Sunday, June 5, 2016

date & super-seed olive oil muffins





A lot of life happens in six years - the good, the bad, and the ugly as the saying goes. Some things change and others stay the same. Kids grow up, hair gets greyer, fat gets a new reputation, sugar is the Real Villain, kale has waxed in popularity to be replaced not once or twice but several times by the new 'It' food. One of the things that has remained constant for me is the love I have for these date muffins (the very first recipe I posted back in 2010). The recipe though is one of the things that has changed and so to be fair, I am revisiting it to make the updates. I also must confess that I am afraid that the dear little things didn't get a fair shake way back in the beginning and they are really so so good + so full of really healthful bits that I wanted to give them another shot at some limelight. There is rarely a time that you could check my freezer and not find a bag of these little gems in there. I like them hot and fresh to be sure, but frozen? maybe even better. 

I always make these as mini-muffins now - which means they are exactly 1/4 the size of their bigger counterparts. It also means that they are the perfect size to tuck in for a snack on the go, perfect for little hands, perfect for when I need a little 'something' and the next meal is further away than I want it to be. In my book they are also so delicious that they make a great dessert option on a night I find I just really want something a bit sweet to finish a meal.

The way I organize the details of my history (in my mind) is in relation to the significant, momentous milestones. I place events on the timeline of my life and experience by whether they happened before or after marriage, the births of each one of my five children, and the even larger watershed of before or after Merin's death. Muffins are not terribly critical to place in the scheme of one's life but these were one of the before-Merin things. I made them for her as a healthy, protein-rich snack for after ballet class. At the time she was looking for healthy alternatives to the chocolate bar that she was so often tempted by when she hadn't had time to eat between her school work and dance class (so they pre-date the original post by several years, in case that matters - lol). I think of her laughing as she grabbed a couple on her way out the door to the studio and calling her thanks along with the never forgotten "love you mom!". So I always think (in happy colours) of Merin when I make or eat these. They are part of the texture of my life in a small but happy way.

date & super-seed olive oil muffins

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup milk (or alternative - I use almond or coconut milk)
3/4 cup sprouted whole grain spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup hemp seed
3 Tbsp chia seed
14 medjool dates, pitted and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup prune puree (exactly one small container of baby food prunes)
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/3 cup unflavoured full fat Greek yogurt
optional: 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder*

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine oats and milk and let soak. In a large bowl combine spelt four, baking powder, soda, sea salt, cinnamon, pecans, flaxseed, hemp seeds, chia and dates. To the soaked oats add the eggs, oil, prune puree, palm sugar and yogurt. Stir to combine and add to the dry ingredients. Mix gently to incorporate everything but don't over-mix. Spoon into lined (or buttered) muffin tins. Makes 12 regular muffins or 48 mini-muffins. Bake until firm and golden - about 20 minutes (regular size) or 15 minutes (minis).

* If you opt to add protein powder please choose one that does not include artificial sweetener. I prefer to use stevia sweetened protein powder. Also if you choose a whey based powder I think  it is important to use one from pasture fed cows.