Seems like a great week to shake things up a bit. Are you game? Let’s use some different ingredients, bake them, and come up with a wonderful alternative to our normal breakfast. Something new. Sure, I love my Greek yogurt-nuts-and-berries breakfast, but even I (a stubborn creature of habit) can appreciate a change now and then. How about you? Does another breakfast option, packed with protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants sound like a good way to start your day?
Recipe of the Week: Gluten-Free Protein Power Muffins
2 cups blanched almond flour
2/3 cup sunflower seeds or hemp seeds
¼ tsp salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 large organic, cage-free eggs
2 Tbsp organic honey
2 Tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
1 cup berries or pitted cherries, fresh or frozen (if larger than blueberries, chop)
- In a small bowl, combine almond flour, hemp seeds, salt and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, honey, apple cider vinegar and melted coconut oil. Blend well.
- Mix dry ingredients into wet, blending well.
- Gently fold in berries or cherries.
- Line muffin pan with paper liners. Pour batter into liners.
- Bake at 350° F, for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
- Allow to cool and serve.
Makes 12 muffins
Nutrition information: 210 calories, 17 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 124 mg sodium, 11 grams carbs, 5 grams sugars, 3 grams fiber, 8 grams protein
What’s special about this recipe? First, the nutrients and ingredients it has. And second, what it doesn’t have. In fact, compared to most sugary, low-protein muffins, I’m significantly upping the nutrients while minimizing ingredients that promote low energy, disease, and inflammation. First, what it has:
Almond flour: It’s hard to beat a muffin that’s made of almonds. Almonds provide healthy monounsatured fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They have specifically been shown to help reduce bad cholesterol and promote heart health.
Hempseeds: An Apex Favorite, hemp seeds provide a great source of protein, healthy omega-3 fats, fiber, and vitamin E.
Eggs: These muffins have more eggs than what’s typical. Eggs offer an excellent source of very high-quality protein, as well as B-vitamins like choline and fat-soluble vitamins.
Organic Coconut Oil: This fat is truly a nutrient powerhouse. It contains a special fat, lauric acid, that promotes improved insulin sensitivity (helps us deal with blood sugars better) and overall health. In fact, it’s second only to breastmilk in lauric acid. It also provides our bodies with a super-efficient source of energy, somewhat like carbohydrates, without all the negative effects of eating (over-eating) carbs.
Organic Honey: As far as natural sweeteners go, I like organic honey (and pure maple, for that matter). In addition to adding a delicious sweet taste, it provides antioxidants and natural enzymes. What’s more, recent studies indicate that it provides energy to athletes similar to maltodextrin, and not simple sugar carbohydrates as previously thought.
Berries: The darker, brighter, more vibrant the fruit, the better. Since color indicates a fruits’ nutrients, berries and cherries are tops in antioxidants that provide reddish, purple, and blue colors. These antioxidants work to fight free radicals in the body, and decrease damage to cells.
What it doesn’t have:
Wheat/Gluten: I don’t necessarily think everyone needs to completely eliminate gluten or wheat from their diets. However, I have consistently seen improvements in health, digestion, and fat percentage in clients that reduce or eliminate it. And, since so much of our food choices often contain it, why not try something new and make muffins that are made of nuts?
Processed sugars: Although there’s no perfect sweetener, small amounts of organic honey offer nutrients that are more slowly digested/metabolized than many processed sugars. It also contains nutrients that promote health.
Unhealthy fats: Every fat in this recipe promotes health. No trans-fats nor highly processed fats.
This week, let’s take the same adventurous spirit we have on the bike or trail and bring it into the kitchen. Start the day with a high protein, healthy fat, antioxidant-packed muffin or two. Then, let me know what you think!
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