Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Clean Pumpkin Spiced Muffins

I have been reading much information in regards to not just eating healthy but eating clean. The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it's a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life.  We have been working towards eliminating grocery items that we normally purchased from the center of the grocery store. With this approach I have been making homemade..almost everything from soups, sauces, and baked items using natural organic ingredients.  We cleaned out the pantry and rid ourselves of granulated sugar, anything pre-made like pasta sauces, spagettios, ravioli, granola bars, and fast side foods in packages (Sidekicks, UncleBens rice, etc).  We have replaced these items with fruits, vegetables, baking ingredients in their more natural state (honey, quinoa flour, almond flour, pure maple syrup etc) and I use these natural foods to make our family meals and snacks.  The first thing that people say to me about this change is, "don't you miss the convenience these pre-made and pre-packaged foods provide?" Yes, when I go back to teaching in September, it will a challenge to maintain this lifestyle because it requires you to spend some time in the kitchen.  Food has evolved into fast, convenient,  and ready to go for the working household.  The problems is with these types of food is the ingredients listed are foreign to us. We assume they are good for our bodies because they are "low in saturated fats and trans fats" and  "FDA Approved".  In reality we are putting genitically modified organisms and chemicals that preserve food to give longer shelf lives and make food produce quickly for the demands of our over eating wasteful society.  People are finding it hard to believe that our government would allow such toxicity in our food but Canada and the US are two of the very FEW countries on this planet that allow GMO's in food.  No one else wants their food contaminated.  We are a rich society and this type of food producing is big money.  Another question that I have been asked is, "how do you afford to shop organically when organic products are more expensive?"  Being honest, we have not noticed the difference in our budget because we are not buying the things that we normally bought.  We shop MOSTLY on the outside of the store. I buy canned tomatoes, coconut milk, organic chicken broth, honey, maple syrup, and any essential spices or baking items I need from the center of the grocery store and that's it.

I am not a preacher, I am just a teacher that is learning alot and want to share with you.  It will be hard when I go back to work to keep it up but I will make it work because I am interested in my family's over all health and well being.  Not to mention; it's homemade cooking and I have never been been a good cook.  I am now learning and my family is very happy with it. 

Here is a recipe for pumpkin muffins from The Gracious Pantry.

Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins
(Makes approximately 30 mini muffins)
Note: making larger muffins is not recommended. This batter works far better when made as mini muffins.
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (no sugar added)
2 egg whites
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup apple sauce (no sugar added)
2 tbsp. safflower oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 (15 oz. can) pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
Step 1 – In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and pumpkin spice.
Step 2 – In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.
Step 3 – Combine the liquid into the flour and stir until smooth.
Step 4 – Spoon into mini muffin tins (I used non-stick with a light spray of olive oil).
Step 5 – Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-50 minutes.
Step 6 – Allow to cool and enjoy!

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