Apple Cinnamon Star Muffins

These muffins make food fun! Everybody enjoys eating food that looks good, and since we also eat with our eyes, these are particularly enticing to little ones. These top the charts as one of my toddler’s favorite foods because a) he loves apples, b) he’s obsessed with stars, and c) he could eat his weight in muffins. This is my toddler trifecta.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Since this recipe was developed with little stomachs in mind, they are sweetened only with fruit from bananas and apples. Balancing blood sugar of kids (and adults!) is an important factor in keeping emotions and energy stable. Healthy fat from coconut oil and flaxseed allows slower digestion, and the heaping helping of cinnamon is beneficial to blood sugar balance. This egg-free, dairy-free recipe is a cinch to clean up since all of it can be dumped into one bowl and pulsed in a food processor. And that pulse button is the perfect way to get kids excited to help in the kitchen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now, before you take another look at the star shapes and mutter things ain’t nobody got time for, you could easily do without the star if you’re in a pinch, or replace it with another small cookie cutter you have if your kiddo’s Play Doh collection. If it’s within the realm of possibilities for you, a fun shape might be just what it takes to introduce kids to whole, clean foods that don’t come out of a bag.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have fun with different shapes! We happened to have a batch of these topped with hearts baking while we worked on Valentines. A Christmas tree, pumpkin, numbers, or letters would entice little hands to reach for one. They made the house smell so good! Be sure to get your kids to help in the kitchen to expose them to the appreciation of cooking and kitchen stewardship.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Apple Cinnamon Star Muffins

  • Servings: 12 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups quick 1-minute oats
  • 3 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Dash nutmeg

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 small apples; 1 1/2 coarsely chopped, and 1/2 reserved as discs for cut-outs*
  • 3 1/2 ripe bananas
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

*I used honeycrisp, but any sweet apple will work. If you plan to use a cutter shape for the top, be sure to plan ahead by saving half of an apple to be sliced in transverse discs about 1/4″ thick. Any scrap that remains from the cutouts should be added back to the bowl of wet ingredients.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Add all dry ingredients into a large food processor and pulse a few times until well blended. Add the wet ingredients directly into the food processor on top of the dry ingredients and blend until completely incorporated.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the prepared muffin cups and top with your star-shaped apple pieces, or other selected shape. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the center of muffins read 200 degrees when an instant read thermometer is inserted.

Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely. These will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container. I enjoy these with a hefty dollop of ghee and glass of almond milk!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2019


Spiced Gingerbread Granola

(Natural) sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what this granola is made of! At Christmas time, I welcome allll the ginger, cinnamon, and molasses flavored foods one can allow. This granola fits the bill and is loaded with equally as many superfoods to power up your antioxidant network at a time when all the crud seems to be spreading like wildfire.

Make our list of superfoods, and check it twice:

Red:
Dried goji berries
Dried cranberries

Green:
Pepitas
Pistachios

White:
Cocoa butter
Slivered almonds
Unsweetened coconut flakes

Goji berries are the most concentrated source of beta carotene in the world. Just a handful a day of these little powerhouses can improve vision within a month(Note: they are a Nightshade). Goji berries and cocoa butter are not the sweetest things that will ever touch your tastebuds, but the sweetness from maple syrup and molasses will cover any bitterness. You might even choose to add in some chopped candied ginger, but that flavor is not for the faint of heart, especially if you plan to gift these to someone who might just be stepping into the world of healthy eating.

There’s just enough sweetness that still makes it a healthy breakfast or snack. I prefer mine in a bowl with some vanilla almond milk and a scoop of peanut butter. There’s a slight chance I’m eating that exact combination as I type this. These make the most festive gift for teachers, church workers, or neighbors, while still passing on the gift of good health too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve burnt at least two batches of these, turning a lot of deliciousness into bird food. I speak from experience when I say to watch this stuff closely and cook it low and slow! I suggest adding all the colorful foods (with the exception of the almonds) until after the oats are cooked. I tested one batch that had the pepitas go through the cooking process in the oven and the pretty green color turned to brown.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Spiced Gingerbread Granola

  • Servings: 6 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Granola Mixture

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses

  Superfood Add-Ins:

  • 1/4 cup dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried goji berries
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a large jelly roll pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, spices, and slivered almonds. Stir in the wet ingredients; maple syrup, molasses, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir until the oats and nuts are completely coated.

