Eat Happy, Be Healthy!
When the weather turns gray and the rain drums lightly on the roof, I want to bake. It just brings a sense of cozy into the home by wafting smells of cinnamon spice throughout the house. Perhaps I am constantly nostalgic for the Fall, but even with the rainy days of late Spring, these muffins do not disappoint. Since I am a mother of a toddler, whatever I bake needs to be quick and cannot dirty too many dishes. If Toren gives me a 30 minute window of self-play, then I am lucky.
So here is what I whipped up this time. APPLE BANANA BREAKFAST MUFFINS!! If you are a fan of apple, banana, and cinnamon, then this recipe is for you! Sweetened only with whole fruit, these muffins are naturally free of refined sugar. They are fluffy yet fiber rich, and an excellent alternative to otherwise sugar laden muffin recipes. I am not a fan of sugar replacements, and encourage the use of fruit, as nature intended, to sweeten recipes. Not only does this practice encourage the consumption of whole foods, it also increases the fiber and polyphenol content. Flaxseeds further boost the fiber content and provide a lot of health benefits including supporting healthy bowel movements, balancing hormones, and reducing inflammation. This little seed may be small, but it is mighty! Plus, the polyphenols in the oats, apple peel, and cinnamon support the growth of bifidobacterium and lactobacillus two groups of good gut bacteria known to support human health in a wide variety of ways.
Although these muffins are gluten free, they are not dairy or egg free. If you want to play around with these additions let me know how it turns out! Also, of importance, when grating the apple make sure to leave the skin on because most of the polyphenols are found directly beneath the skin. Don't let the skin go to waste. I also opted not to use muffin liners, because I feel the muffins rise better when placed directly into an oiled muffin tin. You can easily make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. These muffins taste just as good fresh out of the oven as they do reheated in the microwave or toasted in the toaster. With a pat of butter or nut butter they taste extra yummy too. And yes, my little toddler loves them as much as I do!
Apple Banana Breakfast Muffins
Makes 6 Muffins
1 cup rolled oats
1 medium banana
1 medium apple, grated with skin on
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (also known as flaxseed meal)
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt (I used plain Grace Harbor Farms yogurt)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile add all of the ingredients except the baking powder and baking soda to a high speed blender (I have a BlendTec). Blend until smooth, about 60 seconds or so. I am sure a good quality food processor would work well too. Then sprinkle in the baking powder and baking soda and blend for another 10 seconds, just until incorporated.
Oil six spots of a regular muffin tin with butter or olive oil and transfer the mixture evenly into all spots. Place into oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the muffins to cool in the muffin tin for 10-15 minutes undisturbed. Then gently remove the muffins and enjoy!
For a balanced breakfast consider pairing these muffins with a protein rich meal such as veggie scrambled eggs.
I would love to know what you think of these little gems! Share your adaptations below, so others can learn from you as well :)
Chickpea flatbread is something super satisfying and comes together super quick and easy. Although very similar to farinata (or socca), it has one very important additional ingredient, baking powder. This addition gives the flatbread, a lighter more bread like texture. You can serve this flatbread as a gluten-free bread alternative without the added refined starches and binders often used in gluten-free baking. Plus the garbanzo bean flour is really cheap and great if you are watching your food budget. So here you go! This is one of my favorite hacks for a bread alternative, that is lower in carbohydrates (18g), high in protein (7g), and high in fiber (8g). The Maldon's sea salt flakes, definitely takes it up a notch and is not required....BUT I personally think it's a necessary garnish for the full flatbread experience.
Chickpea Skillet Flatbread
Makes 1 Serving
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Generous pinch salt
Fresh ground pepper
Herbs to taste (I like oregano and rosemary)
1/4 cup water
Butter (or olive oil)
Maldon's Sea Salt Flakes
In a small bowl mix together the garbanzo bean flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and herbs until incorporated. Then add 1/4 cup water and mix with a spoon until most lumps are gone (doesn't have to be perfectly smooth).
Meanwhile, heat a small cast iron skillet over medium. Once hot reduce to medium low and add a generous pat of butter, evenly coat the bottom, and pour in your garbanzo bean mixture. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the mixture across the bottom. Sprinkle with Maldon's salt and cook until set about 3-5 minutes.
Using a large spatula flip the "pancake" over, all the while carefully slipping in another pat of butter. Then cook another minute. Voila! You are done!
Cut up the flatbread into quarters, and enjoy as part of your meal. I like it with soup, as a side to a salad, or simply topped with tomato slices and avocado.
Note: Instead of making 1 larger "pancake", you can also make a few smaller ones. It's up to you!
Let me know how you enjoy this chickpea flatbread at home!
It can often be a struggle to get babies and toddlers to eat their veggies for a variety of reasons. But mostly commonly what I see is that babies and toddlers are offered plain/bland veggies. Although some may like that, I find that most do not. Babies like flavor just as much as adults do. AND adding flavor encourages them to be a more adventurous eaters as they get older. That's where these little patties come in! They are flavorful, veggie rich and nutrient dense! The nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor and an excellent source of B vitamins. The garbanzo flour adds protein and fiber, but most importantly acts as the binder to keep these veggie patties together. These patties can easily be adapted with different herbs/spices and cauliflower can be used in place of broccoli. Toren especially enjoys these patties with Karam's Garlic Sauce or hummus. I am sure pasta or marinara sauce would also be tasty.
Makes 12 patties
Time: <30 minutes
2 cloves garlic
1 small head of broccoli (florets only, ~15)
3-4 medium crimini mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup garbanzo/chickpea flour (Bob's Red Mill)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I used large flaked)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
~3 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter/olive oil for frying
Place the garlic cloves into a food processor and process until finely minced. Add the broccoli florets, mushrooms, and oregano. Process until finely minced and sticking together. In a separate medium bowl mix together the garbanzo flour, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and baking soda. Stir in the broccoli mixture with a spatula. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture sticks together without being too wet, ~3 tablespoons.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter (or olive oil). Once melted and sizzling reduce heat to medium low. Using a tablespoon add the broccoli chickpea mixture to the pan, making ~ 12 patties. Flatten with spatula and cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
Serve warm (not too hot) or room temperature with Karam's Garlic Sauce or hummus.
Note: Store patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The patties also freeze well and can be briefly reheated in microwave (~15 seconds). Make sure to let them cool before serving.
Nutrition (for 2 patties): 57kcal, 2.3g fat, 6.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 3.3g protein.
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.