Healthy Cravings Recap for March

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Recently I hosted my monthly Healthy Cravings group. I often get questions about this group so I thought I’d address the most common. This is a local group hosted at my home in Mesa, Arizona. Many people are curious about what we eat and I thought an in home demonstration would be the best way to address questions but also show how good our food is. I hosted my first food demo last summer, planning to have more when ladies from my church asked if I would be interested in holding them as part of our Women’s Ministries. I thought it sounded like a great idea. Our Women’s Ministries groups include a book club, a jewelry making group, and a crafting group to name a few.

Most of the women who come are from my church but several are friends I’ve known outside of church, and now some are local ladies who I’ve connected with through this blog. Each month has a different food theme, March was Breakfast. There are women who come who are not plant-based but want to eat healthy, others have allergies which I accommodate, and some have successfully transitioned to plant-based eating.

The purpose of the group is to be a support system and information center for ladies interested in plant-based living. Of course having a smorgasbord available doesn’t hurt things. I often tell people it is a bit like preparing Thanksgiving every month. There is a recommended donation of $5 but it is not required. I never want money to stand in the way of someone coming.

Oatmeal Bar

Last month I served breakfast including an oatmeal and quinoa bar that featured diced strawberries, fresh blueberries, chia seeds, walnuts, raisins, and dried cranberries. Baked Sweet Potatoes, Breakfast Tacos, Savory Breakfast Muffins with a side of salsa, Blueberry Muffins and Banana Bread were also available. My friend Steffi made some incredible chocolate muffins too!

HC March breakfast tacos

HC March blueberry muffins

HC March savory muffins

The next Healthy Cravings will be meeting next week. We are having a Top Chef/Chopped Style contest with celebrity judge Danny Collier! Danny is a Plant Based Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer, Speaker, and Model. I’ll have an interview coming up with him in the next few weeks. In the mean time you can follow him on Facebook.

Do you belong to any local plant-based groups? They can be a great resource for local support. To find one in your area check Meet Up or just google “plant-based groups” in your area.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

Welcome to My Plant-Based Family! Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you are enjoying the Virtual Vegan Potluck. If you stopped by my page and aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about you are in for a treat. Over 100 bloggers are each “bringing” a dish to the potluck today. Just follow the links at the end of this post or click here to start at the beginning.

We have been eating a plant-based diet for 1 year. Last spring we found out my youngest son’s skin issues were the result of gluten. Thankfully he doesn’t have to miss out on delicious baked goods. I’m happy to report that this recipe is kid tested and approved! Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you, this recipe is easily made with pantry staples. If you don’t need to eat gluten-free but really want a delicious pumpkin filled treat check out the Pumpkin Bread or these Pumpkin Cupcakes.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 ripe banana (I defrosted a frozen banana)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin or 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Do

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F and prepare your muffin pan, I use non-stick cooking spray (the only time I ever use oil).
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, except optional chocolate chips.
  3. Mix all wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until mixed well.
  5. If using chocolate chips, add now.
  6. Scoop batter into muffin tins until almost full.
  7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. If making mini muffins bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

Serve

These muffins are delicious and quite possibly the most delicious gluten-free muffin I’ve ever tasted.  They are perfect for a snack, but could also be eaten for breakfast or if you add chocolate chips a decadent dessert. Most of the gluten-free baking I’ve done doesn’t taste so great the next day but these pass the two-day test with flying colors. I’m taking them to a baby shower this weekend, if I can keep by kids from eating them all.

If you are looking for more gluten-free muffin recipes check out these Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins or Gluten-Free Apple Muffins.

Please continue through the potluck, after all you don’t want to miss a single dish do you?

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Oh yes I did! The little bites are pure deliciousness. Trust me I wouldn’t make this stuff up. These did not taste gluten-free. I think they are Food Demo worthy for all of my GF friends out there.

I even put some of them in the freezer because in my experience gluten-free baked goods are only tasty for a couple of days. Hopefully the freezer will give those little muffins a second chance to make my mouth happy.

If you are insane not a chocolate lover these are good without the chocolate chips. In fact when I make them I usually mix up the batter without the chocolate chips then scoop out half the muffins then add chocolate chips to the remaining muffin batter. Let’s face it, chocolate chips on a hot day are messy.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1 tbsp egg replacer*
  • 4 tbsp water*
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (optional) I use Enjoy Life brand Chocolate chips
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of nuts (optional)

* I have made GF Apple Muffins without egg replacer and they worked just fine. You could use flax eggs if you wanted. In the GF Apple Muffins they looked and tasted good without adding either. This time I just wanted to try it. So don’t fret if you don’t have egg replacer.

