Monday, August 22, 2011

Superfood Muffins

Some days my girls will gobble down bowls of coleslaw, or battle for the last baby brussel sprout, carrot or broccoli spear. Some weeks neither of them will allow ANYTHING in the vegetable family to pass their lips. If you are a parent, you know this is par-for-the-course with young children.

I have learned not to worry (too much) about their nutritional intake when the girls have declared a moratorium on veggies. But I do still try to compensate, when I can, by throwing pureed greens into their pancakes or muffins or serving them kale chips as a snack.

Or I make them foods I know they enjoy using superfoods from the other food groups. Like these muffins, which may not have spinach in them, but thanks to the quinoa, flax, chia seeds, and blueberries, are chock full of protein, omega-3 fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

You can easily make them vegan by replacing the eggs with flax eggs and the milk with a dairy-free alternative. They are already gluten-free if you use quinoa flour like I did.

3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 omega-3 eggs
2 tbls organic canola oil
3/4 cup-1 cup sugar or sugar alternative (I used 1/4 cup stevia that measures equal to sugar, plus 1/2 cup xylitol)*
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

2.5 cups organic quinoa flour (or other whole grain flour)**
1/2 cup organic ground flax seeds
2 tbls chia seeds
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl and toss in blueberries. In medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Make a well in dry ingredients and add the wet. Stir until mixed. Scrape batter into greased mini muffin tins and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. If you use larger muffin tins, you will have to bake for a bit longer. Makes about 20 mini-muffins.

**There are lots of sugar substitutes out now besides aspartame and sucralose. So far sucralose is considered perfectly safe, but if you have issues about using it, try some of the others like xylitol or stevia, which I suppose you could argue are more "natural". Just read labels carefully to make sure how they compare to sugar in terms of sweetness because this can vary drastically from one brand to another!

**If you do use quinoa flour, you might want to use a bit more sweetener as it is a bit bitter. If your kids are really picky, try using kamut flour which looks like white flour and produces a tender crumb. Quinoa flour products smell like quinoa when warm, but this dissipates once they cool.

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