Recipe: Good Morning Blueberry Muffins

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This is another great recipe from Elise Museles book Whole Food Energy.  I will say that if you are not used to eating primarily whole foods, you and/or your children are used to more processed foods in your diet (especially gluten), and your diet has not been rich in fruits and vegetables then it will take time to get used to these recipes.  You have to give your body time to get rid of toxins.  I am not a medical doctor; I only speak from my personal experience.  Once you are eating primarily whole foods they will start to taste like nothing you remember.  Everything is so fresh and delicious, and you become satisfied with much more basic, simple food choices and combinations.  I believe that things like smoothies and muffins are essential because they allow you to cram lots of stuff into one drink or muffin.  Smoothies only requires throwing all the ingredients into the blender. They are also easy to take and drink on the go, which is a must for busy families!  Muffins are perfect for breakfast or snack.  They can be made in large batches and individually frozen for later.  Get your children involved in picking out recipes and making the food. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they are willing to try when they help make it. Again, I am only offering my own personal experiences.  Take from it what you want and leave the rest!!  Happy Baking!

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Good Morning Blueberry Muffins (from Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 3 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 Cup Almond Flour
  • 3/4 Cup quinoa flour *
  • 3/4 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 Cup honey **
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 Cup applesauce
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup blueberries, frozen

*  I used chickpea flour because I didn’t have any quinoa flour

**  I didn’t have enough honey so I used a mixture of honey and maple syrup

I also added a little fresh lemon juice because I thought it would complement the blueberries well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and oil 12-muffin pan with coconut oil or spray.  Mix flax seed and warm water together, whisk and let stand to thicken (this is a flax egg!).  In medium bowl, mix 3 flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In large bowl, mix honey, coconut oil, the flax egg, applesauce, almond milk and apple cider vinegar.  Pour in the dry ingredients and mix.  Fold in the blueberries.  I used almost 2 cups of blueberries because I love the extra fruit in the muffins.  Do not overmix batter.  Fill the 12 muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes.

These delicious muffins are gluten-free and dairy free.  They freeze well and make a wonderfully filling snack or meal.  Enjoy!

4-Ingredient Energy Bites

4-Ingredient Energy Bites

4-Ingredient Energy Bites

Here is the recipe I promised on Facebook a while back.  These are quick, easy and healthy.  Free of gluten, dairy and added sugar, they are the perfect pre-workout snack, in my opinion.  These are a perfect replacement for store-bought protein bars.  While protein bars are convenient, they have tons of ingredients and are full of sugar.  That doesn’t stop me from buying them, but if I have the time, I would prefer to make my own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates (about 15)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup peanut butter

Add first 3 ingredients to Vitamix and blend for about 10 seconds.  Your mixture should look like this:

IMG_20150621_165852Place the mixture into a large bowl and add the peanut butter.  I just add a few spoonfuls and mix, then continue adding more peanut butter and mixing until you have the correct consistency. Form into balls about an inch in diameter and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

I don’t measure the peanut butter because I hate to clean it out of a measuring cup.  This is also the reason I don’t mix the peanut butter in the Vitamix.  It is not easy to clean out.  The mixture in the picture comes easily out of the Vitamix.  I really am all about saving time and making my life easier.

You can add in other things like a little shredded coconut or honey if these aren’t sweet enough for you.  The whole point of this recipe, though, is to omit any added sugar, so we enjoy them just the way they are.  These are a great snack for my swimmers, both pre-workout and post-workout.  Here is why:

Oats:  high in complex carbohydrates, good source of protein & low glycemic index, providing the sustained energy release imperative for a long workout

Dates:  provide natural source of glucose (sugar) that is quickly and easily digested for energy during workout

Peanut Butter:  protein and calorie dense to provide fuel during workout and help replace burned calories

Flax Seed:  high source of Omega-3 (healthy, unsaturated fats) – in children, fats are metabolized/processed more efficiently during a workout than carbohydrates

If you don’t have dates, raisins could probably be substituted.  Dates are softer and help the mixture come together easily.

4 Ingredient Energy Bites

Recipe: Basic Whole Wheat Pancakes

These pancakes were very quick to come together.  We actually had these as a part of our dinner last night when I declared to the family that I was on a cooking strike.  I decided to cook dinner, but I made it very simple.  More on that in another post.  I served these with a little maple syrup.

Note:  I pour the syrup into a small glass container before the meal, ensuring that there is enough for everyone to have 1 serving size, and we use a spoon to drizzle it on our pancakes.  It is easy to get carried away with the syrup, especially when you buy it in those huge containers like I do!  It isn’t processed sugar, but it is still sugar. You really only need a small amount of syrup to complement the flavor of the pancake.  I put aside 12 pancakes (shown below) to freeze for breakfast on another morning.  I have learned that the freezer items need to pulled aside before the meal, otherwise they will be eaten (at least in my house), and then you will never have any freezer items!

Basic Whole Wheat Pancakes

Basic Whole Wheat Pancakes

Basic Whole Wheat Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. ground flax seed + 12 Tbsp. water, whisked together
  • 6 Tbsp. melted butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 4 heaping Tbsp. honey
  • 2 1/2 C. unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 3 C. white whole wheat flour

Whisk together first 4 ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk. Cook on medium low until browned on both sides.  I used 2 heaping ice cream scoops of batter for each pancake, so mine were large.  It required me to flatten the pancake with the spatula after cooking on both sides to ensure that it was cooked thoroughly.  You could use one ice cream scoop to make smaller pancakes if you desire.

***A quick note about white whole wheat flour.  It is nutritionally comparable to whole wheat flour, but it comes from white wheat as opposed to red wheat, hence giving it a lighter color.  It is very confusing; perhaps they should call it whole white wheat flour?

Recipe: Whirlwind Whole Wheat Pumpkin Mini Muffin Cakes

I call these muffin cakes because the consistency is more like cake than a traditional muffin.  They turned out unique and were very much a winner in my home, as anything called cake would be!  I like mini muffins because they cook very quickly and make a great after-school snack.  They contain ground flax seed, which is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fiber.

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Whirlwind Whole Wheat Pumpkin Mini Muffin Cakes

Whirlwind Whole Wheat Pumpkin Mini Muffin Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed + 6 Tbsp. water
  • 4 oz. coconut oil
  • 4 oz. honey
  • 3/4 C. pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C. raisins

Preheat oven to 350.  In large mixing bowl, whisk together the ground flax seed and water until thickened.  Add coconut oil, honey, pumpkin puree and applesauce and whisk together.  Add sea salt, baking powder and whole wheat flour and fold in gently with a spatula.  Be careful not to overmix!  Fold in raisins.  Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray and fill with mix.  Bake for 12 min.

This recipe makes exactly 36 mini muffins.  I use a 24 mini muffin pan and a 12 mini muffin pan so I can cook them both at the same time!

Tip:  Use a small ice cream scoop to fill your muffin holders.  This makes it quick and all of your muffins turn out the same size!