Happy New Year! I know I know, I'm a few days late, but better late than never right? I am excited to share this recipe with you! I've gotten a few requests on Instagram to share more healthy snack ideas so I thought I would share this delicious muffin recipe I have been making lately.
Are you an avid between-meal-snacker? Or are you on the fence about whether or not you should be snacking? I get a lot of questions from clients about snacking. There is SO much nutrition information out there telling you what you should and shouldn't be doing.
One minute eggs are bad for you, then the next they are good for you. You should eat 6 small meals per day. No wait, you should actually be eating 3 square meals, with the largest meal at breakfast and DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT EATING AFTER 7PM. Or my personal favorite, bananas make you fat.
No wonder there is confusion.
The thing is, nutrition really is slightly different for everyone. I have worked with clients who thrive on eating smaller portions more often throughout the day and I have clients who do best with three larger meals and no snacking at all. It really depends on your daily schedule, preference, and activity level. Personally, I am a snacker. I always have been and I probably always will be. For me, snacking helps prevent the dreaded hanger that is bound to happen if I stretch my meals out too far apart. Snacking helps me make better choices at meal times because I'm not starving. We all make better choices when we aren't hangry. Have you ever gone grocery shopping when you are hungry? I know you have...we all have! When I go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, I spend a lot more money. And weird things make it into my cart. A $27 dollar box of organic shortbread cookies dipped in artisan chocolate, puffed quinoa, and unicorn dust....I'LL TAKE IT ;)
I have always been someone who gets hungry pretty quickly. Scott teases me because an hour or so after we eat a big meal I'll start to get hungry again, which always shocks him because he can't even think about eating another bite of food. See....our bodies all work so differently! For me, snacking is KEY.
Now, there are better snacks than others. We all know that snacking on things like potato chips and ice cream aren't ideal "go-to" snack options (although every once in a while YOLO), but I still think there is some confusion around smart snacking. The closer we can get to eating real, whole foods most of the time, the better we feel. But we also need to make sure we have a well-balanced snack. I'm talking about those macro-nutrients: carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat. Ideally we would eat something with a little of everything! Carbohydrates digest the quickest, while protein and fat take a little longer. We want that protein and/or healthy fat to help slow down the digestion of carbs. If we eat an all carb snack (even a healthy carb!), our bodies will quickly digest it and we will be hungry quicker. Protein and healthy fat help create lasting energy, which is exactly what we want out of a snack. Oh, and fiber! If you have been a long-time reader here, you know how much I love fiber. What kind of dietitian would I be if I wasn't a fiber freak?! ;) Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that adds bulk to our foods and helps slow the digestion of the simpler carbohydrates. This is why I recommend eating an apple WITH peanut butter or nuts, or veggies WITH hummus or guacamole. The combination is key!
So what about these muffins?
These muffins have it all! Complex carbohydrate, fiber, protein, healthy fat, AND a crumble topping. You could certainly make these muffins without the crumble topping, but honestly why would you?! It really puts these muffins over the top in the flavor department. I don't know about you but sometimes the thought of just snacking on raw veggies doesn't cut it for me, especially in this arctic weather! I want something that feels super satisfying. And what tastes super satisfying to me? MUFFINS. And what feels super satisfying to me? HEALTHY MUFFINS. Plus, these guys are just easy. Easy to make, and easy to take! Life with a baby has made me want to prioritize my time better to make sure I get to spend as much quality time with Rhys as possible. When I'm making food, I want to make things that yield a lot...without taking a lot of time. For me, these muffins have been a quick, easy solution to between meal snacking that leave me feeling great. They use applesauce in place of oil and are lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup. Just one of these muffins has 6 grams of protein thanks to the almond flour and hemp seeds, 2 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of healthy fat (hemp seeds for the win again) - heck yes!
Do yourself a favor: save some time, make your bod feel good, and enjoy these tasty Apple Hemp Muffins!
Oh and P.S. Bananas DON'T make you fat ;)
Apple Hemp Muffins (Vegan)
| Makes 12 muffins |
- 1 1/2 cups whole-grain flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup hemp seeds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup plain or vanilla unsweetened almond milk
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Crumble (optional, but highly recommended!)
- 6 Tbsp almond flour
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flours, hemp seeds, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg) and stir until well combined.
- In another bowl, combine applesauce, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla, and mix together.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and gently fold and mix through, until just combined, careful not to over mix.
- Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners (this will fill 12 muffins full).
- To make the crumble, combine the flour, melted coconut oil, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until crumbly. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of crumble.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.