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Nov
02

More Good Coffee News

As if I needed even more encouragement to drink coffee, I just read another study about the positive effects of coffee.  Tuesday’s New York Times Science section includes a small article claiming that drinking a cup of coffee before a short nap, leads to more “effective” nap.  You can click here to see the original article.  It’s funny how I immediately spotted this small article among the bevy of more substantial ones in the Science section.  I guess my eyes are honed to find any research to justify my habits.

Now you might think this article would state that taking a “cat nap” followed by a cup of coffee is best.  Nope.  Turns out that drinking a cup of coffee just before a 15-minute nap was more effective than the nap or the coffee alone.

The researchers tested sleep-deprived subjects in driving simulators and found that a “caffeine nap” improved driving performance and reduced sleepiness better than other commonly employed techniques, including cold air, a short nap, a break with no nap or 200 milligrams of caffeine, roughly the amount in a 10-ounce cup of strong brewed coffee.

This method is believed to work because the short power nap helps clear the brain of the sleep-inducing compound adenosine. Caffeine, meanwhile, takes about 20 minutes to have its physiological effect — kicking in just as the napper is awakening.

Alrighty then.  Who am I to argue? Now just to make sure your “caffeine nap” is really effective, you might want to have one of these “Healthy Pumpkin Banana Muffins” with your coffee.

I found this recipe at Food.com.  Note that the original recipe makes 30 muffins.  I most definitely didn’t need 30 muffins, so cut the recipe in half.  I made a few other modifications too.

  • I used “flax eggs” instead of poultry eggs.  [1 egg = 1 T fresh ground flax seeds + 3 T water, stirred together and left to "set up" for at least 5 minutes.]
  • I reduced the amount of sugars in the recipe from 1 cup to a total of 1/2 cup (1/4 c. brown sugar + 1/4 c. granulated sugar) and upped the amount of mashed banana just a bit to compensate.
  • I was hoping to make just 12 large muffins (only one muffin pan) but this half-recipe made 18 large muffins!  I can live with that.

SO what makes these muffins so “healthy”?  Ingredients include:

  • Slightly more whole wheat flour than all-purpose flour.
  • Rolled oats
  • Oat bran
  • Walnuts (so good for you!)
  • Applesauce and bananas replace all of the oil and some of the sugar.

One of these muffins make a great afternoon snack, with a cup of dark roast coffee.  Mmmmmm.

 

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