Perhaps it’s the amazing colours which appear on the leaves of trees before they’re finally dropped, the smell of colder air in the mornings, apple picking, the fact that every coffee shop has at least five items which are ‘spiced something’ now, and maybe also that annoying head cold which seems to pop up the moment the clocks turn back, and doesn’t disappear until March….
Whatever this season means to you, these breakfast muffins accompany it perfectly, and they also contain powerful immune-boosting ingredients to ward off coughs and colds.
These muffins are very low in sugar (whilst still tasting sweet), so they won’t spike your blood sugar after eating them, and the high-protein quinoa flour will leave you satisfied for hours. Spread on some chia jam, marmalade or honey for a sweeter breakfast, or warm them slightly and serve with organic butter as a delicious indulgence … if you eat dairy products.
Makes: Approximately 15-18 muffins. *If you’re not into sharing, you may want to halve the recipe and make a breakfast ‘loaf’ out of one half of the recipe. Find out more about that below….
Ingredients (and why they’re good for you at this time of year!)
- 2 cups quinoa flour: Quinoa is gluten free and high in protein, important for maintaining muscle tissue and keeping the body strong through colder months.
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- A pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- 2 apples, chopped: Most apples are in season from September to December, so now is the time to buy local, organic apples and eat with the seasons! We’ve all heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” ….
- 2 handfuls chopped walnuts and almonds: Walnuts contain good amounts of healthy omega 3 fats, important for maintaining brain function and mood levels – preventing the winter blues! Almonds are one of the best sources of protein when it comes to nuts, and will keep you full for a long period of time.
- 2 tsp cinnamon: This spice is brilliant for balancing blood sugar levels, and thus help us to feel ‘balanced’ in an otherwise rather tumultuous time of year.
- 2 tsp mixed spice: The mix of spices traditionally included are all warming and ‘grounding’, which is especially important for anyone who feels a little ‘all over the place’ and fatigued at this time of year, otherwise known as having an imbalance of ‘Vata’.
- 3 tbsp coconut oil: You’ve likely heard about all the amazing benefits coconut oil has to offer, and it’s also one of the best oils to cook with. This oil is a natural antibacterial too, helping to prevent illness.
- 3 tbsp barley malt extract: If you do like a sweeter taste, you may want to swap this ingredient for maple syrup instead, however barley malt extract is high in nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin A and essential amino acids, as well as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which we need to maintain bone strength. Barley malt extract is also a traditional ‘elixir’ taken to warn off coughs and colds during Autumn and Winter and gives the muffins a deep, rich taste.
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp white, cider or distilled vinegar
- 1 ‘flax egg’ (2 tbsp ground flax mixed with 4 tbsp water, left to set for about 10 minutes)
- ¼ cup organic apple sauce or puree
- Preheat oven to 190C and line a couple of baking tins with muffin cases
- Prepare the flax egg and leave to set
- In a large bowl, mix the quinoa flour, baking soda, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and mixed spice.
- Add the 3 tbsp coconut oil and mix well
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flax egg and apple sauce, and add to the dry ingredients
- Use the same bowl to create vegan ‘buttermilk’ often used in old-fashioned soda bread recipes: Add 1 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup of non-dairy milk and whisk. Leave for a couple of minutes, then whisk briefly again before adding to the bowl with all other ingredients in.
- Chop 2 apples into small pieces and add them to the mixture along with the 2 handfuls of nuts and mix everything together well
- Lastly, add the barley malt extract and mix until everything is well combined (it will be a soft, batter-like mixture)
- * This recipe does make lots and lots of muffins, so you could choose to split the mixture in half and create a breakfast ‘loaf’ from one half of the mixture if you have a bread tin for baking. That is what I chose to do, as the ingredients lend themselves well to both muffins and bread, and would also work in cake recipes. Just leave in the oven for about 5-8 minutes longer than the muffins. Or freeze in batches of two, and heat up for a nutritious breakfast.
- Whatever you’ve chosen to make, place it all in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the top starts to brown and is springy to the touch. Stick a sharp knife or toothpick through the top of one of the muffins (and the loaf if you made it) and if it comes out clean, you’re done!
- Leave to cool for about 5 minutes, and then leave to cool further on a wire rack. (Although the muffins are actually really nice warm from the oven….)
- Serve on a cold Autumn morning with any spread you like for an immune-boosting, healthy and satisfying breakfast. Since you’ve made a tonne of muffins, you could also save one for an afternoon snack too….