By Joanna Berman
I thought I was busy and sleep-deprived before I became a parent. Now I can’t even remember what it was like to hit the snooze button for a few extra winks. Between work and everything that comes with new mommyhood, I need to start the day with a healthy breakfast more than ever, yet it’s so much tougher to do.
When it comes to healthy breakfasts, muffins are rarely the winners of any “most nutritious” awards. But they’re hard to beat for ease, convenience and deliciousness. That’s why I love this recipe: These babies are quick to make, they keep well for several days’ worth of grab-and-go breakfasts, and they’re loaded with good nutrition.
What makes them so great? Start with oats, which you already know to be a particularly powerful tool for lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and stabilizing blood sugar. If you’re gluten-free, no worries: Simply look for a certified gluten-free brand. (Oats themselves do not have gluten, but non-certified-GF brands are often cross-contaminated either in the field or in the facilities where they’re processed.) This recipe calls for both whole oats and oat flour, but you can make the oat flour in less than 2 minutes. For 1 cup of flour, simply place 1 1/3 cups of oats in your food processor or high-speed blender and blend until a flour forms.
Another super-nutritious ingredient in these muffins is ghee, or “liquid gold” as its called in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic doctors credit ghee with everything from improving memory and digestion to loosening tight hamstrings. So what the heck is this magical ingredient? It’s clarified butter; that is, butter from which the milk solids have been removed. (If you’ve ever melted butter and seen some little white dots form at the top, those are the milk solids. Skim them off and you’ve got ghee. But you don’t have to do all that, just buy it in a jar.) Ghee is also lactose- and casein-free, so if dairy tends to disagree with you, you’re likely to be fine with ghee; although if you have a severe dairy allergy, not a mild intolerance, best to steer clear. Use coconut oil in the muffins instead. This recipe also calls for almond milk; did you know how easy it is to make your own homemade almond milk? Answer—super easy.
Then there’s the star of the show, sweet potatoes. They provide fiber to help keep you full, plus they’re loaded with vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and other minerals, so your body gets plenty of fuel to power you through those busy days.
So bake up the whole batch, freeze the ones you’ll not be eating tomorrow, and warm each in the oven when you’re ready. Or make the batter, keep it covered in the fridge and bake a muffin fresh each morning while the coffee brews. Either way, you won’t mind getting out of bed nearly as much with these tasty treats to look forward to.
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato
- 1/4 cup organic ghee (or coconut oil)
- 1 organic egg
- 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
- 1 cup gluten-free oat flour (or 1 1/3 cups of oats ground in the vitamix or food processor)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
- Cut two small, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Scoop out the insides and discard the skin. Place in a blender and blend with the ghee.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg lightly. Add maple syrup, whisk until combined. Add almond milk, sweet potato mixture, chia seeds and vanilla, whisk until combined.
- In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together except for the walnuts.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stir in walnuts.
- Distribute batter evenly between your muffin cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.