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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Feeding the Family: Butternut Squash Muffins

I'm always looking for a way to get more vegetables (or any vegetables for that matter) into my 2 1/2 yr old. So, I was elated to find another veggie muffin recipe in the September 2011 issue of Parenting Magazine and just had to give it a try. The original recipe was a bit bland so I've changed a few things to make them more flavorful. Enjoy!

7 oz. of peeled, seeded and roughly chopped butternut squash (about 1/2 a medium sized squash)
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries (aka Craisins)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. In a food processor, finely chop the butternut squash. Add sugar and eggs and whiz to combine.
  3. Add salt, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and oil and whiz until combined.
  4. Stir in Craisins with a wooden spoon- reserving a few for the top of each muffin if you wish.
  5. Evenly distribute the batter among the muffin cups and top with remaining Craisins.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a wooden skewer or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
For more fruit and vegetable muffin/bread recipes check out some of our older posts under the heading "Feeding the Family" and "Recipes".

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Instructor Spotlight: Meet Colleen!

Usually at the beginning of every month we take a moment to honor one of our Stroller Strides moms as "Mom of the Month" for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle. We're taking a break this month to formally introduce you to our newest Instructor with a post we're calling "Instructor Spotlight"!

Meet Colleen Gould (aka Alex's mom)! Colleen moved to Raleigh from Los Angeles, CA in the late Spring and began attending classes and substituting during Instructor vacations. Fun fact: she used to teach Stroller Strides on the beach in Los Angeles! This Fall she'll be teaching our Monday and Wednesday 9am Stroller Strides classes at the North Hills Mall.

If you've ever taken one of Colleen's classes you know that she is a seasoned and very knowledgeable Instructor. An advanced degree in Exercise Physiology and certifications in Personal Training, Group Exercise and Pilates and her sweet and welcoming personality make for fun and challenging Stroller Strides classes with a little something for every-mom!

We wanted to give you a chance to get to know Colleen a little better so we asked her our standard "Mom of the Month" questions and this is what she said:

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Education: BA from Loyola University New Orleans in Print Journalism, minor from Tulane University in Sports Science; MS from Middle Tennessee State in Exercise Physiology
Stroller Strides Member Since: May 2010 (in LA) and April 2011 here in Raleigh
Members of your family? My amazing husband is Andrew and y'all know Alexander (16 mo)
Current/Previous Career: Up until I had Alex I worked as an Exercise Physiologist at a Physical Therapy practice. Since Alex... I'm full-time mom with the exception of teaching Stroller Strides :-)
What was your childhood ambition? As a little girl I wanted to be a cheerleader, then a grade school teacher and then an interior designer but deep down I always knew I wanted to be a mom.
What does motherhood mean to you? Motherhood is complex! I am embracing being a mom and everything that comes with it. I love Alex's sweet demeanor, how he is passionate about bananas, and how much he loves dancing. I never expected some days to be so long, but also never expected some days to be so very cool as I watch him grow and learn new things with curiosity and amazement.
Where is the furthest you've been from home? I studied abroad in Dublin between Junior and Senior year of college.... it was like my home away from home, love it there!
What has Stroller Strides done for you? Stroller Strides has done so much for me! As a new mom looking to get back in shape and make some new mom friends, it was the perfect answer. Now as an Instructor, I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for exercise with other moms and babes. Being outside, exercising, keeping the babies entertained... it just make sense!
What is your favorite exercise? I'm sure y'all will be shocked to read this but I've gotta go with any kind of ab work, especially after doing cardio and resistance for an hour- it's just so effective!
What is your proudest moment? Right after Alex was born, watching Andrew looking at him for the first time and feeling so blessed.
What are your three favorite things (besides your family)? Ribbons, ruffles & consignment shopping.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us or that makes you unique. I have never in my life had a sip of coffee.
If we asked your spouse what he thinks your best qualities are, what would he say? Trustworthy and sweet, but goofy!

Come try one of Colleen's classes at the North Hills Mall and introduce yourself! Your first class is always free- you can register with this link: click HERE.