After every birth, it takes me awhile to get back into good eating habits. What can I say? When I'm pregnant I let the cravings rule me and when I'm nursing/pumping I enjoy that fudge room. After baby #3 though, my weight didn't fall off quite as easy (I'm still struggling). I don't worry about the numbers much anymore, but I do want to be healthy. I want my children to understand that eating clean is a vital, daily practice. We shouldn't diet to fit into a certain dress, we should honor our bodies and protect ourselves from disease.
Our family has moved back into a semi-Paleo way of eating. The kids cry when I make cauliflower "rice", so now I make the real thing. But we no longer have pasta in our life, I've hooked everyone on zoodles. It's this balance I'm always trying to achieve. My husband and I still have our weekend nachos with plenty of beer. I've rationalized this in my head that health is balance of happy body and soul -- nachos feed my soul.
With the holidays right around the corner, I know it will be harder to achieve this balance. I want to drink and eat all things pumpkin. My children want to plow through the holiday sweets. And all that soul happiness will make us sluggish and open to sickness. Balance, balance, balance. I've decided to return to creating recipes. I don't have much free time now with homeschooling three kiddos, but they do expect to eat every day!
This "Fall Abundance" muffin is my second attempt and I could easily tweak it some more. Have fun with it. Use it as a base recipe and come up with some of your own. I think I may try a cinnamon apple mix-in next week. It's pretty much completely Paleo - well at least as Paleo as we get. All the ingredients should be there in your local grocer - nothing out of the norm. It is not a sweet Starbuck's cupcake pretending to be a muffin. This is a powerhouse of protein that will energize you on that chilly morning!
Fall Abundance Muffins - makes 1 dozen muffins
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 large eggs
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 tsp almond extract
3 tsp maple syrup
1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1.) Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a regular sized muffin tin.
2.) In a medium bowl combine almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
3.) In a separate bowl mix eggs, pumpkin, almond extract and 1 tsp maple syrup. Gently add to the dry ingredient bowl and mix until they are well combined.
4.) Heat a small pan on low, tossing the slivered almonds and nutmeg together. Warm the seasoned almonds for about 5 minutes or until they've become aromatic.
5.) Carefully add the dried cranberries and remaining 2 tsp of maple syrup. The syrup may splatter in the pan, so please keep little ones away from the stove during this step.
6.) Fold the almond and cranberry mixture into the muffin batter. Fill your muffin tins about 2/3 up - these muffins do not rise.
7.) Bake for 25 minutes and then enjoy!
Again - these are not super sweet. They won't replace your favorite pumpkin chocolate-chip loaf, but they are so healthy for you and such a yummy bite of fall!