Thursday, January 23, 2014

Berry Lemony Muffins (Low-Fat, Vegan + Sugar-Free)

If you have noticed that the photos on this blog are even worse than usual, its because my camera is incompatible with my computer's new operating system.  Stupid Windows 8!  I now have to use my phone to take pics.  The muffin loaf above looks un-baked in this picture, which is so weird because in reality it was fresh out of the oven and looked (and smelled and tasted) delightful.   Oh well, I'm not about to get a new camera anytime soon so my phone pics will have to do.

I am really not technically inclined.  My phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) couldn't be better quality and has some ridiculously amazing features and functions, but I don't know how to use most of them.  I really just use my phone for communicating with my clients.  Actually, I have to tell you, what I am grateful for today (It's now Day 23 of my Gratitude Challenge), is that Adam and I are not device abusers/addicts (we don't have PVR, we still use a VCR, Adam doesn't have a Smart phone, and I am a very light user of mine). 

Honestly, I think this overreliance/addiction most people have to their phones is extremely problematic.  Spending all their time connecting with others virtually, some folks end up isolating themselves, because instead of being present with loved ones, they are distracted by the devices.  In my counselling, I see how this can cause jealousy, anger and resentment inside intimate relationships. 

In some contexts, this gadget obsession is also dangerous.  I still see lots of people using their phones while driving, even in places it is illegal.   Just walking down the street texting and/or wearing headphones can also be dangerous because these people become completely oblivious to their actual surroundings. 

All the texting, internet surfing, Tweeting, and game playing can also interfere with other parts of people's lives.  I have clients who can be late for work because they can't stop playing games on their phone, and clients who spend all their free time playing games, which compromises their physical health by preventing them from being active and/or causing insomnia due to exposure to the artificial light in the evening.  Often gadget usage/game playing creates problems in marriages and relationships as the user spends increasing amounts of leisure time online instead of being present with their loved one.  Many of these folks unwilling and/or unable to scale back their use, no matter what the cost.

So while I may know almost nothing about how to use most technology, I can at least say I am not addicted to it.  Nor is my phone use interfering with my relationships or health. Actually, I still forget to take my cell phone with me a lot, or forget where I've put it.  I am therefore grateful (albeit still a bit embarrassed about my ignorance) that I am not a tech addict.

So listen up, why not put down your device right now, go bake these delicious muffins that taste as sunny as a warm summer day.  Perfect for the dead of winter!

While they are baking, do an exercise video, when they are done, drop by a friend's place with some warm muffins for a little coffee date.  Exercise, lemony muffins and coffee with a good friend, what more do you need?  Certainly not your phone!

If you love lemons like I do, than you will love these uber-moist, super lemony muffins bursting with berries.

Berry Lemony Muffins (Low-Fat, Vegan + Sugar-Free)

2 organic lemons, ends cut, then sliced thinly and seeds removed
28oz jar of unsweetened applesauce
4 flax eggs (4 tbls ground flax + 12 tbls hot water)
1/2 cup powdered stevia baking blend, or sweetener to taste
2 droppers full of lemon stevia
2 tsp pure lemon extract

 3 cups whole grain kamut flour (or other whole grain flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 lb berries, fresh or frozen (I used half blueberries and half cranberries)

Puree lemons in food processor.  Scrape into a large bowl, add all other wet ingredients and whisk together.   Whisk dry ingredients together in a smaller bowl and then add to wet ingredients, along with berries.  Mix, just until combined.  Batter will be very thick.

Scrape into greased loaf or muffin pans (I made 10 mini loaves).  Bake at 375F until toothpick comes out clean (was 24 minutes for mini loaves, will be shorter if you bake in regular muffin tins, a lot longer if you go for one big loaf).  If not eating within the next 3 days, freeze and defrost as needed.

This recipe has been submitted to this week's Wellness Weekend.