Super Healthy Muffins

November 8, 2010

At the ripe (young) age of twenty-five, I feel I have hit a point in my life when I am comfortable in my own skin. I like to think that I know myself, and my body, really well. I must admit that it hasn’t been an overly turbulent ride – I have been rather lucky. Yet I have had a little trial and error before finding a balance that works best for me.

For example, I now tend to pass on that second bowl of pasta, as despite how delicious it may be, I like to avoid being uncomfortably full and looking like I am well into in my second trimester. I now know not to push myself and run on my knee if it is acting up, as it will only make for a longer recovery. I also know not to deny myself something (namely chocolate), as it will only make me crave it more.

I really strive to treat my body with respect. I know that I feel my most fabulous when I fill my body with good nutrients and when I’m active. This makes me happy. I work-out and I feed myself well.

One thing I am very passionate about is eating good quality food, as natural as possible. Beautiful produce, simply prepared, treating the ingredients with respect and letting natural flavours sing. Picture some lovely pasta, beautiful home-grown vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil from the garden and some extra virgin olive oil. This to me is pure bliss. All the while treating the ingredients, your body and yourself with respect. Word.

I also like to extend my food philosophy beyond the commonly focused on ‘main event’, if you will, into a territory that not often summons pictures of a happy home – the joining of nutrition and taste in Holy Baked Goods Matrimony. Far too often a marriage between health and flavour just doesn’t work out, and you are left with a crumbly, lifeless, messy, tasteless divorce. As I have proclaimed before, most muffin recipes are far too sweet and lacking in nutrients for my liking. But there is nothing quite like a fresh homemade muffin, warm from the oven…

What was I to do about this dilemma but try and create a recipe that satisfied all my needs, desires and cravings, and was packaged into one giant muffin-shaped ball of deliciousness? A muffin that leaves me satisfied on a sensory level, as well as a nutritional level…

And so I baked. It took me two attempts, and I am rather pleased with the muffins I created below. My fabulous Dietitian friends and my family tasted the first batch, which I felt needed some adjusting. A touch more apple and oats and some agave, and here they are. My Super Healthy Muffins.

They’re very moist, with a prominent apple flavour, and are positively jam-packed with nutrients (without being too heavy). They are not super fluffy, but hey, you can’t win them all. They will, however, fill you up and give you lots of good energy to run and dance and skip.

The agave nectar lends a lovely, mellow sweetness, and is low GI to boot! I used a dark agave nectar as it has a richer, fuller flavour compared to the light nectar. If you don’t have agave, you should buy some!, or you could substitute maple syrup (naturally the flavour would be slightly different) or even brown sugar. Some nuts would be a nice addition if you are after a bit of crunch.

My muffins tick all the boxes on my food philosophy checklist…Natural, healthy ingredients, prepared simply – respectful of not only the ingredients, but of my body, my needs, my credo. So I’m happy.

My Super Healthy Muffins

Ingredients

1 ½ cups Wholemeal Plain Flour
2 cups Rolled Oats
½ cup LSA Mix
(A mix of ground Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds and Almonds. You could use straight ground linseed/flaxseed if you wish)
2 tablespoons Chia Seeds (I like the black ones for the colour contrast)
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons Dark Agave Nectar
3 Very Ripe Bananas
3 Medium Granny Smith Apples
2 Eggs
(preferably from your parent’s chooks)
1 cup Buttermilk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Spray Olive Oil

For the Oaty topping:

2 tablespoons Oats
½ tablespoon Brown Sugar
½ teaspoon Cinnamon

Method

Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius.

Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. Add the oats, LSA mix, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine.

Grate the apples and set them aside. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. Mash the bananas and add them to the eggs, along with the vanilla and buttermilk. Add this to the flour mixture along with the apples and agave nectar. Stir to just combine – be sure not to over mix.

Spray your muffin tray with spray olive oil – I like a large, texas muffin pan for a larger muffin. Scoop the mixture into the pan, evening the top out slightly. Sprinkle with the oaty topping.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes – keep an eye on them and do check them. If your oven is particularly powerful or if you are using a smaller muffin tin, they may take ~20 minutes. When you place a skewer in the middle and it comes out clean, they are ready.

Makes 10 super large muffins.


Eat, enjoy, dance and play!

Heidi xo

26 Comments

  • Reply littleaspects November 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Oh wow. These look like the most perfect Sunday breakfast with a cup of tea or pot of coffee. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply Hannah November 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    These look seriously amazing – well done!! I also love seeing Loving Earth products on your blog – reminds me that we Aussie bloggers are gaining ground in the blogosphere, and can promote our own country's products 😛

  • Reply Heidi November 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    littleaspects – you're welcome! 🙂

    Hannah – Loving Earth is the bomb! It is nice to promote Aussie products. Maybe I should make vegemite muffins…

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Ben November 8, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Word!

  • Reply Kath November 9, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

  • Reply Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 9, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Oh thankyou for sharing this delightful muffin recipe! It sounds like we have both reached the same 'point' in our lives when it comes to food and philosophy 🙂

  • Reply blissfullyvegantraci November 9, 2010 at 8:36 am

    These look so yummy!

  • Reply Chanel11 November 9, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Whilst I steer clear of anything non-organic or pre-manufactured, my Achilles heel is sugar, and even non-refined organic sugar is still sugar. Funnily enough though I did recently purchase some dark agave nectar, and now I have a recipe to use it in 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer November 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Deliciously healthy looking muffins. 🙂

    Thanks for the link to Loving Earth too. What a fantastic site. I've already got 5 items in my trolley!

