Quick post this morning. Let’s hope this is the last we see of old man winter in the Northeast. But when life gives you crappy weather, what better to do indoors than exercise and BAKE! I was able to leave work a little early, which gave me just enough time to whip up a batch of the Strawberry Jelly Surprise Muffins by Emily over at Daily Garnish.

First, I utilized Bryan’s indoor gym. Here was today’s routine:

Back, Biceps, and Abs:

Dumbbell Deadlifts 3 x 15

Bent Over Row 3 x 12

Seated Hammer Curls 3 x 12

Standing Reverse Bicep Curls 3 x 12

Weighted Crunches 3 x 25

Weighted Russian Twist 3 x 25

I did this circuit style doing one exercise after another and repeated 3 times.

I followed this up with a 2.5 mile run.

Then, it was muffin time! And I had the perfect secret ingredient in mind. The recipe called for strawberry jelly, but I used this little gem.

Wild Blueberry Ginger Jam

I picked this up at the Union Square Green Market. The company is Berkshire Berries. I am going to have to go back this weekend, because along with the Wild Blueberry Ginger there is also Orange Fig and Dandelion.The ginger is a really nice touch and really amps up the jam. I am thinking it will taste amazing with sunflower butter.

The muffins came out great. They are vegan muffins and taste fantastic. Another great recipe from Daily Garnish. I could have cooked mine a tad longer, but both the boyfriend and I like them a little more doughy. I cut the recipe in half to make only 6. Mine were also not so much a jelly surprise, seeing as how the jelly was busting out all over the place. But that does not bother me at all. Bust away jelly, I will eat you regardless.

Wild Blueberry Ginger Surprise Muffins

It is a popular opinion that ginger may be one of the most beneficial spices. Here are some ginger quick facts:

– Ginger gets its unique odor and taste from volatile oils, zingerone, shogaols, and gingerols, which are responsible its digestive health benefits and nausea relief. The show Myth Busters even tested it against top motion sickness drugs and the ginger came out on top.

-Ginger has been used to treat colds because of it’s antibacterial and anti fungal properties

– Science supports ginger’s anti-inflammatory benefit. Research shows ginger’s inhibitory effects on prostaglandin biosynthesis in the early 1970s has been repeatedly confirmed. This discovery identified ginger as an herbal medicinal product that shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Tylenol and ibuprofen are popular NSAIDs. Ginger suppresses prostaglandin synthesis through inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2. These are enzymes abundant at sites of inflammation. It was also found that ginger suppresses leukotriene biosynthesis by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase. Leukotrienes are overproduced inflammation occurs. NSAIDs do not have this dual inhibitor quality therefore, ginger may have a better therapeutic profile and have fewer side effects than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Ginger–an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions (J Med Food. 2005 Summer ;8(2):125-32). Another interesting fact is that ulcers are a side effect of NSAIDs, while ginger is used as an herbal treatment for uclers. Ginger also offers these benefits in small doses, so you don’t need to start downing ginger all the time.

I guess I could go on all day about ginger. It tastes great and is incredibly healthy. There are a whole slough of other benefits. Definitely look it up if you get a chance.

What is your favorite spice to use and why?

One funny side note. I found this while researching ginger:

Question: What do you call a Redhead with an attitude?
Answer: Normal

See Bryan – it is just in my nature!

Have a good morning!