Every year, as winter comes to a close, I have a surge of energy… and panic. With warmer temperatures on the horizon, I feel the pressure to fight my way back into summer shape, quick.
A few years ago, I attempted The Paleo Diet. Described by biochemist and Paleo enthusiast, Robb Wolf, the Paleo Diet is “the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic!” It includes lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds; fuel for the fittest caveperson. To clarify, in a “nutshell” this excludes grains, refined sugar, salt, dairy, chocolate, wine, and basically all the other foods that make life worth living.
After doing a bit of research, I noticed a few frequently used ingredients in Paleo baked goods. The most common I found were dates, ripe bananas, and sweet potatoes, used as natural sweeteners. Through some experimentation, I discovered that if you mash these three ingredients together, and combine them with eggs and almond butter, you get the sweet taste and bread-like texture of muffins. After five weeks without grains or sugar, this made for one thrilling discovery. The other super cool fact about these muffins is that my husband and three year-old like them too. My daughter loved mashing the banana and cracking the eggs. She also loved smelling the spices, and couldn’t wait to taste the finished product after watching the muffins bake in the oven.
So, have your muffins and eat them too, without compromising your taste buds or your hard-earned abs! Alongside a frothy Paleo cappuccino (see recipe below), a muffin for Monday morning breakfast feels much less like a diet and more like a special occasion.
Bonus Recipe! Paleo Cappuccino:
One cup of freshly brewed black coffee
1 teaspoon coconut oil
With an immersion blender, or regular blender, blend hot coffee and coconut oil on high for 10-15 seconds. The coffee will lighten in color, and become thick and frothy. The coconut oil magically takes the bitterness out of the black coffee and gives it a mildly sweet flavor. **Tip: The froth begins to disappear a few minutes after blending, so enjoy right away.