired an extreme makeover in my room.

Enjoy!

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins (Gluten & Sugar Free)

31 Jan

Resolution #1 this year was to get to a healthy weight. Thanks to a few weeks of the HCG diet (haters, take your case elsewhere), I am 23 lbs. lighter in under a month. I’ll be doing two more rounds of the diet, for three weeks at a time, but in between the weeks of strict dieting I’ll be trying to maintain my weight. In order to maintain the weight I ended with, the protocol says that I shouldn’t eat any sugars or starches – when I hear that, I hear “BAKING CHALLENGE.” Enter these delicious almond poppyseed muffins. I was at my Nana’s house and she had some of the giant ones from Costco and, oh baby, did I want one. This body wanted some buttery giant deliciousness. But I held off, so I could make these… and the wait was so worth it. I don’t think I’ll be going back to the originals!

mmmmalicious

 

Guiltless Almond Poppyseed Muffins

10 normal-sized muffins

1 cup finely-ground almond flour
3/4 cup xylitol or erythritol
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp water
2 eggs
a few drops of non-bitter liquid stevia extract if needed

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, mix together the almond flour, sweetener, flaxseed meal, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, extracts, whipping cream, water, and eggs. Once combined, add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. If you’re not squeamish about a little raw egg, taste the extract to see if you need to add a little more liquid stevia. My recipe made enough to fill 10 silicone muffin cups, and although the end result was about 1/8 the size of a Costco muffin, these muffins filled me up pretty quick. I think the higher protein, healthy fat, and fiber content contributed to that. Anyways, lightly grease a muffin pan if you’re not using liners or silicon baking cups, fill them 3/4 of the way full, and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your muffin size. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan or cups, then for maximum enjoyment serve while warm, with butter slathered all over.

If you want a good variation on this recipe, try it with lemon instead of almond extract.

Nutritional Analysis (based on a 10-muffin yield): These muffins are about 2 carbs each after subtracting fiber and depending on how you count sugar alcohols. I tend to take all I can get in terms of “free” carbohydrates. Per muffin, you’re looking at about 12 grams of fat – but most of that is incredible omega 3’s from the flaxseed, and if you’re using coconut oil instead of butter you’ll get some great MUFA’s (mono-unsaturated fatty acids, your tummy will love you). The almond flour and egg contribute to 4 grams of protein per muffin, and you’re also getting 3 grams of fiber with the flaxseed meal and almond flour. And one more plus – using xylitol will help your teeth to stay clean since it is a plaque-fighting agent! Wow… after typing that, it seems like you can’t afford NOT to make these muffins. Enjoy!