Power Muffins: Fuel for the Day

I’ve been wanting to share this recipe with you because it has been a gift in my nutritional life lately. However, I haven’t known the best timing. December doesn’t seem the month, as many a-post on Instagram and the world wide web are filled with *stunningly beautiful baked goodies*. It seems that a post of some of my favorite Christmas treats would be fitting, while in contrast, I would submit that this is one the ugliest things I make. However, they are delicious, helpful and nutritious! But maybe for the very reason that we will be baking and eating many a lovely goodies this season, I decided we might need a power breakfast muffin recipe in our pocket to counterbalance. So here it is.

This summer my medical provider was helping me navigate some things related to my health and she asked me to do an elimination experiment – removing gluten and dairy from my diet for 3 weeks and then methodically reintroduce the foods. This was a big challenge for me, especially with a family who loves to eat, and baking gluten-filled loaves has been a frequent quarantine activity at our house! However, I was up for the challenge, and trusted her wisdom. I just knew I needed some practical help and encouragement. I called my friends Carly and Jill, both of whom have experience with gluten free diets. They gave me such useful advice! (If you want to hear more of their counsel let me know- I’m glad to pass it along.)

Carly gave me this recipe, in fact, she had some already made in her refrigerator and shared a couple with me to try. They are SO good. I immediately made a batch. They are somewhere between baked oatmeal and a muffin. (Not the kind of muffin that we call a muffin but is really a cupcake without frosting, but a hearty breakfast muffin.) They are so good.

What makes them so great? Let me count the ways:

*They keep in the refrigerator. A healthy breakfast is prepared for the whole work week. Just warm for a few seconds in the microwave.

*They are chock full of good things! I love eating things I know my body needs. (Fiber, Calcium, Magnesium, Protein, Vitamins, etc.)

*They are gluten and dairy free- for those who need/want that.

*They are so filling. I am not hungry for hours when I have them for breakfast!

*The recipe can be adapted in many ways, to your liking. You can make it with different mix-ins and substitute the “substitutions” if you don’t have them on hand- (like milk for almond milk, or egg for flaxseed egg).

Carly’s Power Muffins

3 cups old fashioned oats, blended to a powder

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. fine sea salt

1 flaxseed “egg”: 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp. water

1 chia seed “egg”: 1 Tbsp. chia seed + 3 Tbsp. water

  (OR 2 eggs)

1 cup almond milk (or any kind of milk)

1 cup shredded raw zucchini with peeling (OR 1 cup cooked, mashed butternut squash)

½ cup real maple syrup

3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix ins:

Lemon Blueberry (our favorite):

– Zest of one lemon

– Juice of one lemon in place of part of the water from your flax/chia “eggs”

– 1 cup (or more) blueberries

OR

Chai Spice:

– 2 tsp. cardamom

– 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

– 1 tsp. ground ginger

– ¼ tsp. ground cloves

Preheat 375˚. Line muffin pan with liners.

Prep ingredients:

Puree oats to flour like texture.

Shred zucchini or cook/peel butternut squash.

Mix dry ingredients together. In separate bowl mix together wet ingredients. 

Fold together wet with dry. Don’t over mix.

Scoop into lined muffin cups. (Make sure you use muffin liners, as they are fragile.)

Bake 15-18 minutes, checking with toothpick to make sure they are fully baked.

These can be kept in a sealed container or Ziplock for a week – pull out, warm up, and enjoy.

While going to the trouble of grinding the oats into flour and shredding the zucchini, I usually double it- one for now, one for next batch. Keep the zucchini in the freezer rather than the refrigerator if you expect it will be more than a week.
Flaxseed and Chia seed “eggs”
I don’t know if you ever make flaxseed or chia seed “eggs” but they are a great way in baking to get more fiber, protein (without the cholesterol and eggless) and yet have the binding properties of eggs in a recipe. I love this trick.

If these do not appeal to you, as you are looking for a not-so-stripped-down muffin, these remain my two favorite muffin recipes: Cranberry Orange Oat Muffins and Bran Muffins.

Or if you are hoping for some Holiday goodie recipes that are not too complex and are tried and true, check on these favorites from past posts: Plum Spice Cake, Peppermint Brownies, Sand Tarts, Ginger Snaps, Peppermint Bark & Fun Do.

Wishing you health and joy this holiday season!

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