When deciding upon a post-yoga snack, you want something made with healthy ingredients that will provide nourishment to build strength and repair the body. But you also want it to fill you up and taste great, and I’ve created just the thing: a jacked-up, super-powered muffin!
My yoga muffin recipe combines real, whole foods and seasonal flavours that deliver a high-protein, high-fibre, antioxidant-rich snack that's also free of dairy, refined sugar and gluten. But don't let all those nutrition buzzwords scare you; I assure you it tastes great too (it passed the test of the anti-health-food people in my life).
So skip the lattes and protein bars full of ingredients your body has no idea what to do with, and reach for this dense, satisfying and healthy muffin instead. Learn more about the amazing health benefits of these pumpkin spiced apple muffins:
Pumpkin: As one of the richest sources of carotenoids, and a strong antioxidant, pumpkin helps reduce inflammation and heal your body from the stress of your workout session. It’s high in fibre and the B6 content helps regulate blood sugar levels, preventing spikes in insulin. It's also a great source of vitamin A, C, and manganese. Click here for even more health benefits of pumpkin and a yummy pumpkin seed recipe.
Apples: Apples are perfect to bake with because they provide natural moisture and sweetness allowing you to leave the oil, butter and refined white sugar out. High amounts of fibre prevent the natural sugars from sending your blood sugar on a roller-coaster ride, and they contribute to longer feelings of fullness. Fall is also apple season, so crisp, juicy apples are easy to find. Tip: Try to buy organic whenever possible as apples are among the most pesticide-laden produce. For more on the many health benefits of apples and how they can beat belly fat click here.
Buckwheat flour: Contrary to what its name suggests, there is no wheat in buckwheat. It is, in fact, a seed and not a grain at all, making it gluten-free and safe for celiac and gluten-sensitive individuals. Buckwheat is high in antioxidants, fibre and magnesium, a mineral that will help relax muscles after exercise.
Pumpkin seeds (and pumpkin seed butter): A great plant-based source of protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids, these seeds are great post workout for building muscle and reducing inflammation. Their high zinc content also boosts the immune system and promotes collagen formation.
Cinnamon: Due to its high levels of chromium (which also helps to fight carb cravings), cinnamon does wonders for regulating our blood sugar levels. Adding this spice also improves your ability to respond to insulin, which over time can help lower the risk of diabetes. Besides all of that, what other flavour combo screams fall more than pumpkin, apples and cinnamon?
Hemp: These little guys pack a lot of nutrition punch and they have such a mild flavour that you can add them to almost anything to get an extra hit of protein, fibre, omega-3’s and antioxidants. Read more about the mighty hemp seed here.
Maple syrup: A great all-natural sugar alternative, maple syrup is unprocessed and super-high in minerals. If you're going to make something sweet, you might as well add some nutrients while you're at it. Plus, when paired with the other high-fibre ingredients in this muffin it has less of an effect on your blood sugar levels so as not to ruin our yoga buzz . . . ommmm.
Cinnamon pumpkin spiced apple muffins
Wet 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (100 percent pumpkin, no extras) 1 cup apple, grated 1/3 cup pumpkin seed butter 3 eggs ½ cup maple syrup
Dry 1 ½ cup oats (make sure to get ones that specifically state not contaminated with gluten if that is an issue for you) ½ cup buckwheat flour 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut 3 tbsp hemp hearts 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp ground ginger ½ tsp ground cloves ½ tsp ground nutmeg ½ tsp sea salt 1 ½ baking powder
Pumpkin seed topping Large handful of pumpkin seeds 1 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp olive oil pinch of sea salt
Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. In a large mixing bowl add all the wet ingredient and stir to combine
3. Add the dry ingredients and stir, making sure you get an even, consistent batter
4. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
5. Grease muffin tins using either coconut oil, olive oil, or organic butter or use squares or parchment paper to line tins (as shown in picture)
6. Fill 12 tin with batter and top each with a small amount of pumpkin seed topping
7. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 1 hour (cooking time may vary according to oven)
8. Let cool and enjoy!
Makes 12 muffins
Tara Miller is a Toronto-based holistic nutritionist. Her educational background is from The Institute of Holistic Nutrition combined with a degree in psychology from the University of Guelph. This combination allows Tara to address the challenges individuals face when it comes to everyday healthy living. Tara is also the owner of the Health Hut Boutique in Muskoka where she offers effective and toxic-free beauty, household and specialty food items. You can follow her blog for holistic recipes and tips at taramillernutrition.com.
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