  • Reply Angela (the diet book junkie) November 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    oh girl, i couldn't have said it better myself. i LOVE simple food. dinner is usually just veggies, seasoning, a bit of evoo, put it in the oven and done. i actually find that type of meal really comforting.

    p.s. your muffins look delish, btw 🙂

  • Reply Heidi November 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Ben – word.

    Kath – thanks for the "mmmmmm"s!

    Lisa – it is nice being at that point, isn't it 🙂

    blissfullyvegantraci – thank you!!

    Chanel11 – I hope you like them! I think the agave works really well in these. Although some recipes completely need regular sugar 😉

    Jennifer – thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying their site. I also have a jar of coconut cashew cream from Loving Earth, but I am yet to open it! I've tried their raw chocolate which is nice – especially the mint one 🙂

    Angela – thank you! I so know what you mean, roast veggies are totally comforting.

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Natalie @ cinnamonbums November 9, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    thank you for stopping by my blog and for your kind comment! im so glad you found me because you have such a lovely blog as well, with beautiful pictures and recipes! will definitely be following it.

    i think it is sooo great that you have figured out what works the best for your body. i think for a lot of us that takes trial and error and for me personally over the past few years ive definitely begun to figure it out for myself as well. i think in this way i can best nourish and respect my body, and i think this also involves just being in tune with my own emotions and state of mind! i think health is so all-encompassing – not just physical but mental and emotional as well.

    can't wait to get to know you more!

  • Reply Heidi - Apples Under My Bed November 9, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    That's so sweet, Natalie! And yes! – knowing what works best for you completely requires you to be in tune with your emotions. You're so right, it really is all connected. You need to listen to your body! It is usually spot on with what you need. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
    Heidi xo

  • Reply Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Well done Heidi. I really should play with agave more, I keep hearing about how good it is!

  • Reply The InTolerant Chef November 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    It's great to have reached this sort of point in your life. I love your philosophy and your recipe too. Agave does has a lovely mellowness doesn't it? Yumm…

  • Reply Natalie @ cinnamonbums November 9, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    heidi – another thing!
    i was just reading your about me page and we have SOO much in common – i'm glad to have found someone else who loves learning about breakfasts from around the world… kind of a niche interest, but im totally obsessed! (and with almond butter + food photography + traveling + old books + reading cookbooks… you might just be my soul sister!)

  • Reply Heidi November 9, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Lorraine – thank you! You should make a date with agave, I think you'd really get along well 🙂

    InTolerant Chef – thank you! Thats what I love about it – so mellow.

    Natalie – We must be soul sisters, so much in common! 🙂 how awesome is it to learn about different cultures' breakfasts!? I bet you have some fabulous Italian examples. Looking forward to reading more of your blog too 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Anna Johnston November 10, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Here, here Heidi. Being comfortable in ones own skin is the way to go. Agave is goooooood, love that you've used it in this.

  • Reply Hannah November 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe…looks really yummy! I've been meaning to try agave. I also tried that french toast recipe out you posted this morning for breakfast and it tasted really good, so thanks 🙂

  • Reply laurak November 10, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    What a great post Heidi!
    I think being comfortable in ones own skin is a very important thing, and although for some can be quite a learning curve, is wonderful to achieve.
    Whilst studying Nutrition, I feel like I've gained an even greater appreciation for how amazing the human body truly is! As a result, I feel like I've come to understand my own body with more intuition.
    Laura 🙂
    ps this recipe looks wonderful (I wish I had an oven!), it's great that you've managed to pack in all those nutrients without ending up with muffins which are too heavy, so often the case with healthy baked goods!

  • Reply Heidi November 11, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Anna – isn't agave great! Thanks, Anna 🙂

    Hannah – You're welcome 🙂 I'm super glad you liked the French toast!

    Laurak – thank you 🙂 studying nutrition will do that, I think. I certainly noticed a difference in my perspective – a greater appreciation for my body and how brilliant and clever it is.
    It is so sad you don't have an oven! I know, I was worried about them being too dense (or rock hard like other health foods!), but they didn't sit heavily in my stomach at all!

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Emma @CakeMistress November 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Love the sound of healthy muffins and these seem bursting with flavour too! I've been curious about baking with Agave Syrup. Where do you get it from and is there a general conversion rule for substituting sugar with agave? Thanks.

  • Reply Heidi November 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I honestly just estimated when making up this recipe, however I know that agave is sweeter than sugar so most agave central sites I looked up said to use ~2/3 cup agave for 1 cup sugar.
    Also reduce the amount of liquid in a recipe if using agave instead of sugar, as it is clearly a liquid. Most sites say reduce the liquid (i.e. milk or buttermilk) by ~25% if using agave instead of sugar.
    And it also says to lower the oven temperate of the oven slightly, as agave can burn more (like honey) however I didn't bother with that – perhaps due to the fact that my oven is v old and has 2 temperatures: hot or really hot 🙂
    Hope that helps! I found that the 3 tablespoons dark agave I used in this recipe REALLY went far.
    Heidi xo

  • Reply Heidi November 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    oh, & I got this one from a health food shop in Cheltenham. I've seen it in most health food stores I go in to.
    xo

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