My friend’s dad challenged me to re-create his fave breakfast: raisin bran muffins. Let me start off by telling you that the ingredients in his faves aren’t exactly the cleanest: soybean &/or canola oil, raisins coated in canola oil, brown sugar, xanthan gum, artificial flavour, soy lecithin & refined flour. He swears by them ‘cause they’re great for keeping things flowing, if y’all know what I mean.
BUT, you can imagine that despite their effects on his digestion, I was less than pleased when I read the ingredients list & decided I would try to re-create them in healthier form, all while preserving the digestive health perks. I tried to explain to him that even though the muffins were doing wonders for him (or so he said) digestion-wise, the ingredients were doing way less than that for the rest of his body & his overall gut health in the long-run (cue: artificial flavour, xanthan gum, refined sugar, hydrogenated oils). I also explained to him that the muffins were most probably causing severe blood sugar spikes & crashes due to their high refined sugar content. And low & behold, he told me that was something he experienced often a few hours after eating the muffins. CRAZY, right?
My version is full of psyllium husks & wheat germ. Wheat germ is the embryo of the wheat plant. Basically, take all of the nourishing vitamins, minerals and nutrients found in the wheat kernel (think: folate, zinc, other B complex vitamins, phosphorus, manganese & selenium) cram them together & you have the wheat germ. The kernel that contains the germ is generally stripped away during the refining process that converts the whole-grains into white flour because the fat in the kernel can go rancid & shorten shelf-life. Crazy, right?
Some of the benefits of wheat germ are:
- high in antioxidants
- promotes regularity & gut health
- boosts heart health + stabilizes blood sugar
- full of protein & healthy anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids
- boosts immunity, stamina & performance
These muffins are nutritious, delicious, great for regularity, baked to perfection & crumbly on the outsides & moist & chewy on the inside! And most of all, they’re the perfect example that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Take your favourite healthy cookie box & read the ingredients list, do the same for your fave muffins, brownies, cakes, crackers (you get it…) & GET TO THINKING: HOW CAN I MAKE THIS HEALTHIER WITHOUT COMPROMISING FLAVOUR?! I promise you guys, there is ALWAYS a way (especially when the will is there!).
Now, without further ado, let’s talk about how to make these babies, which BTW, are delicious topped with some creamy nut butter!
- 3/4 cup wheat germ
- 3/4 cup psyllium husks
- 1 cup almond milk (or other plant-based milk or milk of choice)
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup meted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup date sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup (or yacon or coconut flower syrup)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup organic unsweetened raisins
- 1 cup gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- Coconut oil cooking spray OR parchment liners
- Preheat your oven to 350F & line a muffin tin with liners or spray with coconut oil cooking spray.
- Add all the batter ingredients to a bowl & mix until combined & incorporated.
- Portion the batter into the lined/greased muffin tray.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes, until the tops are browned & crumbly.
- Remove the muffins from oven, let cool in the tray for 10 minutes & remove gently.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for optimal freshness!