Happy Monday, dear ones! I mentioned at the end of the Rest Retreat wanting to narrow my focus and post more consistently with regard to more homemaking topics on Homesong, and sharing food our family enjoys is one thing I plan on incorporating more of into the flow of this space. I aim to share one meal or recipe with you each week, talking a bit about how we as mothers, caretakers, and homemakers can approach food in a way that not only fills our families up, but does so in a wholesome and nourishing way. I know how cooking three meals for a family (either big or small) can feel like a chore sometimes – I swear my kids never stop asking for snacks! – but I also know that preparing what we eat with intention and care can also be an empowering opportunity to heal and nourish ourselves from the inside out.
It’s also worth noting that by eating more consciously, rather than of eating in a rush out of pre-packaged boxes and plastics, we are doing important work by choosing to walk a more gentle, sustainable and earth-friendly path. The recipes I will be sharing here are mindful ones that will take several things into account. First off, the food I’ll continue to share will be recipes our family really enjoys eating! What’s the point of posting recipes in the first place if they don’t actually taste good? This to me is the most important aspect of cooking, because I love food and I love to eat. As Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people,” and I happen to agree with her. I live to eat, not eat to live, and these recipes will be a reflection of that philosophy. I also want to talk more about how making food with care doesn’t and shouldn’t translate into being fancy, expensive, or an unattainable luxury. I find fulfillment in honoring good, honest food using simple preparation methods that give us comfort, energy, and nutrition.
Future foods posts will also go into greater detail about food preparation, because knowing how to execute several basic food preparation methods can really expand your home cooking repertoire. Let’s get familiar with some techniques, friends! And like most of my content here, the recipes I share will be tethered to the seasons, ones that better connect us to the earth and give us a chance to slow down a bit. To me, eating well is about eating with passion and care, and it all starts in the kitchen. Let’s kick off this little food adventure with morning muffins, shall we?!
Our family is all about muffins this winter. Do you have a muffin lovin’ crew? Kids aside, I love them and always have. Lately I’ve been really into trying new combinations of healthy ingredients for various morning muffins. I enjoy the creative process of changing this ingredient out for that one, and seeing how the end result plays out. These carrot muffins win the prize for healthiest + tastiest so far! From start to finish they take about 40 minutes to prepare and bake with minimal clean up. I usually make a batch over the weekend and then we’re set for the week ahead with a quick breakfast or snack item that’s not only nutritious but something they love and look forward to. Knowing hectic mornings are on the horizon makes this simple recipe a good one to have I your back pocket.
Out of all the healthy muffin recipes I’ve tested, this one has been the biggest hit with the kids as well. Alfie calls them donuts and would eat five in a row if I let him! They remind me of spiced carrot cake, minus the raisins and frosting, which of course you could add if you’d like but I don’t think they need them. My kids are also kind of picky when it comes to eating large nuts, so I opted out of adding walnuts which I think would make a nice addition to this muffin as well. Perhaps I’ll finely crush them and add some to my next batch?
Spiced Carrot Quinoa Morning Muffins
Gather Your Ingredients:
- 2 cups almond flour (or whole wheat flour if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup ground flax
- 1 cup cooked quinoa or 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa (you can add it either cooked or uncooked – if uncooked your muffins will have a little crunch, which I like!)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 farm eggs (substitute ground flax or chia seeds if going the vegan route. 1 tablespoon chia seeds + 2.5 tablespoons water + soak for 15-20 minutes in the fridge = 1 chia egg)
- 1/2 cup grade A maple syrup
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup applesauce (0r pear sauce if you preserved a bunch like I did!)
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or any other nut milk you have on hand)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots (about 4-5 large carrots)
To prepare: Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients together each in separate bowls. Once each bowl has been mixed, combine the two and mix well. Bake the muffins at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Store in a glass container, or they will freeze up to 3 months if you plan on making a larger batch.
The ingredients above are vegan and gluten-free friendly if that’s the baking route you are accustomed to following, but know can definitely get creative with substitutions if you have other things on hand, say whole milk in lieu of nut milk. And one more thing, these muffins are really good when made with zucchini as well. Yes, vegetable muffins that taste good! You can swap one cup of carrots for one cup of grated zucchini and they will turn out beautifully, with a little less carroty flavor. It’s a fantastic way to sneak veggies into my kid’s diet, and into my own when I need a healthy energy boost! These muffins are also great additions to school lunches, snacks after school, and a bedtime treat. Enjoy!