Friday, January 31, 2014

Fixing My Carb Deficit: Pre-Run / Recovery Muffins

Friends, you know I am an unapologetic foodie. I shared the Leg of Beast dinner at Incanto with friends & reveled in God's Butter. I attended the "Farewell to Foie" nine-course pre fixe at Michael Mina & wept at the beauty of the third course. I worship at the alter of craft microbrews, embarrassingly good wine, and painstakingly-created cocktails.

I use real butter. I do not skip desert.

So you know I am not about to shove some healthy-living-clean-eating-skinny-what-have-you crap down your throat. When I want a full-fat, artery-clogging, insulin-spiking party in my mouth, I damn well throw one.

On the other hand (sigh) I can't be wolfing down lavender-infused French toast with honeyed mascarpone and bourbon-maple syrup every day before my morning workout.

All this can be yours at Mission Beach Cafe.
(Be sure to ask for the "rock star" mimosa.)

So, lately, I've been on the lookout for something baked and pumpkin-flavored that I could grab quickly in the morning--something with enough carbs to get me through my morning workout, but not so heavy that it takes an hour to digest. And then it also occurred to me that something like that would also be great to throw in my car for replacing the carbs post-afternoon workout & holding me over until I can get home & have a proper dinner. For these purposes, I was looking for real-legitimate-reasonably healthy-weekday-breakfast muffins, not weekend-mouthparty-brunch-n-mimosas-with-friends muffins.

I tried out a few different recipes & was mostly pretty underwhelmed. Eventually I just ended up taking this & that from different ones, & through trial & error, stumbled onto this:

Super Tasty Pre-Run / Recovery Muffins!

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • .25 tsp salt
  • .75 tsp cinnamon
  • .75 tsp nutmeg
  • .25 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I buy the 14 oz cans & just use half of one per batch, which is close enough)
  • .5 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 T canola oil
  • .5 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl, mix the wet ones together in a different bowl, slowly add the dries to the wets, spoon into muffin tin, & bake at 375 for 20 minutes (or until toothpicks come out clean). Sprinkling the top of the pre-baked muffins with a little extra cinnamon & sugar is optional, but tasty.

It's like I'm a real food blogger!
(Ha ha not really. Ever.)

They've come out soft, moist, & delicious for me every time. (Er....except that one time when I accidentally used baking powder instead of baking soda. That was pretty gross.) I am working on getting more carbs (which apparently I royally suck at, according to The New Rules???), so the muffins have been another great way to get a few extra from a healthy source. (Newsflash: You don't get to fix your carb deficit by stuffing your face with ice cream. Woh-woh-woh.)

Don't forget elevensies!!
And I have to say, they've made a big difference in my morning, which now goes breakfast (6 am, pumpkin muffin pre-workout), second breakfast (8:30 am, peanut butter & banana sandwich post-workout), elevensies (11am, green smoothie).

Since I started actively figuring out how many carbs I should be getting each day, keeping track of them, & working on getting closer to the right amount (not as easy as you might think!), I feel So. Much. Better. Even though I'm only cross-training right now and not actually running, I've still been getting in doubles on most weekdays (with the occasional triple if I get to karate and/or yoga), making it through the afternoons feeling awake and energized, & getting up 45 minutes earlier than usual feeling alert & ready to go.

(If you know me, you will appreciate how insane--absolutely *insane*--it is that I've been getting up at 5:45 am nearly every weekday morning for strength work, elliptical, or bike. I am not kidding that before this month I could count my post-school pre-work day workouts on two hands.)

Happy weekend, everyone! And those of you running KP Half, kick the SHIT out of the Great Highway for me! ;)


  1. Oh baby. That French toast looks so good. Too bad I'm thousands of miles away. But yeah. Breakfast is one of the five most important meals of the day, make sure you fuel properly :)

  2. I never eat breakfast before a run, but I do love a hearty muffin for later int he day. Sometimes I make a batch with whole wheat, nuts, fruit, and spices and freeze them individually. Then I take them to work for second breakfast.

  3. I'm on the other end of the carb spectrum (I eat too much), but I'd like to try those muffins anyway! They're on the side of healthy carbs vs. the processed white flour/white sugar/white rice that I'm often stuffing my face with. Speaking of balanced diets, did you happen to see this article?
    I'd be curious to know your thoughts!

    I will try my best to kick the shit out of Kaiser for YOU! :)

  4. Gawd, that French toast looks heavenly. The muffins are also tasty-looking. I love pumpkin, so I'll be making these as a quick breakfast option for me. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Those muffins look really good, and dare I say healthy? Thanks for the recipe.

    1. They really are! The only questionable thing is the brown sugar, but half a cup spread between 12 muffins is really so, so little. (It makes them about as sweet as pancakes.)

  6. These looks awesome, I am definitely going to try them. I need something like that for pre-school mornings when I can't get the Dude to eat breakfast in the house but somehow he'll eat for hours in the car!

  7. I should try these. I make cookies that are kind of similar, but a bit too sweet for breakfast -- not that I haven't done that.

  8. Oh how I wish that I could buy canned pumpkin over here. If I want to bake anything pumpkin-y I have to chop and peel and cook and mash before I even get started baking. (If my husband's around, he gets this job) Your recipe looks pretty easy and the texture inside looks nice and moist. Hubby may have to do some chopping for me on my next baking day so I can give these a go.

    1. Ah, bummer! It occurred to me last year that I could actually buy it year round & not only in the fall, so now I stock up & put it in all sorts of stuff.

      I've also been thinking of experimenting with pureed apple instead of pumpkin, just for variety. I will report back!