Game Day Strategy: Fiber Before Four

Is anyone giving any thought about what they’ll eat BEFORE the big game tomorrow?! After all, most Super Bowl parties don’t begin until 4 pm, and by that time, most of us “should” have eaten breakfast and lunch.

 No skipping, either. You may “think” avoiding breakfast and lunch will save calories overall, but meal-skippers usually end up eating too many calories. Why? You’re famished, starving, and ravenous when 4 pm rolls around….and end up stuffing yourself, eating far more than if you had been fueled.

So my suggestion is to “Fiber up before Four!”  Four p.m. that is. Fiber-filled foods create a feeling of fullness and satisfaction for a longer period of time after eating. Great for keeping hunger pangs at bay prior to the big party.

 Consider Apple Pecan Oven Pancake or Better Bran Muffins. Both are filled with hearty whole-grains and lots of satisfying fiber. You’ll probably have leftovers – perfect for a hectic Monday morning!

Apple Pecan Oven-Baked Pancake

1 cup white whole wheat flour (suggest King Arthur Brand)

1 ¾ cups old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup ground flax seed

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon

½ teaspoon apple pie spice

3 large eggs

1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk

¼ cup canola oil

2 cups finely diced, peeled apples

2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

 Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk all dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk eggs, milk and oil together in a separate smaller bowl; stir into dry ingredients with spoon until just combined. Don’t over mix. Lightly stir in apples and pecans. Spread in 10×15-inch jelly roll pan coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 14 to 17 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into 18 squares and serve immediately.

 Serves 4 to 6 (3 to 4 squares each).

Best Bran Muffins*

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups dry All-Bran ® cereal (original type)

1¼ cups 1% low fat milk

1 large egg

¼ cup vegetable or canola oil

3 tablespoons unsweetened natural applesauce

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray each cup in a standard 12-cup muffin/cupcake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine cereal and milk; let stand about 2 minutes or until cereal softens. Add egg, oil and applesauce and stir well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until all ingredients are combined. Divide batter between cups. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out with only a couple crumbs. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

 *Adapted from The Original All-Bran Muffin recipe from Kellogg’s.

Muffins & Making Money on Public Radio

PearWalnutMuffin2One of my passions is public radio, so every spring and fall for the WFYI FM 90.1 fund drives, I volunteer to be in-studio and help with on-air pledge breaks. It’s one of the most rewarding things I do….such a great feeling when we’re able to meet a challenge or goal.


Of course there’s a food angle, too. Since I absolutely LOVE to bake, I try to bake something and take it for everyone I’m working with that morning, especially Scott Hoke (he eats more than anyone). Sometimes I try completely new recipes and let everyone critique.


Yesterday I took Orange Oatmeal Walnut Muffins. Here’s Scott giving the thumbs up. (Thanks to Top Producer Tracy Mitchell for this photo!) Scott is the on-air personality for Morning Edition from 5 – 10 am. He was very disappointed I didn’t bring anything in this morning. He’ll get Frosted Pumpkin Bars tomorrow, though.

 Scott Hoke at WFYI



Scott says the streusel-like topping on these muffins is “too messy.” Falls off and gets on his board. It’s messy because I tried not to add any more fat to this recipe; a typical streusel contains fat along with the other ingredients, allowing everything to “stick” better.  WFYI President and CEO Lloyd Wright, who I was on-air with yesterday, had the perfect solution: A dollop of Orange Marmalade on top of every one! So I’ve added orange marmalade to this  recipe, although the muffins in the photo don’t have any.

Nutrient Benefits: Every muffin is packed with nutrients: omega-3’s from the walnuts, fiber from the whole wheat flour and oats, and Vitamin C from the orange juice.  Freeze a batch and warm a few in the microwave anytime. 


Orange Walnut Muffins


¾ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (from about 2 large oranges)

1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts*

¾ cup orange juice

1/3 cup 1% milk

1 extra large egg

¼ cup canola oil



3 tablespoons quick-cooking oats, uncooked

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from about 1 large orange)

1/3 cup orange marmalade


Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare muffin pans with paper baking cups and coat paper cups with vegetable cooking spray. Mix topping ingredients in small bowl with a fork and set aside.


Whisk together flours, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest in large bowl. Stir in walnuts.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together orange juice, milk, egg and oil until well blended. Add to dry mixture and stir only until all ingredients are moistened; do not over mix.  Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with topping and a dollop of marmalade.


Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for two minutes and remove to wire rack. 


Makes 16 muffins.


*Toasted walnuts: Place chopped walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet or pan and toast in 350° oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir several times while toasting.