Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Fend Off Cravings with Plants and Protein

It’s November, fall is in the air and holiday sweets are already starting to pop up at all their usual places (e.g. work, sports practices, school, and grocery store aisles). Now is your time to fend off cravings with protein and fiber filled meals and snacks! Cue the cute, portable, and portion-controlled options like these Muffin Tin Egg Frittatas. They will be a regular on your mid-week breakfast or lunch menu because they are so easy to prepare and can include all your favorite vegetables in one little package. As we now know, eggs aren’t to be feared. One notable research study showed people with metabolic syndrome who consumed three whole eggs per day while eating a reduced carbohydrate diet had positive changes in their HDL (good)-cholesterol, improved insulin sensitivity and other favorable outcomes on their lipid profile (1). This is great news for long-term egg lovers. By making frittatas in a muffin tin on the weekend, you can have the ease and convenience of popping one in the microwave and you have a veggie and protein-filled on-the-go breakfast or lunch.

What: The egg yolk is nutrient-dense and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. You can clean out your fridge and add any of your favorite vegetables, cheese or even turkey bacon or ham to enhance the flavor of these protein-packed muffins.

Why it’s perfect: It’s an easy to way to Have A Plant™! Many people work out in the morning and protein at breakfast provides staying power and curb cravings. Pair two of these muffins with Greek yogurt and fruit for added calcium, vitamin D and fiber. This hearty nutrient-dense breakfast will keep energy high all morning long!

When: These muffins (2-3 per serving depending on your calorie goals) can be served for breakfast on your way out the door or for lunch or dinner.

Yield: 12 “muffins”

Ingredients

  • 8-10 whole eggs (depending on the size)
  • 2 cups egg whites (or one 16-ounce container Egg Beaters egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese*, plus more for topping (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • Several grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Muffin cup liners

*can be made with reduced fat cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk and until well combined.  Meanwhile, saute the bell pepper (or any other veggies) briefly to soften.
  3. Stir in the cheeses, pepper and other remaining ingredients into the egg mixture.
  4. Spoon mixture into each muffin tin well, filling at least 3/4 of the way full (the muffins rise like a soufflé, but then fall again, so no worry about over-filling).  Sprinkle with more cheese, if desired.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the center.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool. When finished cooling, remove from muffin tin, peel off liners and serve, freeze or refrigerate for later use.

References:

  1. Blesso, C. N., Andersen, C. J., Barona, J., Volek, J. S., & Fernandez, M. L. (2013). Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism,62(3), 400-410. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2012.08.014

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