Julie’s Blueberry & Apple Muffins

muffins

Julie’s Blueberry and Apple Muffins

I’m lucky to have the lovely Julie Meek, well respected peak performance specialist and dietician, as my guest recipe blogger this week. Julie is going to share with us her delicious Blueberry and Apple muffin recipe, which is a favourite with her family. These tasty muffins are easy to whip up and contain plenty of healthy ingredients. Eating apples regularly is a great way to keep a healthy heart, as they are rich in pectin, a type of fibre beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels. Apples and blueberries are full of immune-boosting vitamin C, and potent antioxidants that help fight free radicals that increase premature ageing and the risk of many chronic diseases. Coconut oil contains healthy fats that can be used by the body easily for energy production, and also help improve brain function. Coconut oil is considered a thermogenic food that can help give your metabolism a boost.

Ingredients

Wet Mix:
2 cups grated apple
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/3 cup raw honey
½ cup cold pressed coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or essence

Dry mix
2 cup wholemeal SR flour
¼ tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon powder

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Thoroughly combine the wet ingredients.
3. Combine the dry mix ingredients and then add to the wet mix.
4. Gently fold through the blueberries.
5. Place the mixture into a prepared 12-hole muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

0932smallJulie Meek (Peak performance Specialist and Dietitian). Its true, Julie Meek is an Accredited Practising Dietitian – but there’s a lot more to Julie than food. Julie worked for many years with The Dockers, Perth Wildcats and athletes at the WA Institute of Sport. She has helped thousands achieve personal and business success through eating well and implementing the strategies of the elite sports person. Julie’s 20+ years of experience and qualifications enable her to deliver the most current and groundbreaking information available. Julie is the resident ‘nutrition and performance’ expert with a regular segment on 6PR and the author of “truth, lies & chocolate” and “Ready, Set…Go”.

 

Follow Julie:
Instagram @juliemeek1
www.facebook.com/julie.meek

Healthy Granola

 

This nutritious and very moorish granola is an excellent way to start your day. It contains lots of dietary fibre to help keep you regular, and beta-glucan, a type of fibre found in oats, that helps keep your cholesterol levels down. It also supplies you with plenty of zinc to strengthen your immunity, good fats for a healthy heart and good memory, and magnesium and B vitamins which are needed for energy production. Magnesium and B vitamins are also your best ‘anti-stress’ nutrients, that help you deal with being busy and stressed in a healthier way. Oats are also a lovely nourishing and calming food for the nervous system. This granola is perfect served with a handful of fresh berries and almond milk, or with a good spoonful of organic natural yoghurt. It makes a great topping for stewed fruit and yoghurt.

 

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats

½ cup pepitas and sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons flaxseeds

1 cup mixed raw nuts (Brazil, walnut, almonds, cashew)

1 cup coconut flakes

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup maple syrup or raw honey

3 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

½ cup dates, sliced

1 tablespoon goji berries

 

Method: 

Set oven to 180*C. Place grease proof paper on an oven tray.

In a small saucepan on low heat melt coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Place all other ingredients (except dried fruit) in a large bowl, then add coconut oil mix, and gentle mix through.

Pour muesli mixture onto oven tray and spread out evenly.

Place in oven for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.

Allow to cool, then add dates and goji berries. This muesli keeps well for the week in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Gluten-free Banana & Walnut Custard Puddings

I was experimenting in the kitchen yesterday for something yummy to give my family after dinner, and I came up with these heavenly little gluten-free ‘banana & walnut custard puddings’. They’re packed with protein and full of nutritious ingredients like almonds and walnuts which are a great source of brain healthy fats, along with calcium and vitamin E. Banana’s are loaded with potassium to help keep your blood pressure down and B vitamins for energy. Using coconut oil is a great alternative to butter and vegetable oils in baked goods. Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties, as well as being a great source of fuel for your body and brain. Coconut oil has the added health benefit of not turning into a harmful trans-fat when heated. If you don’t have any coconut oil you could also use a ‘light’ olive oil (that doesn’t have a strong olive taste). These perfect little puddings are delicious served warm on their own, or with stewed fruit. If you manage to have any leftover they make a great treat with a cuppa the next day…..I’m just munching on the last one now 🙂

Ingredients:

2 cup almond flour

1 Tbsp baking powder (gluten-free)

1/3 cup organic raw honey

3 organic eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 ripe banana

9 whole walnuts

Custard centre:

2 Tbsp of gluten-free custard powder

1 Tbsp of raw honey

1 cup organic milk

extra 3 Tbsp of milk

 

Method:

Preheat oven at 170*C.

Grease and place grease proof paper circles in muffin tray holes.

Mix custard powder with 3 Tbsp of milk in a small bowl, and stir until well combined. Pour into small saucepan over a medium heat and add the cup the milk. Keep stirring until custard starts to thicken. Then turn heat off and leave until it cools.

Place all other ingredients in food processer and blend until well combined.

