Fuel for Studying.

I'd thought I'd share the two foods that I am eating to fuel my studying this week: Black Bean and Lime Gumbo and Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Muffins.

Black Bean and Lime Gumbo Serves 4.

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
4 cups water

2 onions, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

700 mL neutral-flavored pasta sauce (such as roasted red pepper or primavera varieties) OR one large can of diced/stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups black beans (or one can black beans, drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon (or more) chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups greens (collards, kale, spinach)

Garnishes: lots of lime juice, drizzle of oil, lime zest (optional)

1) Bring the water to a boil, add the brown rice, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 40 minutes or until water has absorbed. 2) Place sweet potatoes, onions, oil, and salt in a bowl and stir well to coat the vegetables with the oil. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes (or soft) at 375F. 3) When the rice is cooked, add the tomatoes, beans, greens, and spices to the pot. Bring to a medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes; just enough time to heat everything through. 4) Remove the the gumbo from the stove top and stir-in the baked onions and sweet potatoes. Portion the gumbo into bowls and dose with lime juice and a drizzle of oil (to help with vitamin absorption!).

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Muffins Makes 10-12 muffins (depending on preferred muffin size).

Unfortunately I didn't have supplies on hand to make Holiday-themed study snacks for this round of exams. Instead I made muffins (using everyday ingredients) to fuel my studying. Peanut butter and banana, with a touch of chocolate, makes for a heavenly combo. This recipe contains no added sugar; the sweetness comes from the chocolate and bananas. If you are feeling adventurous, I've included the ways I make these muffins extra healthy.

2 cups flour (uber healthy option: use kamut flour)
3/4 cup rolled oats (uber healthy option: use rolled kamut kernels)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (uber healthy option: use carob chips)

Eggs or flax "eggs" (1/4 cup ground flaxseed, soaked in 1/4 cup water for 5 minutes)
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 mashed bananas
1/4 cup of milk or water
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1) Mix dry ingredients. 2) Mix wet ingredients. 3) Add wet to dry. 4) Pour batter into vegetable oil greased muffin tins and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

Happy Studying ...I mean Snacking! (for those who aren't writing exams.)

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