Monday was such a cool and cloudy day. The temperature reached a high of 40 degrees so I cranked up the heat and decided it was a good night for baking. Last Friday was a warm beautiful day with temperatures rising to a balmy 77 degrees. It was so warm that I put on my new sleeveless blouse and turned on the car air conditioner as I drove to visit an old friend for a day of girl talk and adventure! Minnesota does tend to have these temperature fluctuations-just wait a day and the temperature will change and be sure to keep your jean jacket and winter jacket next to each other in the front coat closet.

Becky’s Best Oatmeal Molasses Muffins


Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 muffins
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt or Greek nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ⅔ cup raisins
  1. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Stir well. Add egg to a mixing bowl and beat well, Add the hot water and soda mixture, molasses, brown sugar and yogurt and beat well with the mixer. Combine the oats, whole wheat flour and spices in a separate bowl and then stir together well with a spoon. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix in until combined. Oil a muffin pan or spay well with a non-stick spray. Add the batter to muffin pan and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. for 22 minutes. Cool off muffins and remove from the muffin pan.
1 muffin counts as 2 carbohydrate choices. You may also replace the ⅓ cup brown sugar with 14 packets of Stevia to lower the carbohydrate and calorie content of the recipe further.

This food blog is not intended to provided medical advice. Consult your personal medical provider for your individual health and medical advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 156 Fat: 4.7 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 27 g Sodium: 15 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 5 g Cholesterol: 16 mg


As I paged through the copy of my of a cookbook that I purchased many years ago, I came across a recipe for gingerbread. I decided that I would like to do a recipe rehab and turn this gingerbread into a higher fiber and healthier version.  Since we enjoy muffins, I decided to make muffins since they are so good for a breakfast on the go, snack or great to pack into a brown bag lunch. I just freeze any extra and take them individually out of the freezer and reheat in the microwave as needed. My original recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and I swapped this out and used 1 cup of old fashioned oatmeal and 1 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour. In place of 1/2 cup of margarine, I used 1/2 cup on nonfat plain yogurt. Greek yogurt could also be used in the recipe.  I also omitted the 1/2 tsp of salt in the recipe and added two additional ingredients, chopped walnuts and raisins for some extra flavor, fiber and nutritional value.

Moist Delicious Oatmeal Molasses Muffins




Oatmeal is so versitile and can replace part of your flour in your recipes. If desired, blend the oatmeal in your blender or food processor to make oat flour. So many people are on the gluten free or Paleo diets, so they can use the oat flour in place of gluten containing flour. You can purchase the certified gluten free oats to ensure the oats  were not processed with any gluten containing ingredients. If you are on a dairy free or Paleo  diet, you can substitute the almond or soy yogurt, plain or vanilla flavor or unsweetened applesauce in place of the regular yogurt in the recipe.

Yogurt is such a good source of probiotics, protein and calcium and a great resource in my recipes. I use it in place of cool whip in many of my recipes, including fruit salads. The molasses and raisins in this recipe provide an excellent source of iron. Molasses is also a good source of magnesium and copper. My husband loves to add molasses, honey, walnuts and raisins to his oatmeal. He will also pour in some half and half just to be a little decadent!

Walnuts have s anti-inflammatory properties and are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, protein and fiber. They add a crunchy texture to muffins, quick breads, hot cereals and salads. Two tablespoons of walnuts or other nuts are a great afternoon pick me up snack

This recipe is heart healthy and diabetes friendly as well. These muffins also make tasty after school snacks for your children and teenagers. Serve the warm muffins with a glass of cold milk for a tasty , filling and healthy treat. Bon appetit!



Sweet potatoes originate from the morning glory family. They have a deep orange colored flesh and are shaped similar to a potato or sometimes are long and tapered at both ends. These vegetables are a nutritional champion due to the fact that they are packed with nutrients such as beta-carotene, potassium, and Vitamin B6. They are also a great source of fiber. Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index, meaning that their carbohydrates are released more slowly in the bloodstream preventing a spike in blood sugar levels. My favorite asset of the sweet potato is its wonderful sweet taste. I love to bake them or pop them into my microwave for a quick side dish. I decided to mash them just like potatoes recently and loved this easy method of preparation and great taste. I have prepared the recipe without the brown sugar with just butter and pepper added for flavor. They taste delicious that way but I especially like the taste when I add either the brown sugar or maple syrup to add a sweeter flavor. My husband Jim likes the recipe version with the maple syrup added the best!