Pour some of the mixture into 9 of the cup holes, so it fills half the muffin cup.

Add a few teaspoons of custard mixture into the centre of each of the puddings, then top with more pudding mixture. Top each pudding with a whole walnut

Bake for 30 minutes, then enjoy warm.

Makes 9 individual puddings.

 

Choc Almond & Seed Protein Balls

These super healthy ‘choc almond & seed protein balls’ are just what you need to beat those afternoon munchies. These balls are packed with protein, which is not only essential for repairing and rejuvenating the body, but is also one of the best ways to stop sugar cravings in their tracks. These little beauties are also rich in fibre for good bowel health. The dates will have you as regular as clockwork. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are both excellent sources of zinc, which is an important mineral for reproductive health for males and females, as well as helping support healthy immune function. Almonds are full of bone strengthening calcium and heart healthy fats. I like to use Sunwarrior fermented brown rice protein powder as it is an excellent source of quality protein, which is easy to digest, and dairy-free so it won’t cause any bloating or wind, which is commonly associated with whey based powders. It is also packed with B vitamins and other health promoting nutrients. I made these protein balls for my little girls lunch box this week. Children need plenty of protein in their diets for optimal growth and development.  If your child goes to a ‘nut-free’ school you can replace the almond butter with tahini, and the almond meal with sesame seeds.

 

Ingredients:

40 dates (sulfur-free)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2  cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 Tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil

2 Tablespoons almond butter

5 Tablespoons of chocolate Sunwarrior brown rice protein powder

Almond meal or sesame seeds to roll balls in

 

Method:

Soak dates in warm water for 5 minutes.

Add all dry ingredients to your food processor and pulse until well combined, then pour into a small bowl.

Add dates, coconut oil, almond butter to food processor and blend well.

Pour dry mixture back into food processor and blend well with date mixture.

Make individual balls with mixture and then roll in either almond meal or sesame seeds. Store in the fridge in an air tight container.

Makes a dozen medium sized balls.

Healthy Brazil Nut Anzac Cookies

Aussies love an Anzac cookie!!! They are delicious, but unfortunately contain loads of sugar and fat. Try these lovely ‘healthy Brazil nut Anzac cookies’ I made with my kids today, ready for Anzac day tomorrow. They’re rich in beta-glucan, a type of fibre found in oats that helps lower cholesterol levels, and selenium, a potent antioxidant found in high levels in Brazil nuts. Coconut oil is a great oil to bake with that won’t turn into a harmful trans-fat.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

1/2 cup of whole Brazil nuts

1/2 cup shredded dried coconut

2 Tablespoons organic raw honey

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

2 1/2 Tablespoons of cold pressed coconut oil

1 Tablespoon of water

 

Method:

Preheat your oven to 150*C.

Put oats, coconut and Brazil nuts in your food processor and mix until combined.

Then add the honey, oil, vanilla essence and cinnamon and mix until well combined. Then add the water and mix again.

Place cookie mixture on a oven tray with grease proof paper. Try using a tablespoon of mixture for each cookie. Flatten down your cookies and then pop them in the oven for around 35-40 minutes.  Allow to cool and then tuck in 🙂

Makes around a dozen cookies.

Light & Healthy Toasted Muesli

I love toasted muesli, but I don’t love how much sugar and fats are in most commercial brands. This lovely light and nutritious muesli is is an excellent way to start your day. It’s delicious served with a handful of fresh berries and almond milk, or with a good spoonful of organic natural yoghurt. It makes a great topping for stewed fruit too.

This muesli is packed with dietary fibre, including beta-glucan found in oats, to help keep your cholesterol levels down and digestive system working efficiently. This healthy breakie will also deliver a good dose of unsaturated fats essential for cardiovascular health, and medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil, which is a great source of fuel for the body and brain. The variety of nuts and seeds in this muesli are also rich in calcium, zinc, and magnesium, needed for healthy nerves and bones, and to strengthen your immunity.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups of whole oats

1 cup raw whole almonds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pepitas

¼ cup shredded coconut

¼ cup sesame seeds

1 cup puffed brown rice

16 dates (sulfur-free), diced

1 Tbsp cold pressed coconut oil

2 Tbsp raw organic honey

 

Method: 

Set oven to 180*C. Place grease proof paper on an oven tray.

Place oats, nuts, seeds and coconut in a medium size bowl.

In a small saucepan on low heat melt coconut oil and honey and stir together.

Mix honey mixture through oat mixture until all coated.

Pour muesli mixture onto tray and spread out evenly.

Place in oven for 10-12 minutes, tossing after 6 minutes.

Allow to cool, and then add dates and puffed rice. This muesli keeps well for the week in an airtight container in the fridge.

