I don’t know what I’d do without snacks. Granola bars, fruit, string cheese, and handfuls of nuts sustain me between meals. There’s nothing wrong with having a snack, as far as I’m concerned, and in a lot of cases it’s absolutely necessary to keep body and brain going!
My morning snacks are usually some kind of granola bar, lately these, a handful of trail mix, or various more complicated things ifÂ I’m at home.Â It’s protein and healthyÂ fat that keeps me going through the rest of the morning.
After weeks of packing the same snacks for all my work days I finally got sick of them last week. Not only was I bored withÂ whatÂ I was eating, but I was also tired of spending money on pre-made snacks.Â The solution: make muffins!
Last weekend was a relatively quiet one – perfect for baking. Lee was invited to race on a boat on Saturday and had to work all day Sunday (ah, startups). I stayed home and relaxed with the dog. That was probably our last weekend at home for a while so I soaked up the leisure time while I could. I thought about projects that need doing but didn’t really accomplish much. Finally planting our backyard herb garden still had me feeling accomplished from the weekend before.
On Sunday I pulled various ingredients out of my ugly pantry cupboards (I swear I’m going to rip those things out one of these days. That’s one of those projects…). I made something new that I hoped wouldÂ meet my morning snack needs for the coming week. With trail mix as my inspiration and chocolate as my canvas, I chopped, stirred, andÂ sprinkled my way to chocolate trail mix muffins.
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 1/4 cup hemp protein powder (or your preferred protein powder, or another 1/4 cup flour)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- 6 prunes, chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- If your coconut oil is solid, measure 1/4 cup into a small oven-proof dish and place in the oven to liquify while the oven preheats.
- In a large bowl, combine flours, protein powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder, stirring with a whisk or fork until ingredients are completely combined
- Separately, lightly beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl. Then add the buttermilk, sugar, and oil (you may want to allow the oil to cool for a couple of minutes after taking it out of the oven).
- Thoroughly blend wet ingredients before stirring in almond extract.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir gently until barely combined.
- Add almonds, sunflower seeds, and prunes and fold into batter, being careful not to over stir.
- Spoon batter into a prepared muffin tin (lined with paper or silicon muffin cups or coated with oil).
- Sprinkle the muffin tops with shredded coconut.
- Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until muffins are firm and the coconut has just begun to brown.
- Remove muffins from oven and cool on a wire rack.