A 5'3 Perspective


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Clean Apple Spice Muffins [and the CIBC Run For The Cure]

Lately Pumpkin everything has been the go to flavour for Fall, but what about Apple?! For me, Fall is about layers, crisp air, and apple picking. As a kid I remember heading out to the orchard at least once a year to bring home bags full of delicious local apples. As the old adage goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away – so why not eat your apples baked inside a delicious and healthy muffin? Apple Spice MuffinsIngredients

2 cups oats
1 cup quinoa flour
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup almond milk
2 droppers of liquid stevia
2 tbsp softened coconut oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey
1 apple (finely chopped)

Optional: 1/3 cups nuts (walnuts or pecans are best)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients (except for the chopped apple and nuts) in a large mixing bowl. Once the batter is well uniform, fold in apples and nuts. Spoon the mixture evenly into a muffin pan (silicon or lined) and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

On an unrelated note, nest weekend I will be participating in the Ottawa CIBC Run For The Cure to raise money for breast cancer research. As many of you know, this is a cause that is near an dear to my heart. If you are able to, please visit my fundraising page and donate to this worthy cause – anything and everything helps. I would really appreciate if you could share this link with your friends and family to help raise as much money as possible to further cancer research and bring us closer to finding a cure.

If you are in town on the 6th of October and would like to join Team Esther, please let me know, I would be happy to have you!

Have a wonderful day friends!

xo Lauren


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A Healthy Zucchini Muffin Recipe – Grain and Dairy Free

I some how ended up with an abundance of zucchinis in my fridge this week – which could only mean one thing. Time to turn them into something delicious! This is an original ellepottsie creation. I am shocked at how well it turned out and it was extremely simple to make, especially with the help of a food processor. They free of grains and dairy and have very little sugar – but you’d never know, they taste amazing!

Healthy Zucchini Muffins
Yield: 8 – 10Healthy Zucchini MuffinsIngredients

2 medium zucchini – grated
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 tbsp softened coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp liquid stevia
pinch of salt

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients using a food processor (if you don’t have one you can mix by hand). Transfer batter into silicon muffin trays (or lined muffin tins). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cooked muffins from the oven and allow them to cool.

That is it – nothing complicated and no crazy ingredients. Just simple delicious muffins for you to enjoy!

xo Lauren


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Boyfriend Approved: Grain and Lactose Free Carob Chip Muffins

I’ll admit it, I’ve been on a complete baking tear these days. Usually when this happens, about 50% of the recipes I make turn out to be worthy of adding to me repertoire. This time, I have yet to find a miss, everything has been absolutely delicious. These muffins are no exception – and I know they are great because Neil was disappointed when we ran out!

Grain and Lactose Free Carob Chip Muffins

Inspired by: Living Healthy With ChocolateGrain and Lactose Free MuffinsIngredients

3/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup peanut butter (you can use 100% almond butter instead)
3 tablespoons honey
2 eggs
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cinder vinegar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup unsweetened carob chips (or chocolate chips)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix the honey, eggs, vanilla, apple cinder vinegar and baking soda in a bowl.
Add the almond butter and peanut butter and mix well. Fold in the carob chips.
Spoon batter into nine paper lined muffin cups or a silicon muffin tin and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow time to cool before serving.
Serve and enjoy!

Another easy as can be, healthier recipe!

xo Lauren

PS – Don’t forget to enter the Revlon Haute Tropics nail polish giveaway!!


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If Baklava And Muffins Mated [A Simple And Delicious Recipe]

If you asked me what baklava was four years ago I probably would have told you it was some volcano version of the Lock Ness Monster. No, this isn’t a joke. Before meeting Neil I was a pretty picky eater, luckily my Greek man opened my eyes to the finer things in life – enter baklava, which unfortunately I can no longer indulge in due to my weak stomach. But for the rest of you, this is probably one of the best recipes I have ever made [says the Greek himself]. It is a combination of ooey, gooey, syrupy [is that even a valid descriptor?] baklava filling, surrounded by a fluffy muffin exterior, all topped with honey. If that description didn’t convince you turn on your oven and get baking, then how about this – the entire process took no longer than half an hour, and that includes 15 minutes of baking time.