Sweet potatoes can also be roasted with other vegetables such as fresh carrots, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower or parsnips. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Add bite sized pieces of these types of vegetables, drizzle with a small amount of olive or canola oil and add  herbs and spices such as cracked pepper or one of your favorite varieties of Mrs. Dash spice blend. Roast in a 425- degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Sweet potatoes are also good in soups, homemade sweet potato fries or pies. Sweet potato pie is a favorite dessert in many southern states. The sweet potato fries can be easily prepared by first peeling your sweet potatoes and slicing them lengthwise into the shape of a french fry. Pour a small amount of olive or canola oil into a small bowl. Dip your fries into the oil. Season with salt, pepper or Mrs. Dash spice blend. Place the fries on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.


Mashed Sweet Potatoes Minnesota Style

Autumn Menu of Sweet and Sour Pork Loin Chops, Mashed Sweet Potatoes Minnesota Style, Autumn Salad and Fall Fruit Fiesta


Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • four small or 3 large sweet potatoes or one medium sized butternut squash
  • 2 tsp butter, soft tub margarine or coconut oil
  • 3 TB chopped walnuts
  • 1 TB pure Maple Syrup
  1. Peel four small or 3 large sweet potatoes. Slice squash or sweet potatoes into 2 inch pieces. Place in a microwave safe container. Add ⅓ cup of water. Microwave for 6-9 minutes on high
  2. setting. (The time will vary dependent upon the wattage of your microwave.) Test sweet potatoes with a fork to ensure tenderness. Mash with a fork or potato masher to a soft consistency similar to mashed sweet potatoes Add 2 tsp butter, soft tub margarine or coconut oil. Add chopped walnuts and stir in until well combined. Lastly, add maple syrup and combine well before serving. Season with a dash of pepper.
If you decide to add the brown sugar or maple syrup, the nutritional content of the recipe per serving would be: 119 calories, 19 grams carbohydrate. all other nutritional content is the same. Count as 1 carb choice with or without the addition of brown sugar. The Splenda brown sugar substitute may also be used in place of brown sugar.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¾ cup Calories: 155 Fat: 7 grams Saturated fat: 1.5 grams Unsaturated fat: 5.5 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 19 Sodium: 30 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 2 grams Cholesterol: 3 mg


My niece Maria, fellow food blogger

I would like to dedicate my my very first and second food and nutrition blog posts to my niece Maria who authors a food and nutrition blog concerning clean eating and Paleo diet friendly recipes called Maria Makes Muffins which I love to read. Her recipes are very healthy and delicious also!  Maria assisted me in designing my first blog post and taught me how to blog on Word Press. I would also like to dedicate this blog to the late Jo Anna Lund. Jo Anna authored the Healthy Exchanges recipe newsletter and many cookbooks over the years. She was a native of De Witt, Iowa and always said that her recipes were for “common folk”.  If the ingredients for her recipes could not be found in her small town grocery store, they would not appear in her newsletter. Her recipes were designed for people who were controlling their weight and others on special dietary restrictions such as carbohydrate controlled for diabetes, cholesterol restricted etc. She had a consultant registered dietitian calculate the exchanges, carb choices and other nutritional information.  Jo Anna became very successful and hosted a weekly radio show in De Witt and was featured in  national publications such as The New York times, People and Forbes.  Jo Anna offered health professionals a free subscription to her newsletters. I frequently shared the recipes from the newsletters and cookbooks with my patients when I was employed as an out-patient dietitian. Jo Anna passed away at age 61 in 2006 from invasive breast cancer. She has gone to her heavenly home now, but she is not forgotten!


the late JoAnna Lund, Healthy Exchanges Newsletter and cookbook author

The above photograph was featured in the Quad City Times in 2006.