The Avera Heart Hospital's Mission Nutrition Program is going on its 4th week. It's a 6 week health and nutrition challenge involving community volunteers teamed up with registered dietitians at the Avera Heart Hospital. Nancy Naeve Brown took the challenge and this week she is learning how to make a hearty snack.
Avera Heart Hospital Registered Dietitian and my Mission Nutrition team leader Nikki Ver Steeg invited us into her kitchen to make bran muffins. The main ingredient is bran cereal and of course Nikki uses wheat flour and wheat germ to make the muffins more heart healthy.
Nikki says, "When you are looking at a snack choice ideally you want to find a protein and carbohydrate together. Sometimes when people are trying to get healthier they just grab fruit or something little like pretzels, crackers because they are really worried about calories and when you think about it we want something with some staying power so adding a protein can make a huge difference."
Nikki says a lot of people traditionally think of grabbing an apple or banana for a snack when they are trying to eat healthier, but she says that will only make you hungrier because it's not filling enough. Since fruit is really a carb, your body will turn it in to sugar and then fat unless you burn it off. It's best to pair that fruit with a protein or incorporate it into your meal.
Nikki says, "You can eat this as a snack. It's a carb with a lot of fiber. The main source is a carb but if you add yogurt or peanut butter to it it's ideal. It's a heartier snack because of the fiber. It keeps you full longer."
Nikki says even though our topic is snacks she says we really shouldn't be snacking at all if we can help it, it all depends on timing.
Nikki says, "What we want to do is really try and plan 3 meals a day; breakfast, lunch and supper. We want 4 to 5 hours between meals. You can add a snack in when there is longer than that so let's say you eat lunch at noon and don't eat supper until 6:30 you will need a snack."
And if that's the case, than these bran muffins will be perfect. Make sure you drink lots of water though; the concentrated fiber may throw your system off. You may want add a few raisins to your mix and as she discovered a dollop of peanut butter she prefers the natural PB in the middle of your mix before baking is the best. And trust me; Nikki is a mom and a dietitian so she definitely knows best.
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ c wheat germ
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 cups All Bran cereal
2 ½ cups skim milk
½ cup canola oil
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1. Stir together flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl, combine cereal and milk. Let stand 2 minutes or until cereal softens. Add egg and oil. Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Portion evenly into 2 ½ inch muffin pan cups lined with papers.
3. Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 2 dozen
Serving Size – 1 muffin
Calories – 150
Total Fat - 6 grams
Total Carbs – 24 grams
Dietary Fiber - 5 grams
Protein - 5 grams