Wow, 2016! Five days in, and it still hasn’t sunk in yet. I hope you are all starting out the year feeling fresh, vibrant, and ready for all the fabulous things in store. As I sit here writing this, the sun is shining brightly into our house as my little one hops around me stopping every so often to take a bite of the carrots from her lunch, and I’m feeling very peaceful and optimistic about the coming year.
This is all despite the fact that day 2 of the new year brought with it a fit of sniffles and sneezes for my little one, which quickly turned into a non-stop runny nose and a low fever. Toddlers with colds are such a heartbreaking sight! Puffy eyes, pink cheeks, and a pitiful little congested voice. My little P hasn’t had a cold since she was baby, and boy I forgot what a challenging task it is to help those itty, bitty, stuffed-up noses breath better. I’ve been sneaking all sorts of feel-better foods and spices into her, including my No-Chicken Noodle Soup, Amber Wellness Milk, and Turmeric Lattes. Plus plenty of water, fresh fruits, and fresh juices. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I even spiced up her banana nice cream with a little turmeric and cinnamon. Thankfully today she’s pretty much back to her old hippity-hoppity self.
I can’t say whether mama’s magic spices shortened her cold, but it put my mind at ease knowing I was doing something. I joined her in eating these foods plus lots of cinnamon ginger and turmeric tea, and I spiked my bowl of veggie noodle soup with loads of raw garlic. I also made sure to take my zinc supplement everyday (I take a calcium, magnesium, zinc supplement, but not consistently), and sucked on a few zinc lozenges. I was determined not to catch this cold! I only had one evening with a headache and a few sneezes, and the next morning my symptoms were gone. I dodged the bullet! I swear by the turmeric cinnamon combination, as well as the raw garlic, and would highly recommend eating plenty of these as soon as you feel those nasty germs starting to take over.
Anywho, about these muffins! I came up with this recipe when my daughter wasn’t feeling much like eating anything, which is most of the time actually, but especially so when she was in the thick of her cold. Even on a good day, she requests cookies or cake at least twice a day. An outside observer would probably think this child gets nothing but sweets all day! Her vegetable aversion and stubborn sweet tooth is a source of great frustration for this healthy food advocate (oh the irony), but I’ve found some ways to grant her requests while still getting something nutritious in her belly. Since she loves anything dry that she can pick up with her hands – think crackers, toast, cookies, granola bars – I’ve found that muffins are a big winner. And I can make them out of all kinds of healthy things, while still getting the picky kid stamp of approval.
These fluffy, bouncy, perfectly moist muffins are made from oats and buckwheat, flax seeds, bananas, dates, and peanut butter. They are oil free and sugar free, though you can add maple syrup for a sweeter, more traditional muffin. I found that even my sweet-tooth daughter liked these just as much when I left it out. You can also add chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins to the batter, or a dollop of fruit jam. I sprinkled on a few dairy free chocolate chips just to the tops of some of the muffins, and it added just enough sweetness and chocolate flavor to illicit a satisfied smile from my daughter’s muffin-filled mouth. Keep them plain and then add on extra nut butter, jam, or coconut oil upon serving. You could also use almond butter instead of peanut butter in the batter.
Here’s wishing you healthy and strong immune systems this cold and flu season. If you find yourself with a tickle in your throat or suddenly sneezy, then take a look at some of my wellness teas, feel better soups, and stay healthy tips. If all else fails… peanut butter banana muffins. And don’t forget the chocolate chips.
Peanut Butter Banana Buckwheat Muffins (vegan, gluten free, sugar free, picky toddler approved)
Makes 6-8 muffins
- 1/2 cup oat flour (grind rolled oats into flour with your blender)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour (grind raw buckwheat groats into flour with blender)
- 1 tablespoon of ground golden flax seed
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1/8 tablespoon of fine sea salt
- dash of cinnamon
- 1 very ripe spotty banana
- 1/3 cup of peanut butter
- 8 dates, pitted and soaked in hot water then drained well
- 6 tablespoons of almond milk, or for sweeter muffins sub in 2-3 tablespoons with maple syrup (ex: 3 TB maple syrup + 3 TB almond milk)
one or two handfuls of chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, or other dried fruit
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prep a muffin pan with paper cups or grease each muffin well.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together well.
- Blend all wet ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour wet into dry and mix until just combined.
- Fold in any optional add ins, or wait and sprinkle chocolate chips on top of batter after dividing it onto muffin pan.
- Using a spatula, divide batter between paper cup lined or greased muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes (check after 15) or when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan several minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.