Monday, August 22, 2011

Muffin Mania

I have to admit, I have been on a "muffin" kick lately.  And before you start wondering, I"m not talking about the type of muffins that send your insulin levels through the roof - do you really want to eat 650+ sugar-preservatives-additives-heart-disease-causing calories in one muffin?! 
Ok, so I am in no way suggesting you need to count calories (gasp!) when you're eating nutritionally dense, grain/sugar/additive/preservative-free.  But when you're eating the better realize exactly the amount of empty calories you're consuming.

But I digress....

Why the muffin kick??
Because there are SO many variety of muffin-sized meals that pack a huge nutritional punch in a small amount of neatly encapsulated space.  Try to think outside the conventional box when it comes to cooking your meals.  I have experimented with several meals - some turned out to be mouth-watering marvels that were pleasing to the eye and satisfying to the taste buds, and some were complete and utter failures in terms of aesthetics but since I am fortunate to have an I-don't-care-what-it-looks-like-just-feed-me kinda hubby, it made no difference since it still tasted like meatloaf (yes, meatloaf muffins - brilliant idea, eh?)

This unpretentious bundle is deliciously simple and you can add or delete as many ingredients that suit your taste buds.

3 tblsp ghee or coconut oil (organic, grass fed ghee is outstanding!)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 oz. baby spinach (rinse, rinse, rinse!)
8 eggs
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (preferably w/o guar gum)
2 Tbs. coconut flour
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved (fresh out of the garden or farmer's market - you will NOT regret that!)
6 ounces of Prosciutto (di Parma is awesome - get good quality and make sure to have them slice it paper thin!)
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 and prepare 12 large muffin cups by brushing them with coconut oil or ghee.  I like to use my stoneware for muffin meals.

Finely dice mushrooms (I poured mine in the food processor, 3-4 pulses did the trick!)

Saute onions (again - finely diced in food processor - fast!) until they are translucent

Add mushrooms and garlic to onions and continue cooking until all moisture from mushrooms is gone - season with salt and pepper to taste

Meanwhile, line your muffin cups with thinly sliced prosciutto, making sure you cover bottoms and sides

For filling; whisk eggs until well beaten, add mushroom mixture, coconut milk, coconut flour, and spinach and gently mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour evenly into 12 muffin cups and top with a few slices of cherry tomatoes

Bake for 20 minutes (keep an eye on them towards the end so they don't burn)

Stay tuned for a future muffin recipe that will fuel your endurance workouts/events lasting over 2 hours.
This summer, I completed 3 grueling running/biking events that lasted 2-4 hours with mini muffins for fuel and simply water for hydration that worked beautifully without the all-too-common GI issues one often experiences with GU's and sports drinks.

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