Spread the coated oat mixture out onto the prepared pan and spread it in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The granola will begin to crisp and turn a rich golden color.

Once the granola is nearly cool (but not completely, as you want some heat remaining to allow the cocoa butter to melt just a little bit!), add all the colorful mix-ins; dried berries, nuts, coconut, and cocoa butter.

Let granola cool completely before breaking it into pieces for storing. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or refrigerate for longer.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate Truffles

I have a confession. I don’t understand the Pumpkin Spice obsession. Before you discredit my true affection for all things food and fall, let me justify my stance. For one, I don’t drink coffee so the #PSL rage has never been on my radar. Secondly, I’m no fair weather pumpkin lover. I eat it for breakfast year round, so to me, it’s just as commonplace as a box of cereal. So to get all giddy on September 1 (when it’s socially justifiable) to consume large amounts of all things pumpkin seems a bit disingenuous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But these. These Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate Truffles have won me over as THE treat that will make a believer out of anyone who is judgy toward the beloved pumpkin spice. These Paleo bites have the perfect blend of cakey center with hard dark chocolate shell, and perfectly sized for losing control of portions. They’re so easy to make, my 2-year old mixed everything into the food processor and pulsed it until I told him to stop. Then I took over to roll the truffles before my kitchen got destroyed by willing but unable hands.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate Truffles

  • Servings: 32
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Truffle Center:

  • 2 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 15oz can solid packed pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Shell:

  • 1 12oz bag of dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions

In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the center and pulse until a doughy, cakey consistency is achieved. It should be soft but malleable. Form into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Pop these in the freezer or fridge while you begin to prepare the chocolate shell.

In a small saucepan, melt the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil together until smooth. Remove the truffles from the freezer and roll them one at a time in the melted chocolate using a spoon to coat all surfaces. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with pecan crumbs or sprinkle of cinnamon to garnish.  Keep cold until you’re ready to serve!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Raw Peaches and Cream Tart

Most raw desserts are a guilt-free treat because of their fresh, unprocessed, and low-sugar contents. Hearing the word “raw” may evoke thoughts of food borne illness spread from uncooked meat, but in this context, it’s simply implying the ingredients haven’t been baked or cooked. Raw desserts are great summer foods because you don’t have to fire up the oven to satisfy your sweet tooth. The great thing about many raw desserts is once you find a base you like, you can use that same recipe in many different contexts. For example, the base in this tart could easily be converted to a lemon pie crust, pear tartlets, or granola bar base.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here in the south it’s still in the mid-90s this time of year, and the Georgia peach truck just rolled through town. My mom and I split a 20 pound box of juicy Georgia peaches, and this is one of the outcomes of that purchase.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Raw Peaches and Cream Tart

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 7 pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Cream:

  • 1 can full fat coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin

Topping:

  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the crust and pulse until a doughy, thick consistency is achieved. It should be soft but malleable. Form this crust into your desired shape and size. This recipes makes approximately a 9″ circle x 1″ thick. Slip this crust into the freezer while you make the cream filling. For the coconut cream, use a high speed food processor or stand mixer. Blend together the can of full fat coconut milk, vanilla, and gelatin for approximately 5 minutes or until a whipped cream consistency is achieved. Top the cold crust with the filling, and fan thinly sliced peaches. Garnish with lemon zest. Keep cold until you’re ready to serve!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Carrot Cake Protein Balls

I’m a grazer. I’d be just as happy grazing snick-snacks all day than eating three square meals. These little balls of joy fit the bill for the perfect no-guilt grazing snack. There are a lot of variations I’ve seen for protein balls like these online, like adding applesauce, cashews, flaxseeds, nutmeg, cream cheese, almond bark (almond bark? that just became dessert), but I don’t think you can go wrong any way you spin it based on your personal preferences. Protein balls, or peanut butter balls seem to be some of the most forgiving experiments in the kitchen because they always seem to turn out tasty!

Carrot Cake Protein Balls 1

This particular recipe is a stand out in that it contains fresh carrots where most protein ball recipes are sticky conglomerations of shelf-stable foods. These will last up to a week sealed in your fridge, or 6-9 months in a freezer.  They’re packed with protein and low in sugar so they’re good enough for breakfast, snack, or dessert, and have the perfect level of sweetness for little mouths too.