Do

  1. In one medium mixing bowl mix the dry ingredients (Brown rice flour through cinnamon) and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add applesauce and sugar and mix.
  3. Add mashed bananas and vanilla to the wet mixture and mix.
  4. In a small bowl ( I used a measuring cup) add 4 tbsp warm water and 1 tbsp egg replacer and mix until frothy.
  5. Add the frothy “eggs” and the plant milk then stir.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well, add more milk if necessary.
  7. Add the optional chocolate chips (or nuts) and stir well.
  8. Fill paper lined muffin cups until 3/4 full.
  9. Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 20 minutes or mini muffins for 15 minutes.
  10. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick, it is done once the toothpick comes out clean.

Serve

These are best eaten the same day they are baked. They are sweet enough to be dessert but also not too sweet to pass for brunch or a snack. I love making them in the mini muffin pan, the only problem is that I pop them in my mouth without thinking about it. So good!

Virtual Vegan Potluck:Gluten-Free Apple Muffins

Welcome to My Plant-Based Family, Virtual Vegan Potluck Edition. I hope you’re enjoying yourself so far. If you want to start from the beginning check out Vegan Bloggers Unite! There are about 60 bloggers attending so clear your schedule and sit down for a fun time.

Today I’m bringing Gluten-Free Apple Muffins to the potluck. They are divine and you simply must try one or three! They are moist and delicious,  you really can’t tell they are gluten-free or vegan.

I recently took them to an event and little children were running up to me asking for more so there are definitely kid approved, a few kids even followed me outside as I was leaving with their cute little hands out.

Gluten-Free Apple Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c brown rice flour
  • 6 Tbsp potato starch
  • 6 Tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c water, you can also use orange or apple juice
  • 1 c diced apple

Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium size bowl mix together the first four ingredients.
  3. Add the dry ingredients, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. 
  4. In a large bowl mash banana then add applesauce, sugar, vanilla and  water. Mix wet ingredients. 
  5. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just mixed. 
  6. Gently stir in diced apples.
  7. Spoon batter into paper lined muffin cups or use a non-stick pan. 
  8. Bake until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean. I baked mini muffins for about 15 minutes and regular sized muffins for about 20 minutes. 
Serve
These are a great addition to brunch, a midday snack or dessert. The only problem with the mini muffins is that they are incredibly easy to toss in your mouth without thinking about it. These should be stored at room temperature in a covered container.  They did not last too long at our house so I’m not sure how they taste after a few days. 🙂
Don’t stop now, you can go forward or back from here to enjoy the rest of the potluck!

How Much is that Muffin in the Window

One of the stores I shop at most often is called Fresh & Easy and it is indeed fresh and easy. It is the closes store to my house. I could walk there if I had to but I usually just stop in on my way home. I can get in and out in 15 minutes and that is if I go down every isle. They are usually well stocked with almond and coconut milk (although they have stopped carrying soy creamer-BOO!) They have fresh produce and an amazing clearance section. They also have a lot of ready made foods that are pretty darn good, including their spicy hummus, yum!

Recently they started carrying some vegan muffins made with super food. I’ve wanted to try them but I did want to spend the money if I didn’t like them. A good friend of mine bought some yesterday and brought them to our Bible study. I was excited to get a taste but I acted cool and didn’t pounce on them immediately. After a few more minutes had passed I put one on my plate, peeled back the paper and took a small bite. I can not tell you how glad I was that it was only a small bite because they tasted awful. There was no hiding the look on my face although I did refrain from spiting it out. Maybe they were not so bad, I was just expecting something sweet and I vaguely remember the package they came in saying something about fruit, I could see raisins or something, but alas no sweetness. 

When my friend inquired as to how they tasted I just said, “these do not taste like MY MUFFINS.” The other muffins sat neatly on the table the whole time. If the weird one of the group (ME) wouldn’t eat them was their really a chance for anyone else.

Have you had an experience like that? Excitement to try a new product or dish only to be very disappointed. It also happened to me Sunday night when I tried freeze dried veggies-Bleck!