Baklava Muffins – Not Gluten, Dairy or Sugar-Free, Just Irresistible!

Recipe from: Nigella Lawson

Baklava MuffinsIngredients

Filling:
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or margarine)

Muffins:
1 cup + 7 tablespoons all purpose flour (or whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (or margarine)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk (or 1 tbsp lemon juice mixed with 1 cup of regular milk – allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes before using)

Topping:
honey – as much as your heart desires

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups.

Mix all the filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda; add sugar.
In a wide-mouthed measuring cup, whisk the egg, melted butter and buttermilk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Mix lightly and gently – I used a fork to mix it.
Fill the cups 1/3 full, add a scant tablespoon of filling, then cover with more muffin batter until 2/3 full.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack. Drizzle with honey.

This recipe makes 12 absolutely divine baklava muffins.

Now what are you waiting for?! Don’t walk, run to the kitchen and impress everyone with this to die for recipe!

xo Lauren


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Grain, Dairy, Sugar Free Chocolate Mini Muffins

I am sure you are all well aware by now that my favourite treats to bake are ones that I can eat [which means no gluten or dairy]. It is definitely takes some practice to make recipe substitutions but once you realize that it is okay to go wild in the kitchen – you end up with some amazing baked goods that are healthy and delicious!

Grain, Dairy and Sugar Free Chocolate Mini Muffins

Inspired by: The Detoxinista

 sugar, dairy free mini muffins

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup sugar free maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a mini muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda.

Add the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk again until a smooth batter is achieved.

Using a spoon, evenly fill the muffin tin. This batch makes about 18 mini treats. Do not overfill as the batter rises.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, testing with a toothpick after 12 minutes.

Allow to cool and enjoy.

These muffins are quite delicious as is, however, if you want a real treat – add a chocolate glaze.

Easy Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients

3 large squares of dark chocolate (70 – 80% darkness)

1 – 2 tsp of coconut oil

Directions

Heat the chocolate and coconut oil and stir until well combined and completely melted. I use the microwave for this.

Dip the tops of the muffins in the glaze and place in the fridge to harden.

Hope you enjoy these delicious chocolate treats as much as I did!

xo Lauren


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The Best Muffin Recipe Ever

I tested this recipe out a few weeks ago with every intention to share it – but then I totally forgot. Perhaps it slipped my memory because they disappeared as quickly as they were baked – these were [and I quote] “the best muffins ever” according to Neil. I didn’t try any because they contain both gluten and dairy [and sugar] but based on his reaction, the only downfall about these muffins is that a dozen in a batch isn’t nearly enough.

Cinnamon Apple Streusel Muffins

Recipe from: Fork Knife Swoon

Cinnamon Apple Streusel MuffinsIngredients

Muffin Batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
8 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups chopped apples (I used Macintosh)

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbs unsalted butter, cold

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease twelve muffin cups.

2. For the streusel: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Using a fork, cut in the butter, until combined, forming small pea-shaped pieces. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until evenly combined. Set aside.

4. Using a stand-up or hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the eggs, and then the vanilla until combined.

5. Stir the apples into the wet ingredients. Slowly add the apple-mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The batter will be very thick.

6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins and top with a sprinkling of the streusel mix. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and a cake-tester comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for five minutes in the muffin tin before removing and cooling on a baking rack. Serve warm.

I would assume you can store these in an air tight container for at least a week and subsequently in the fridge, however, the batch I made didn’t even come close to lasting that long.

Happy Baking!

xo Lauren

 


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Healthy Cinnamon Spice Muffins [and an announcement]

The holidays may be over but that is no reason to stop treating yourself to a batch of delicious muffins – especially ones that are guilt free. These grain and dairy free muffins are extremely nutritious, but the best part is that they don’t even taste like health food. With only one tablespoon of honey you can indulge without worry!

