Tag Archives: holistic health nutrition

  • Easy Peasy Apple Muffins

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    I took my oldest to the Toronto Waldorf School to the Parent and Tot program and am currently back there with my little one. Both of my girls have loved every moment of it. I enjoy getting to talk to other mama's, discuss parenting issues and things that come up with my little ones, and I am "kind of" learning how to knit. I say kind of because I think I might just be knitting challenged. I am always messing things up and needing help. One day I might just have a bunny out of all of this though. I will post the finished product.

    Anyway's, you might be wondering why I am taking about the Waldorf school in a post about apple muffins. Well, the snack at the school is spelt apple sauce muffins. All of the kids love them and the best part, they are made with wholesome ingredients including organic applesauce, honey, flaxseeds, etc. When my oldest was going there I had tried to make the muffins a few times and they just didn't taste the same so I gave up. Now that I am back with my little one I was re-inspired to try. I used to have the recipe but I do not anymore. I just asked the lady who makes them if she has any tips and all she said was to not over mix the batter. Well, guess what? I was an over mixer. That was my problem all along. Such a simple trick to make muffins lighter and fluffier.

    I made these muffins by checking out a few apple sauce recipe ideas and then making my own. My kids really can't get enough of them.

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    I am going to take a quick moment here to explain why I am using spelt flour;

    - Spelt contains gluten but much less than conventional wheat flour that has been altered to contain even more gluten

    - Spelt is easier to digest for many people although should not be consumed by anyone who is celiac, has a gluten allergy or are trying to strictly avoid gluten

    - Spelt is a light fluffy flour and may be used for an easier transition for those who feel sensitive to wheat products

    - I typically cook with grain free flours such as almond and coconut flour however do use spelt as a treat. My kids tolerate it well and love it. I use spelt when making homemade pizza dough, muffins and birthday cake's.

    - It is easy to adapt recipes that contain wheat flour with spelt flour 1:1.

    I also have a gluten free version for those of you who can not tolerate any gluten at all. 

    Anyways lets get back to the muffins! These would make a great addition to packed lunches!

    Apple Sauce Muffins

    • 1 cup organic apple sauce
    • 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk*
    • 1/3 cup maple syrup
    • 3 tbsp avocado oil**
    • 1 egg***
    • 3 drops of Jade Lemon (food grade essential oil)****
    • 2 cups of sifted spelt flour*****
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon

    Directions

    1. In one bowl mix the wet ingredients
    2. In another bowl sift the dry ingredients and mix well
    3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry bowl and gently fold the ingredients together until just combined. As I said it is important to not over mix for a light and fluffy muffin.
    4. You can either add muffin liners, grease pan with butter/coconut oil or use the silicone muffin tray I used (see picture). They pop out easily without having to grease pan. I filled 24 of the mini muffin silicone liners and 4 medium size muffins. The amount of muffins the batch will make depends on the muffin tray you use. Fill muffins moulds 3/4 of the way full.
    5. Option - top with diced apples (or pears), cinnamon and chia seeds.
    6. Cook mini muffins 12-15 minutes and medium muffins 20 minutes. Let cool and then remove from tray. Enjoy!!

    Recipe Note

    * Any type of milk would work here. I really like the thick and creamy texture of the full fat coconut milk. And the extra fats from the milk will help to slow the absorption of the carb's from the flour, also known as lowering the glycemic index

    ** Melted butter or coconut oil would also work. Or olive oil would also work well

    *** Flax egg can be used instead of egg - 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes before using

    **** Using the food grade essential oil is optional, you can also use a squirt of fresh lemon juice

    ***** Use Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour to make these gluten free - so 2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour + 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (this helps to hold the muffins together so they don't crumble. You can omit if you don't mind a crumbly muffin) The pictures with the chia seeds and apples were made with the gluten free flours.

  • Shedding the baby weight

    Getting back into shape after having a baby can be tough sometimes. If you are breastfeeding, that takes up most of your day and if you are bottle feeding your day is spent making formula sanitizing bottles, not to mention changing diapers, laundry, keeping up with the house cleaning, etc.  You are sleep deprived (no matter how well your baby sleeps they still need to feed during the night), super busy and often looking for quick fixes when it comes to meal time. It is so easy to get into the carb/sugar and often caffeine cycle to get you through your day. I am here to tell you from personal experience and also from my professional knowledge as a nutritionist, with a few changes you will feel better and prevent those overwhelming cravings for the wrong foods.

    Here are my top tips to get back in shape post baby;

    1. Get moving - put your baby in the stroller or even better a baby carrier (adds extra weight to burn a few extra calories, just make sure you have good posture so you don't hurt your back) and go for a walk. Moderate exercise is also a great way to combat stress and reduce unwanted cortisol (cortisol is known for is ability to aid in fat storage). And it also will burn some extra calories while soothing your baby. My little girl was always happiest in the baby carrier. If the weather does not permit, hop over to your local mall and do some laps or try putting on some music and shaking your booty or my favourite rebounding (mini trampoline) for 10 minutes to 1 hour.

    2. Ditch the sugary treats and refined carbs! I know this one may seem tough when you are not sleeping. Our bodies scream for sugars and carb’s when we are lacking sleep. First thing you need to remember is those sugars are such a short energy boost and will leave you more fatigued in the end. Second thing to think about is enjoy ‘TREATS’ that wont affect your blood sugar the same way. My go-to is organic dark chocolate, must be 70% or higher or I bake cookies using low glycemic coconut sugar and whole grain flours.

    3. Eat small amounts of protein rich foods throughout the day. Protein is essential for keeping our waist lines in check. It is key in balancing your blood sugar and it also promotes glucagon which is a mighty fat burning hormone. Ideal protein foods include hempseeds, lean meats, beans, lentils, greek yogurt, high quality protein powder and eggs. Aim to get some at every meal to beat the cravings and keep you feeling full.

    4. Don’t drink your calories!!! This is such a critical tip. Drinking juices and pop do not make you feel full at all. All they do is spike your blood sugar, followed by fat storage, then a crash and then you crave more sugar. Stick to herbal teas and water to hydrate your self.

    5. Sleep when you can!! It is so important to get as much sleep as possible. When we are not sleeping properly our cravings can be out of control. So instead of reaching for the cookies as soon as your baby goes down for the night, sometimes just go to sleep. If sleep is not an option, try taking deep relaxing belly breaths to decrease the effects of stress and balance hormones.

    Hope these tips will help you get back to your best self post baby. I know they helped me!

    I am curious, do you have any more tips to help shed the baby weight? I would love to hear from you!

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