Power Muffins

Power Muffins

Sometimes, you just want a big squishy muffin. Most times, it would be better if you were eating fiber, whole grains and fruit. This muffin recipe is a compromise. It met my craving for something sweet, but has an admirable nutrition profile. Fiber! Good fat! No white sugar! Otis Spunkmeyer, be damned.

Lately, one of these little babies–warm and buttered, obviously–has been showing up on my breakfast table quite frequently. I add an egg and a side of fresh fruit to round things out.

Power Muffins

3/4 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 small, firm pears (I bet a large apple would work too!)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup buttermilk at room temperature

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional: 1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a standard 12-cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, flax, coconut flakes, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and dried cranberries. Set aside.

Grate the pears using a box grater. You should have one cup of shredded pear.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the coconut oil, molasses and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fluffy. Mix in the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla, then finally the pear. Put your mixer away.

Add the flour mixture and fold it in with a wooden spoon. Resist the temptation to over mix.

Fill the muffin cups to the point they are almost full. (These will only rise a smidge.) Top with the walnuts, if using. You should press these into the batter just a bit so they won’t fall off after baking.

Bake until the tops are golden brown and feel firm to the touch, about 22 minutes. Let them cool just a bit before serving.

*I was inspired by this recipe from Whole Grain Mornings.

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Tried It: Tahini Swirl Brownies.

Tahini BrowniesWhen it comes to super strange sounding recipes, I’m like a crow with something shiny. Just. Can’t. Resist. I’ll reference my trials of chocolate mouse made with avocado and corn-based ice cream. And so, when I spotted a recipe for brownies with a tahini topping in my March copy of Cooking Light, I had to try it it.

You’ve experimented with tahini, I hope? It’s sesame seed paste; the stuff that makes hummus taste like hummus. The texture is like extra oily peanut butter, but for whatever reason it has a real dry-your-mouth-out quality, in my opinion. I usually keep tahini on hand, but have always used it for salad dressing, as a binder for veggie burgers or in hummus. I was totally intrigued by the sweet application.

You know what? It worked! I made a few tiny changes to this brownie recipe: I used a little more brown sugar in the tahini mixture, subbed coconut oil for the sesame oil and threw in a handful of chocolate chips. YUM!

What kitchen experiments have you gotten into lately? Were they delicious, or a bust?

Nesting (Should be resting.)

39 weeks

Hello, 39 weeks. I didn’t think I’d see you. Measurements have shown our little guy to be husky from the start, and for whatever reason, I thought he’d make his debut early. Not so much.

Freezer StashI’m feeling pretty large and in charge, but otherwise, I’m mostly comfortable. I’ve been working like a crazy person, trying to write 4-6 weeks ahead for my freelance clients, and I’m pleased to say that I’m there! Things are on autopilot, and I should be able to enjoy at least a few weeks of downtime with our new addition.

And now…

We wait.

In the meantime, I’m blowing off nervous energy by cooking like the apocalypse is coming, and stuffing our freezers to the gills. For those curious what a pregnant lady stashes for postpartum meals, here’s a running tally:

Breakfast:

Mains, His and Hers: 

Sides: 

Desserts: 

Furthermore, the house is clean. My work is done. Baby clothes are washed. Hair has been cut, and toes polished. Hospital bags are packed. Nursery is as done as it’s going to be. Clearly, we have food. Come on little man, we’re ready for you!