Early Fall Harvest Muffins

by Alexandra London-Gross on September 15, 2014

in Food, Recipe

I have to admit this. I really don’t like the start of fall. Technically we are still in summer for one more week, but the cloudy sky and cooler temperatures are a clear indicator that summer is indeed at it’s end. I might be the only person that really loves the early sun and temperatures in the 80s. Sure, some days in Virginia can be pretty brutal but I still love it. Fall has it’s charms, apples and pumpkin and squash, boots and scarves and sweaters. Sadly fall also means that winter is around the corner, my least favorite three months. Even though I might be holding on to summer for dear life, one of my teacher friends (Hi Cat!) asked for a fall muffin recipe. I blame her early fall cravings on back to school mode. Fortunately, I had several butternut squash in need of us. I made my own squash puree, but these muffins could just as easily be made with pumpkin puree. If using pumpkin, you might want to increase the sugar to 1/2 cup since the squash tends to be naturally sweeter.

Grain-Free Butternut Squash + Apple Muffins

Harvest Muffins

by Alex London-Gross

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: bake bread breakfast dessert snack dairy-free gluten-free paleo almond meal apple butternut squash muffin fall

Ingredients (6 muffins)

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated apples (about 1 + 1/2 apples)
  • raw pepitas (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a muffin tin with liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, ground flax, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and salt.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the butternut squash puree, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla until well combined. Add the eggs and whisk together. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring only until just combined. Gently stir in the grated apples.

Scoop the batter among the muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the pepita seeds, if desired.

Bake the muffins at 375 degrees for 28-30 minutes (for larger muffins), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, before removing them from the pan. Allow to cool completely before storing (best kept in the refrigerator).

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Grain-free Butternut Squash + Apple Muffins

You know my penchant for hiding vegetables in baked goods, but the apples also blend into these muffins. If you want bigger chunks of apples, you could probably cut them into 1/4 inch pieces just be sure to coat them in a bit of almond flour first so the pieces don’t sink to the bottom of the muffin.

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100 minute challenge

by Alexandra London-Gross on September 12, 2014

in Exercise, Health

Alright. How is it September 12th today?!? I don’t even know what has happened to the last 30 days of my life.

While September might be half over, I’m challenging all of my friends to join in a 30 day challenge to hold a plank for 100 minutes. I first saw Heather post something on Instagram about a plank challenge and thought it would be a fun way to challenge myself. I’m deepening my commitment by not including any of the Pure Barre classes I take. That’s right, those 90 seconds are not counting towards my total. I started this on the 8th and will try to hit my 100 minutes by October 7th.

Why plank? Either straight or forearm planks work the abs in the way they are intended to function. This exercise maintains stability of your core muscles, which support proper posture. Your entire body is activated from shoulders to hips, targeted the entire abdominal floor. Not only do planks strengthen the core, but also shoulders and hips. Adding in variations like side arm plank also help to improve balance. (Click here for tips on perfect plank position and variations.) Bigger benefit: no need for a gym, equipment or even gym clothes. Just drop and plank whenever you can!

plankchallenge

I try to mix it up. I typically start on my forearms, transition to straight, each side and back to forearms.

Who’s up for 100 minutes of core work?

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