Almond butter quinoa muffins

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What these muffins have: Good fats, protein, Omega-3s, deliciousness.

What these muffins don't have: Gluten, dairy, refined sugar, wheat, eggs, soy.

Bonus feature: The muffins only require one bowl!

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The new school year already started for lots of the country, but here in CT, M's preschool starts again on Monday. I've been thinking about quick ways to begin our day with protein that don't require cooking in the morning. These muffins are the answer!

Half of the flour is ground quinoa, which has lots of protein. The other half is oatmeal. I originally made these muffins with almond flour instead of oats for even more protein, but the almond flour was so dense that the muffins stuck to the roof of your mouth. You could just feed your kid a spoonful of almond butter and save yourself the trouble.

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With the oatmeal, the muffins are still substantial, but they're no longer dense. They're actually a smidge crumbly because I omitted eggs and any other binding agent. I wanted them to stay vegan and I don't always have the patience to make a flax egg. Letting them cool completely before eating them made them sturdier too. 

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For the first day of school, I thought it might be nice to add some blueberry chia jam and a quick icing to make the muffins more special. (I also called them breakfast cupcakes, which went over VERY WELL.) The jam is simple and free of any added sugar. I used cream cheese and maple syrup for my frosting, but you could also use coconut cream or a pre-made dairy-free topping.

You could also mix the chia jam with some yogurt for a delicious breakfast for the younger set (or the parental set, if I'm honest).

If you're avoiding nuts, substitute coconut or rice milk for the almond milk and use sunflower seed butter in place of the almond butter. Still delicious!

Important note: These muffins are best when fresh, so I recommend freezing 3/4 of the batch and then either defrosting a serving at night for breakfast the next morning, or toasting a frozen one right before eating it.

 

Almond butter quinoa muffins

2 large mashed banana
1 cup creamy natural almond butter, well mixed (or nut butter or seed butter of your choice)
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or rice, coconut, or other non-dairy milk of choice)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup quick oats
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pie spice (or cinnamon)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the almond butter, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla extract and mix well.

Add the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Mix well. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix again. Let the mixture sit while you prep the muffin tin and prepare the jam and icing (if using).

When ready, spoon the mixture into your muffin tin until each opening is half full.

Bake for 12-14 mins or until the tops turn golden brown and the muffins are firm to the touch.

Let cool completely in the muffin tin before serving.

Yield: 18 muffins

 

For the Blueberry chia jam:
1 pint blueberries
1 ½ Tbsp chia seeds

Put the blueberries into a small sauce pan and cook over a medium low flame until the berries have broken down and become syrupy, about 15 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes and add the chia seeds. Mix well.

Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or until ready to use.

Yield: 1 Tbsp per muffin

 

For the frosting (optional):
2 ¼ cups whipped cream cheese
6 Tbsp maple syrup

Mix the cream cheese and maple syrup well with a spatula. The mixture will look curdled at first. Continue mixing until the two ingredients have come together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: 2 Tbsp per muffin

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DIY Stonefruit crumble

What's better than a summer crumble, amiright? It's the easiest dessert because you don't have to deal with a finicky pie crust or fish out any special kitchen gadgets (or even non-special ones like the mixer). However, the downside of a crumble is that it often requires 40-50 minutes in the oven and most recipes call for extra ingredients such as sugar or cornstarch to soak up the fruit juices.

This "crumble" lets the ripe seasonal fruit be the star- it's just chopped and mixed with a little lemon juice to prevent browning- while a quick bake of the healthier crumble topping adds crunch and a fresh whipped cream using honey instead of white sugar adds a little creaminess. And ALL of this is toddler approved, especially the part where you get to DIY the toppings. He can't keep his hands out of it:

The crumble topping was a bit of an experiment. I started with a recipe from King Arthur Flour because to me, they are the gold standard of baking recipes and tools. Initially, I used all coconut sugar and tried to sub in coconut oil for the butter, but it burned almost every time and tasted burned even when it wasn't quite baked yet. Gross. The proportions I ended up with are definitely healthier than the original, but are still buttery and caramel-y and form a crispy cookie that gets broken up once it cools.

 

DIY stone fruit crumble

3.5-4 lbs mixed stone fruit (I used 6 peaches, 6 plums, 5 nectarines, and 6 apricots)
1 large lemon or 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Chop the fruit (leave the skins on) and cover with lemon juice to prevent browning. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

 

For the crumble:
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

½ cup melted butter
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¾ cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300. Melt the butter in a large bowl. Add the dry crumble ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Spread onto a baking sheet in a thin, even layer, leaving some small gaps in the center. Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes to prevent burning.

Yield: 3.5 cups crumble

 

For the honey whipped cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Whip the cream until soft peaks form, about 5-6 minutes. Add the honey, vanilla, and salt and whip for 3-4 more minutes, until the cream has reached your desired consistency. Don’t overmix or the cream will turn into butter.

Yield: 3 cups

Serves: 6-8

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