Carrot Cake Protein Balls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

    • • 1 cup shredded carrots
      • 5 medjool dates
      • ¼ cup raisins
      • 1 tsp ground ginger
      • ¼ tsp nutmeg
      • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
      • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided for rolling
      • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
      • 3 Tbsp flaxseed
      • 1 serving vanilla protein powder
      • Extra water as needed

Directions

Start by chopping the carrots and dates together in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until finely chopped. Roll into 1 inch balls and coat with unsweetened coconut and cinnamon mixture.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Sausage Stuffed Apples

I’ve entered a local cooking contest a few years in a row now, and this gem of a recipe happens to be an award-winner for the main entree category. The glorious scent of apples baking with maple syrup will give you all the fall feels, so get out your favorite football hoodie and start coring some apples. It is ideal for dinner, but the maple syrup flavor makes left overs suitable for breakfast too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sausage Stuffed Apples

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 6 crisp apples, cored and hollowed (discard the seeds, save the flesh!)
  • 1 1/2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 lb organic pasture-raised mild pork sausage
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Using an apple corer or grapefruit spoon, hallow out the flesh of 6 apples, discarding the seed and core, and setting aside the remaining white flesh. Brown sausage in a large skillet along with celery, onion, sage, oregano, and reserved apple flesh. Cook until tender. Add maple syrup and walnuts to the skillet and mix thoroughly. Stuff sausage mix into the hollowed apples and bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Left with extra sausage stuffing? Load up an egg crepe or top a scrambled egg with the mixture for a re-purposed breakfast!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Lemon Poppyseed Chickpea Muffins

I’m a sucker for all things lemon. I feel like I can conquer the world when I start the day with a glass of lemon water and lemon desserts transport me a summery state of mind. If you’re with me on the lemon love, you have to try these muffins- and don’t let the chickpeas send you running! The chickpeas replace flour, nuts, or milk in traditional muffins, so by default these bad boys are gluten free, nut free, and dairy free. The peas also give these muffins the most perfectly moist center, somewhat reminiscent of (don’t laugh…) birthday cake. Add two cans of chickpeas to your grocery list right now and plan to make these ASAP.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s talk blood sugar balance really quick. If you’re one of those people who suffers from hanger (and if so, I shamelessly identify with you),  this is a perfect snack to hush that hanger. In most cases of hanger, or hungry anger, your brain chemistry is sending signals to crave high sugar foods, because it knows that glucose or sugar is what will give your brain the most immediate source of energy. With chickpeas being the primary ingredient, they add fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein which will slow the rate these are digested and absorbed into the blood stream, as opposed to a refined cupcake for example, keeping your blood sugar stable longer (translation; no blood sugar roller coaster to send you into a sour mood). The fiber/protein combo will keep your appetite suppressed, helping you eat less throughout the day, also making it less likely you’ll reach for a high sugar snack which usually perpetuates the sugar-craving-hanger cycle all the more.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lemon Poppyseed Chickpea Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy Peasy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • large eggs
  • tablespoons coconut oil
  • 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • lemons; zested peel of both, and juice of both*
  • teaspoons vanilla
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum** (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons poppyseeds

Notes:

*I use this microplane grater to make quick work of zesting citrus, and just about anything else that needs finely grated. I also recommend using organic lemons if you are going to grate the peel since all the pesticides reside in the peel of citrus fruits. Juice both lemons once the skin is zested, for about 8 tablespoons, or about 1/2 cup of lemon juice.

**I realize most people don’t keep a stash of xanthan gum in their pantry. I recently bought a small bag at Kroger for $5.99 and I think it has revolutionized gluten-free baking for me. Xanthan gum acts as a binder and thickener, and is a very common and safe food additive (you’ll see it on everything from toothpaste and salad dressing to soups and ice cream). It’s produced by fermenting a sugar, usually lactose, sucrose, or glucose. If you are looking to up your game of gluten-free goodies, I highly recommend this small investment.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard-size muffin baking tray with paper baking cups or spray with a non-stick spray.
  2. In a high-speed blender, add all ingredients, except for the poppyseeds. Blend until a smooth consistency is created, then add in the poppyseeds and pulse just enough to incorporate.
  3. Pour the batter into prepared muffin tray. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  4. Remove from tray and let cool. Refrigerate or freeze or eat them up as they can spoil easily. (If refrigerated, you can heat them in the microwave for 15 seconds or so. Longer if frozen, obviously.)

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018