Bunny Muffins (Carrot and Apple Muffins)

FullSizeRender-4I was asked this week by my daughter’s pre-school teacher to make their Easter snack so I came up with these muffins – quick and easy and full of carrots…perfect for the Easter Bunny so now they are officially called Bunny Muffins. There is no sugar in these muffins (the sweetener comes from maple syrup or mashed banana and apple) and they have a hearty blend of carrots, oats and apples and would make a delicious healthy breakfast on the go or a perfect snack for your little ones. I like to make them in mini muffin tins for small hands and bite size snacks. I literally whipped them up as I was packing lunches this morning so they aren’t fussy and pretty quick to make.

Bunny Muffins
Makes 12 large or 24 mini muffins

Dry Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
(you can add extra spices too such as ginger or nutmeg)

Wet ingredients:

2 cups grated carrots (preferably organic)
1 small apple, grated
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup – OR 1 small banana, mashed
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method:

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in one bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients.
  4. Combine both wet and dry ingredients until mixed together.
  5. Distribute among lined muffin tins.
  6. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes.

Thanks to Cookie + Kate for the recipe inspiration!

 

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Slow Cooker No Sugar Applesauce

Slow cooker no sugar applesauceWhen I was growing up, the only way my mum could get me to eat meals was to add applesauce. To every. single. plate. Luckily for me, we had apple trees in our garden and my mum was a great cook and made everything from scratch (a great influence on me for sure!) so I was treated to homemade applesauce every day.

I still love the stuff. It requires a bit of prep work but you can make a huge batch on the weekend and store in the fridge or freezer. No preservatives or extra sugars like the store bought varieties often contain. I’m lazy and like to keep the peel on for extra nutrients (no, I think it’s just because I’m lazy) but you can peel the apples too so the sauce is really fine and mushy.

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Sweet Potato Brownies – OMG so good!

Sweet Potato BrowniesMy kids are always ravenous after school. I like – no, LOVE – baking. I don’t want to give my kids too much sugar – but we all love chocolate. My son is an especially fussy eater (sigh) and doesn’t really like vegetables. Add it all up and you get my new fascination with sweet potato brownies!

I’ve been trying out different recipes for these delicious sweet potato brownies in my kitchen all week with my own twist and have come up with this recipe. They are easy to make and are a delicious and guilt free treat any time of the day since there is no sugar and they are naturally sweetened with raw honey and the sweet potato. I use coconut flour which makes them an excellent gluten free option and together with the coconut oil, gives them a nice coconutty taste. The walnuts add the right amount of crunch. Make sure you use high quality baking ingredients and take some time to roast the sweet potato.  I find that making a double batch and freezing some is extra handy when you have lots of mouths to feed.

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Healthy Peachy Oat Muffins (for breakfast, snack time or on the go…)

Healthy Peachy Oat MuffinsWell hello, September where did you come from?

The days are cooling off, everyone is back to school and back to our work routines. After a very busy summer packing up our apartment, moving to a new home as well as traveling to Europe too, I’m definitely ready for the kids to be in school and for my regular routine to start up again.

I think the long summer holiday had done something to my brain though and I had (almost) forgotten what my kids normally eat for breakfast and packed lunch.

Healthy Mama tip: Then I remembered how useful it is to bake something and to have it handy at home.

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What I Learned From My 40-Day Sugar Detox

sugar

Every year I try to give up something for Lent. One year it was tea. One year it was TV. One disastrous year it was Facebook – right in the middle of when my sister was having her baby girl and I missed out on all the important updates. This year I was intrigued by all the blogs and websites devoted to sugar detoxes and sugar free lifestyles. Quitting sugar is trendy right now. It’s also necessary in Western society where most of us are addicted to the stuff. I even offer a detox where my clients give up sugar (among other foods) for at least 7 days. Now it was time for me to take a deep breath and go in for the long haul. I needed it. During the miserably long NY winter, I had started a nasty habit of snacking a little bit here and there on chocolate and cookies. Suddenly, my skin changed and I was feeling the extra pounds. I was becoming moody and irritable. Sugar makes you fat and cranky. A sugar detox was sorely needed and what better time to start one than the Lent season.

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Green Pirate Smoothie – March Smoothie Challenge

green smoothieI was recently asked to be a part of UK based Health Embrace’s March smoothie challenge. Andrea is a nutritional therapist in the UK and we were last seen together in our teenage years making delicious food like apple crumble and custard and Christmas cake in our Home Economics classes. Social media reunited us after all these years and our careers have recently taken the same direction into the world of nutrition. We’re also mums with five children between us, so have lots in common!

Andrea asked me to come up with a cleansing smoothie for her smoothie challenge and so I submitted my Green Pirate Smoothie which is very popular in our house and named by my son who is a little bit obsessed with pirates. This is a perfect smoothie for adults and children and I also love to freeze it into popsicle molds for dessert.

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Easy Healthy Homemade Popsicles

popsicles

Weeknights in my house with my two children often end with the simple plea: what’s for dessert?

During the holiday season, we got stuck in a bit of a rut. With the house full of chocolate, cookies and ice-cream, I suddenly realized that my two little ones were munching their way through a lot of sugar every night. I needed to find a healthier option. My kids adore ice cream so I knew that frozen fruit popsicles would be a big hit. I also wanted to be in control of the ingredients for dessert: no more artificial additives or sweeteners!

Determined to get some healthier dessert options for our weeknight meals, I bought some bright colored popsicle molds and pulled out my blender to make some delicious flavor combinations. First up: pineapple and spinach which was a huge hit with my son who doesn’t even eat green vegetables. Score!

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