Today we are discussing healthy baking options. I know ..... shock, horror, there will be no butter, sugar or (shudder) frosting involved! (insert gasp here)
You see I've been on a bit of a health kick of late and although I indulged in a range of sugary and buttery delights on Sunday whilst celebrating my daughter Emily's 6th birthday I knew that come Monday morning it was time to get back on track.
I have committed myself to a 14 day slim down challenge. This involves completing regular exercise challenges and completing a 'clean eating' program.
If your wondering what exactly I've gotten myself into, Clean eating is about eating foods in their most natural state. This means avoiding processed foods, foods with loads of preservatives, foods with lots of added sugar, and foods with high levels of bad fats (some saturated fats/all trans fats). Its about eating unrefined, whole-grains, lots of fresh vegetables, drinking plenty of water or other no-calorie drinks and making healthy cooking choices, such as baking, steaming, and light sauteing whenever possible.
I know, I know, sugar is not exactly clean. But, I am allowed one free meal a week so I'm just going to have to make do with some experimental healthy 'clean' baking until the weekend.
So last night I began my experiments. My aim was to come up with a muffin that I could use as one of my high protein snacks post workout. I had visited my local health food store and bought a few ingredients not really knowing what I intended to create but purchased them more based on the health benefits of the items. I left the store with whole flaxseed (otherwise known as linseed), chia seeds, raw cacao nibs and no added sugar apple sauce.
After much thought I decided on 2 flavour combinations, banana and flaxseed, and orange, cacao and chia.
The banana a flaxseed was a complete success although the orange, cacao and chia muffins were made with oat flour (ground rolled oats) and were a little to dense for my liking so I will keep working on them because the flavour combination was a success.
Back to the banana and flaxseed muffins. Considering they have no butter, no flour and no sugar they are delicious, filling, and the exact same texture as a regular full fat, full sugar muffin.
Flaxseed is known to assist in burning body fat, being high in omega-3s and charged with fibre, these little seeds can really fire up your metabolism. Bananas are a storehouse of essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, dietary fibre and B vitamins and with the added benefit of protein powder these muffins fill you up.
So make yourself some of these fantastic healthy muffins, even my children love them!