Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

In my group at work we have a little birthday club in place.  Each person is in charge of bringing in treats for someone’s birthday once during the year.  Last week I had Tom’s birthday to plan, and since we had already had three birthday cakes planned for the month of February alone, I decided to change things up a bit and go with a birthday breakfast instead.  “Better” sugar options, you know?  I ended up baking some whole wheat blueberry banana muffins that I adapted from a recipe that I bookmarked on How Sweet Eats.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup agave
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place muffin cups in muffin tins.
  3. Mix egg, agave, and unsweetened applesauce together.
  4. Add bananas and vanilla.
  5. Add flour, baking soda, and salt – then stir until completely smooth.
  6. Fold in blueberries.
  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

These were tasty and a big hit in the office!  I got lots of compliments, so unless everyone was lying to me, then you should bake these muffins too.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

I also decided to bring in a fruit salad, for good healthy measure – sliced up pineapple, strawberries, and more blueberries.

Fruit Salad

The fruit salad lasted a few days, and I enjoyed as a late afternoon snack throughout the week.  Yum.  I’m happy I brought in breakfast instead of another cake!

Do you have any kind of birthday club in your office?  Have you ever thought to celebrate with something besides a cake?  How do you avoid “too many sweets” in the workplace?

I posted this question on my F&F Facebook page last week, and got some great answers.  Some tips included chugging water to stay full, brushing your teeth, chewing gum, having healthy snacks on hand to eat instead, and just saying no.

Do you have any other advice?

P.S.  Tonight my class at the Oak Square Y is FREE to non-members as part of Boston Moves for Health!  Come on by at 7:30pm to sweat!

Memorial Day Picnic at Walden Pond

Morning!

I’m back to finish up my Memorial Day Weekend recap.

I already wrote a novel about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so that leaves us with Monday.  Tim and I slept in, then decided to pack a picnic lunch and head somewhere new (to us).

Walden Pond it was!

For those of you unfamiliar with Walden Pond, here’s my little shpeel on it.  The pond is located in Concord/Lincoln, MA and is where the famous author Henry David Thoreau lived in the 1800s.  My fellow English majors may know that Thoreau wrote “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers” while living at Walden Pond, and it served inspiration for his later book “Walden.”  Nowadays, Walden Pond has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and part of the Massachusetts Forest and Parks System.  2680 acres of “Walden Woods” surround the pond, and it’s a popular place for swimming, walking, and tours.   (Source)

I’ve actually been to Walden Pond once before on a high school field trip for my AP Literature Class, but I haven’t been since then.  When our friends Slesh and Will had a nice time there the other day, we decided to copy them and head there too!

We had a beautiful day of sun, a picnic, relaxing, and walking.

Now if you know me, you know that I love picnics.  I think it’s the perfect outdoor activity!

Our picnic consisted of:

Whole wheat pitas with leftover grilled chicken, zucchini, and mushrooms from the skewers we made at our Sunday night BBQ:

A giant fruit salad with pineapple, cantaloupe, red grapes, strawberries, and blueberries:

And some reduced fat Triscuits to munch on with the most delicious Trader Joe’s hummus dip:

We also blended our own non-alcoholic drink to bring along so we’d have something more flavorful to sip besides water:

Honeydew Lime Coolers!  I found this recipe in this month’s issue of Women’s Health and will be posting it soon.

After our picnic, sun, and lounge time – we hit one of the trails!

The Pond Path was the trail that wraps right around the water itself, so you can enjoy some really pretty views.  All around the path was about 1.7 miles.  I’d say we walked about 2 because we did venture off here and there.

See that strip of beach in the back of the picture?  You can lay out on the sand for swimming there, but Tim and I decided it was too crowded and full of screaming children.  We settled on a grassy area still in the sun (well – half sun half shade to be conducive to the Irish) and it was way better.  This reminds me, parking at Walden Pond is $5 which isn’t bad at all.  They also have a hotline you can call where they will tell you if the lot is at capacity or not.  I think that’s pretty awesome, so you don’t waste your time driving there on a hot day only to get turned away.

Along the walking trails we kept coming upon little secluded spots to sit very close to the water.  I think if we come back again we’ll bring our chairs and hide away in one of those!

I kept snapping random pictures of Tim when he wasn’t looking, oops!

He caught on eventually 😉

I got really excited when we came upon the “House Site” signs!

I knew we were close to where Thoreau lived in the woods!

So cool.

Can you believe this was the size of the entire house Thoreau lived in for a few months during his experiment in the woods?

P.S.  How awk do I look in that picture?

It was such a nice day!

And of course I had to conclude our walk next to the Healthy Trail sign.

Fun times!

Anyone ever been to Walden Pond before?  Any nerdy English majors out there like me?  What’s your favorite place to go walking?  Last time you packed a picnic?  Anything else you’d like to leave a comment about?