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Pumpkin Spice Amaranth Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Amaranth Muffins

Fall has arrived and so too has butternut squash, both in my mom’s garden and at my local farmer’s market.

I’ve been loading up on the creamy orange treat and roasting it by the masses in my oven.

Pumpkin Spice Amaranth Muffins

With a full tupperware container of leftover butternut, I decided to pull out my spatula and basque in one of my favorite cool-weather activities — baking.

Muffins became the mission and pumpkin spice the theme.

Pumpkin Spice Amaranth Muffins

In honesty, I’m definitely not one of those PS-obsessed gals, and in fact, I actually kind of despite the trend. From cereal to yogurt to bagels to popcorn, the amount of pumpkin spice flavored foods is getting out of control. Pumpkin pie spice english muffins…really?!

Although in muffins…that’s a different story. The spice combination worked quite well with this recipe, and left the whole kitchen smelling like autumn upon baking. Love.

Also, fun fact: I learned last year, most canned pumpkin is made up primarily of squash. So, no need to blink twice when you see this recipe swapping pumpkin puree for mashed butternut.

Pumpkin Spice Amaranth Muffins

In my mission, I also set out to use amaranth flour, which I’ve had idling in my cabinet for some time now. It’s a gluten-free, high-protein flour, which makes it great for adding a boost of nutrition.

I haven’t been able to find many recipes that utilize it, so if you have a favorite way of cooking/baking with the flour yourself, please do share!

Pumpkin Spice Amaranth Muffins

I find these muffins best served slightly warm with a smear of almond butter and a drizzle of honey. Add a glass of almond milk on the side, and you’re in for a true seasonal treat, perfect as a cozy snack or senses-awakening breakfast.

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Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies (GF)

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies
Fun fact: Amaranth was banished after the Spanish conquest of the Americas. The Spanish forbid its cultivation in hopes of helping to eliminate the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice. (Amaranth was often made into a ceremonial mixture that would be eaten at such occasions.)

It fell out of use for hundreds of years, and only now in recent times is amaranth getting any attention from westerners. Even today, its appreciation from home cooks seems to be small.

Yet, it’s doubtful this natural superfood staple of the Mayans and Aztecs will hang under the radar for long.

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies

Like quinoa, amaranth is a complete protein, packing in nearly 10 grams of the muscle-building nutrient per cup (30% more than rice) along with a notable amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Meanwhile, in contrast to quinoa, since this gluten-free grain hasn’t yet fully been rediscovered, you can still score a bulk bin bag of the nutty seed at a price that won’t set you back.

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies

After a recent trip to Mexico, where I found amaranth showing up both on menus in the form of breakfast porridge and as a nutty topping to various salads, I began to start experimenting with it myself in my own kitchen.

I love it as an alternative to oatmeal, cooked up with almond milk and raisins, and swirled with cinnamon, maple syrup and nuts. Just recently, I discovered it in its flour form.

After receiving a bag of amaranth flour from Bob’s Red Mill, I got to work — and to daydreaming — in thinking up ways to use it. With Easter approaching, I settled on doing some sort of baked treat, which led me in creating this recipe.

Inspired by spring, these Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies are spice-forward and a perfect pairing to a tall glass of almond milk. I recommend serving them with a smear of almond butter on the side, too, or even peanut butter if you have either on hand. For an extra special treat, sandwich a scoop of coconut ice cream between two cookies.

Did I mention they’re vegan and gluten-free, too? And not all that unhealthy, too…

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Kale and Banana Muffins

Kale Banana Muffins

When I first saw the title of this recipe over on Prevention RD, I was immediately intrigued. Kale…in muffins? Genius. But could it actually taste good?

One look at the batter creation that ended up in my bowl, and I was feeling rather doubtful.

Kale Banana Muffins

It was beautiful nonetheless, so I decided to give it a go in the oven and see where the baked version would take me.

Somehow my final result ended up looking like those dyed green bagels on St. Patrick’s Day but in muffin form. Luckily, in my case, I could boast of this color being au naturel.

Kale Banana Muffins

I’m not sure if I packed my cups of kale tighter than Prevention RD, but the vibrancy was unexpected.

I would only be pleased with this verdant color if the muffins were edible though, so let’s get to the first taste. How were they?

Well, I wouldn’t be posting about them if they weren’t going on my repeat list.

These were surprisingly good. I’m talking eaten-in-two-days good by my surrounding friends and family. In fact, I’m already ready to make them again.

Kale Banana Muffins

My initial reaction was that these tasted like a Green Smoothie in muffin form. If that sounds strange, well, these are a tad on the unique side. They’re not going to resemble your average blueberry muffin…but who wants average? And who wants a muffin loaded with sugar and empty calories? Not me.

Despite the absence of a bunch of sugar, these are rather sweet, and given how healthy their makeup is, I’m declaring them a real winner on the muffin scale. Add some peanut butter to your first bite, and you’ll feel like a champion holding a golden green medal. Delish.

I love these as a nourishing option for breakfast or as a midday snack, and I love that these provide a muffin choice that you can finally feel good about, one that will make you feel good, too! If you already enjoy green smoothies, banana muffins, or simply beautiful bites to awaken you in the morning, then I 100% recommend giving these a try. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins

Although it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet here in Philly, I’m kicking off the season with a fresh start – starting now. I’ve got some pretty exciting things coming up (hello trip to France!). And also some rather crazy changes happening as we move into one of my all-time favorite seasons. I’ll fill you in on posts to come. For now, let’s talk about one of the latest transformations to happen, aka, the bright new feel of this site!

Sorry that it has been down the past few days, but Food-Fitness-FreshAir is back, and, in case you haven’t noticed, with a spankin’ new design. I’m happy to say both my blog and I are kicking off the season feeling fresh. We’ll be celebrating the early spring cleaning with the recipe below. It in itself makes me want to grab my party hat.

Hands down, these are the best muffins I’ve had in a long time. And all of their star ingredients make them a healthy choice, too.

The chocolate-infused recipe is 100% whole wheat, but stays incredibly moist from the bananas, yogurt and tahini. Yes, tahini. This is the secret ingredient that adds an interesting depth of flavor to these muffins. Though it’s likely you’d only be able to pinpoint it if told it was in there. Even more importantly, the tahini keeps these muffins butter-free, relying on the naturally heart-healthy fats of sesame seeds instead. Combined with the omegas from the walnuts, this is one stellar choice when you need an on-the-go snack. After the first bite, you’ll want to celebrate too.

Click here for recipe…