FRIEND FRIDAY GUEST–AMBER GREEN!!

I’m so excited to have my sweet friend, Amber Green, as a guest today. Not only is she an incredible runner (like winning marathons kind of incredible:), she is such a ray of sunshine to all who comes into contact with her. She has a love in her heart for everyone, even her competitors. I’ve always admired that about her. She is not threatened by her competition, but she embraces the challenge. A great example for us all to follow. Amber adores her family and is such a dedicated wife and mother AND she is an awesome cook!! Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share with us, Amber. Love ya!

Hi, my name is Amber Green. I’ve known Peg for many years, mainly through running, and have ALWAYS admired her zest for life! I”m excited to be a guest on the blog and want to share a recipe with you that I make often that meets the criteria of both delicious and nutritious. I like any way to sneak veggies into foods, and this recipe utilizes the abundant summer zucchini.

First a quick intro: I was born and raised in St.George, Utah, and I could live in this beautiful place forever. Let’s just say I don’t mind the heat 🙂 Bring it! My husband Matt and I have three children, all boys for us – ages 13, 11, and 9. I am a full-time Mom and a part-time Fitness Instructor at Summit Athletic Club. I also LOVE to RUN (and like to pretend that running is my “other” job even though it is not hehe). I have run nearly 40 marathons, placing first in many including the St.George marathon 3 times. I have been privileged to compete in the Boston marathon numerous times as well as the Olympic Trials marathon in 2016. Running is one of the highlights of my life….which leads quite nicely into eating don’t you think?

This recipe comes out of the new cookbook “Run Fast, Eat Slow,” by elite distance runner Shalane Flanagan and her co-author Elyse Kopecky. As an athlete, I am always trying to perform at my best, and nutrition plays a huge role in optimizing performance. Shalane and Elyse offer this recipe which is gluten-free and I think very delicious. Enjoy!

Superhero Muffins

2 cups almond meal

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if sensitive)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 cup raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate chips (optional)

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)

1 cup grated carrots (about 2 carrots)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and walnuts, raisins, dates, or chocolate chips (if using).

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.

img_0738

4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean, 25-35 minutes.
The recipe also gives a hint about how to make your own almond meal.

“If you have a high-powered blender, you can grind your own almond flour. For 2 cups of almond flour, pulse 10 ounces of whole raw almonds on high speed until finely ground.”


I, (and I’m guessing many of you) like to play with the recipe and mix it up. With this particular recipe I have tried adding mashed banana, applesauce &/or coconut oil in place of the maple syrup and butter. It’s a little less sweet this way, but still delicious. Pecans are also a nice addition or replacement for walnuts. And with the addition of chocolate chips, you may even get the approval of the kiddos! Overall, this is a great recipe as is, that I like to make and have on hand to have for breakfast with a smoothie, on it’s own with some almond milk, or as a quick snack.

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