In honor of my kids starting 8th and 2nd grade today, I'm posting one of their school lunch favorites: muffins. Muffins are great because they can hide a whole host of healthy ingredients kids otherwise wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. You can also make a double batch, freeze the extras and have a ready-to-go lunch for those really hectic mornings (that's every morning in my house).
These muffins can be vegan, gluten-free and nut-free, too. If you want them to be completely vegan, swap out the eggs with 1/4 cup almond milk mixed with 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed. Let it sit for 5 - 10 minutes then mix in with the wet ingredients.
The recipe below already uses gluten-free flour but the same amount of sprouted or whole wheat flour can be used as well.
For nut-free: replace almond milk with rice or hemp milk and the almond butter with sunflower seed butter.
A couple a quick notes on the ingredients: make sure you are buying aluminum-free baking soda- you don't want it in your deodorant and you don't want it in your food, either. According to Dr. Weil, aluminum can be harmful to kidneys and may weaken bones. The Alzheimer connection with aluminum is still up in the air- but why risk it when there are aluminum-free options out there?
If You Care brand baking cups are bleach-free, use sustainable forestry practices and, best yet, are compostable. You can find them here.
Almond Butter and Jelly Muffins
Living Life Granola
1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
3/4 tsp salt
1 pastured egg
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup almond butter,
1/3 cup juice-sweetened jelly, divided
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix egg, maple syrup, almond milk and almond butter together until smooth- can also use an immersion blender if the almond butter is too chunky. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just moistened. Fill muffin pans 2/3 full and using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, press a hole in the top of each muffin to fill with jelly. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
These were taste-tested and approved by my 13 year old, 7 year old, 1 year old and my biggest kid of all, the 35 year old... so these can also make great office lunches, too! Just add some trail mix and veggie sticks and lunch is done in a snap. Quick, healthy and affordable, too. Happy new school year everyone!