Friday, April 1, 2011

Breakfast Power Muffins


I promise that I will be getting to some lunch and dinner recipes soon, but I wanted to include one last sweet treat that I know you will love. These nutrient-packed muffins are a great treat to have for breakfast (especially if you need a break from all the green smoothies!), or as a hearty snack in the afternoon to get you through that 4pm energy crash that many college students might be familiar with. I have several tricks that I've learned over the past year or so that will help make these muffins extra moist and delicious, so be sure to check out the directions that follow.

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
2 handfuls of organic raisins
1.5 tbsp flaxmeal (soak in 3tbsp water)
1 organic egg (optional)
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
1 large banana
3 medium carrots (grated)
1 handful chopped almonds
1/2 cup whole grain spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
10-12 drops of liquid vanilla stevia (or, 1tsp vanilla extract and sweetener of choice)
1tsp salt and cinnamon

Combine oats and raisins in milk and set aside to soak for at least 15 mins (the longer they soak, the more moist your muffins will be). Set oven to 350 degrees. Combine coconut oil (melted to liquid), egg (if applicable), flax, liquid stevia or sweetener and ripe banana, mashed. Add grated carrots and chopped almonds. Once milk/oat/raisin mixture is ready, combine to wet ingredients. Finally, add dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Coat muffin compartments with coconut oil to prevent sticking and bake batter for around 18-20 minutes. Should make around 15 muffins. If you're feeling risky and really want to make these muffins a dessert-like treat, try drizzling some maple syrup on top. You won't regret it.

So, I know that these direction may sound a little complicated and time consuming, but once you get the hang of it baking can be really easy and will take you no more than 45mins including baking time. The time is so worth it and you can have these muffins to snack on for the rest of the week (or more, if you don't have hungry roommates:)).

Let's look at some of the ingredients that I haven't discussed yet.

Spelt Flour

I want to briefly discuss why I chose this flour over others, and how it relates to current food-related issues in our country. There has been much debate recently in the food industry on the health benefits or health concerns of consuming whole grains in our diet. In the United States, the main grain used is wheat, which converts to white flour after being processed, removing over twenty-five known nutrients. This product is then "fortified" with only five or six added nutrients, which could cause concern to some, regarding the health consequences to humans and our food supply. The rise of gluten intolerance, or wheat allergies, is increasing at an alarming rate, and some researchers believe this problem is due to the hybridized modern wheat products we consume in the majority of our foods (Sommers, 2009. pp 41). For this fact, I try to avoid commercially processed wheat products and use alternative grains, such as spelt, to substitute this ingredient. Spelt is similar to wheat, but it has a tougher husk and is less susceptible to processing. The nutrient components in spelt are higher than wheat, and it also contains more protein and dietary fiber. Although there is gluten present in spelt, many individuals who are sensitive to wheat tend to tolerate this grain without any problems. Like many other healthy grains (oats, kamut, brown rice, quinoa), spelt ranks highest in B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper and the amino acid tryptophan (Grotto, 2007).


Carrots are a great superfood to include whenever possible, and I even enjoy them as a snack if I'm on the run and don't have much time to prepare anything fancy. I'm sure many of you have heard the therapeutic benefits of carrots to one's vision, but there are many other medicinal properties to this important food. First of all, the presence of an antioxidant called beta-carotene is what allows carrots to be so beneficial to one's vision. Carrots rank highest in carotenoids and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as the reducing the incidence of various cancers (i.e. bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, esophagus). Research has shown that eating foods rich in carotenoids, like carrots, may help with blood-glucose control in patients with diabetes. When buying carrots, try to look for the ones that have the deepest orange color, as they will possess a higher content of beta-carotene.

To read more about oats, check out my post on "Molly's Fav Ginger Oatcakes", on the left toolbar of this page. Also, the medicinal properties of coconut oil and almonds can be found in "No Bake Samoa Balls", as well as cinnamon in my "Infamous Superfood Green Smoothie" recipe.

I hope you guys get the chance to create some delicious muffins! Let me know if you stumble upon any questions or ideas of improvement, I'd love to hear some feedback.

I'm off to go whip up some guacamole, but I'll be bloggin' again real soon:) Cheers!



Grotto, David, RD, LDN. (2007) 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life. New York. Bantam Books

Sommers, Craig B. ND, CN. (2009). Raw Foods Bible. Guru Beant Press