Cinnamon Spice Muffins

Inspired by The Detoxinista

Cinnamon Spice Muffins topped with Greek Yogurt Icing and Walnut Crumbs

Cinnamon Spice Muffins topped with Greek Yogurt Icing and Walnut Crumbs

Ingredients

1 cup natural smooth almond butter
2/3 cup puree carrots (I used baby food)
1/2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1.5 droppers full of liquid stevia
1 tbsp honey

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in the food processor [or use a hand mixer]. The batter will be quite runny – this is normal. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, divide the batter evenly into 10 lined muffin cups. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the center of the muffin is firm and the top is slightly golden.

If you want to really impress your guest, you can make icing by combining free greek yogurt mixed with liquid stevia. Top with walnut crumbs for decoration.

These muffins are quite dense but they are delicious and easy to make!

                                                                    

And now for the announcement! Today I registered for the Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon. This is an idea I have been toying with for years now [I talk about it here]. My father is an avid runner and has always inspired me. So 2013 is the year – if you see me training, give me a smile and expect a wave – yes I am one of those dorks that gives the runners salut.

You won’t grow unless you push yourself – get out of your comfort zone, you won’t regret it.

xo Lauren


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Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

A few months ago I received a few silicon muffin tins from a friend, I had been dying to try some new recipes using them but life got in the way and I never really got around to it. Last night I decided to whip up some delicious allergy friendly blueberry muffins. I was inspired by a recipe I found on Pinterest for healthier dairy free muffins but  I chose to try quinoa flour so they would be gluten free. If you are vegan you can substitute the one egg for a flax egg or another vegan egg substitute. I used a combination of natural sweeteners because it was all I had left in the house – it makes for an interesting flavour but is definitely not necessary for the recipe. You could use between 2/3 and 3/4 of a cup of either honey, raw agave, or natural maple syrup instead – depending on how sweet you like your muffins.

Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Inspired by: http://www.squidoo.com/whole-wheat-blueberry-muffin-recipe 

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 3/8 cup natural maple syrup
  • a few drops of stevia if you like your muffins a little sweeter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (could use another milk substitute depending on your preference – or regular milk if lactose isn’t an issue)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg (or vegan egg substitute equivalent)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries  (I prefer fresh because they stay in tact and don’t turn the batter blue)

What to do:

Step 1 – Pre-heat the oven to 400F

Step 2 – Combine the first3 ingredients into a bowl. If you are using quinoa flour, don’t be alarmed by the smell, it isn’t the most pleasant but I promise you won’t taste it!

Step 3 – Melt the coconut oil and set aside, you will add it to the wet ingredients last. Just to clarify, it should be 1/3 of a cup when melted.

Step 4 – Using a large bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients (raw agave, natural maple syrup, stevia, egg, almond milk and apple sauce). Stir together and then add the melted coconut oil. The reason for adding it at the end is that once it touches any ingredient that is wet and cold it will begin to solidify – you want to avoid this.

Step 5 – Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix well with a fork until there are no clumps.

Step 6 – Fold in blueberries.

Step 7 – Grease a metal muffin tin, or use a silicon muffin tin and fill 12 spots to the top. These muffins do not rise much at all.

Step 8 – Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Muffins in the oven!

They should look something like the picture above. Just a tip, if you are using silicon muffin pans, be sure to put them on a baking sheet before filling them. It will be much easier to get them in an out of the oven.

Step 9 – Remove the muffins from the oven after 20 minutes have elapsed. If you used a silicon muffin tin, take them off of the baking sheet to allow them to cool faster and then place the silicon tins of a wire rack. It is important to let them fully cool before removing them. These muffins are very moist and will not come out of the tins easily if they aren’t at room temperature. This is always the hardest part for me. I hate waiting!

Step 10 – Share with friends and enjoy!

NOM NOM NOM!

So there you have it! Dairy and gluten free blueberry muffins (with a vegan option). I must say, for such a healthy muffin, they taste absolutely amazing. If you use the ingredients I used in the same quantities the muffins come in at just under 150 calories each with 3 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbs – not so bad!

Hope you like them as much as I do!