Gluten-free Almond & Cacao Banana Loaf

If you love banana bread, like I do, well you are going to absolutely love my ‘gluten-free almond & cacao banana loaf’. It makes an excellent nutritious snack with a cup of tea, or healthy after school treat for your kids. This loaf is packed with protein, which we need to rejuvenate, repair, and to produce hormones in the body, as well as promote the growth of lean muscle. Eating protein with meals is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels balanced, as well as sugar cravings at bay. This delicious banana loaf is gluten and dairy free so it’s ideal for coealiac and lactose-intolerant individuals. I’ve used coconut oil in this recipe instead of butter which is the perfect brain fuel due to it being abundant in medium-chain fatty acids, which is a fabulous energy source for the brain. Bananas are abundant in potassium, which is vital for cardiovascular health, and high in fibre to help keep you regular and protect you from bowel cancer. Bananas are also one of the few fruits that contain a type of fibre called resistant starch, which supports  the health of the colon by promoting healthy levels of “friendly” intestinal bacteria. Adding cacao to this loaf not only gives a lovely chocolate taste but it gives it a super antioxidant boost.

 

Ingredients:

2 large ripe bananas

¼ cup raw organic honey

3 organic eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 Tbs baking powder (gluten-free)

2 cup of almond meal

3 Tbps cocao powder

Topping:

¼ cup roughly chopped almonds and pepitas

extra 1 tsp raw organic honey

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160 *C

Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combined.

Pour into a loaf tin.

Then to make the topping use a small bowl to mix a teaspoon of honey through roughly chopped almonds and pepitas, then place on top of loaf.

Bake for 60 minutes, until skewer comes out cleanly from center. If banana loaf starts going too brown cover with foil.

Gluten-free Lemon & Chia Cakes

These gorgeous little gluten-free lemon and chia cakes make the perfect healthy treat with a cup of herbal tea or nutritious snack for your kids.

Chia seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3 fats around and exert a number of mighty health benefits.These tiny super seeds contain around 32% omega-3 fats, which are essential for cardiovascular health,  optimal brain and nervous system function, and for soft and supple skin. Chia seeds are also packed with dietary fibre to help keep you regular and to promote good digestive health. These delicious cakes will also provide you with plenty of protein, calcium, and zinc. Coconut oil is a fantastic source of fuel for your brain, which can help boost your memory.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup almond flour

¼ cup chia seed meal

1 ½ Tbsp baking powder

½ cup organic raw honey

4 organic eggs

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4  cup natural yoghurt

1 Tbsp organic lemon rind

2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, for top

 

Topping:

1 Tbsp organic raw honey

1 Tbsp organic lemon juice

 

Method:

Preheat oven at 160*C.

Grease and place grease proof paper circles in a 12 hole muffin tray.

Place all ingredients in food processer and blend until well combined.

Pour mixture into cup cake holes and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Bake for 30 minutes, until skewer comes out cleanly from centre.

Mix honey and lemon together.  Pour 1 tsp over each cake while hot.

Let sit until cooled and then enjoy.

Lily’s coconut protein balls

On the weekend I was doing some experimenting in the kitchen with my daughter, and we came up with these really yummy, and totally healthy, protein balls. They were so quick and easy to whip up, and my daughter and her friend had loads of fun rolling them all in coconut and being my chief taste testers. A good tip, make a double batch because they won’t last long.

 

These protein balls make the perfect healthy snack for work, or to keep in your bag when you’re out and about, or as a nutritious treat for your kids. If you replace the ABC nut butter with tahini (sesame seed paste), these balls will then be nut-free and ideal to put in your kids school lunch boxes. These protein balls are an excellent source of good quality protein, using a raw fermented brown rice protein powder, along with protein-rich nuts and seeds. These balls also provide plenty of fibre, found in dates and chia seeds, for good digestive health and to keep you regular. The nuts and seeds used will also supply you with zinc for a healthy functioning immune system, calcium for strong bones, and magnesium to help calm the nervous system and help you sleep. Chia seeds are also one of the best natural plant sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, needed for optimal brain function and heart and nervous system health.

 

Having healthy protein-rich snacks, like these balls, on hand is one of the best ways to curb sugar cravings, as protein helps to keep blood sugar levels nice and balanced. Protein is important to supply the body with amino acids to build and repair the body. Protein also makes you feel satisfied for longer, so you’re not feeling hungry again soon
after eating.

 

 

Ingredients:

30 dates (sulfur-free)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup chia seed meal

1/2 cup desiccated coconut (plus extra coconut to roll balls in)

2 Tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil

1/4 cup ABC (almond, brazil and cashew) butter

3 Tablespoons Sunwarrior vanilla brown rice protein powder

 

Method:

In a medium bowl place dates and cover with hot water and leave for 10 minutes.

Put sunflower and chia seeds, desiccated coconut and protein powder in a food processor and blend. Pour into a large bowl.

Drain the water from dates and then place dates into food processor. Add ABC butter and coconut oil to food processor and then blend. Add date mixture to large bowl with dry seed mixture and then with clean hands mix together well.

Cover a small plate with desiccated coconut. Make individual balls with mixture and then roll in coconut.  Place in the fridge for an hour and then enjoy. Store them in the fridge in an air tight container.

Makes 15 balls.