February 25 2015 • David Zivot
Meet your new favorite workout food
It’s nutrient dense, with lots of protein, healthy good carbs, good fats, fiber and micronutrients. It’s an all natural, delicious, energy rich snack you can eat on the run. Ready for it? The Muffin.
Muffin, you say?!
You probably ditched this former junk food around the same time you started working out, and with good reason. The standard muffin is made with lots of highly refined flours, sugars and hydrogenated oils—an evil triad that forms the worst possible junk food. But when you take the time to make it right, that enemy muffin can become your new ally on your quest for better health. A satisfying, energizing nutrient-dense snack that supplies hours of even energy.
Transforming the muffin:
From toxic filler to nourishing real food.
1. Start with fresh, whole grains.
This is the foundation. Whole grains, freshly ground, are deliciously rich in nutrients, fiber and good carbs. But 100% fresh whole grain products are VERY hard to find. Many companies add just a small percentage of whole grains so they can slap a “whole-grain” or “multi-grain” label on the package. Worse yet, in Canada, it is legal for manufacturers to simply add bran to white flour in similar proportion to its original form (totally omitting the nutrient rich germ) and still label it as “whole wheat”. This flour is really no better than regular white flour. And that means terrible.
You need to look for stone-ground 100% whole grain or “whole meal” flour. (The stone-ground process leaves the germ in the flour.) Sadly, it is very hard to find fresh stone ground flour. Farmers’ markets and boutique health food stores are your best bet. If you want the freshest, most delicious and most nutritious flour possible, buy a grain mill and grind your own fresh for each batch. (Don’t laugh, modern european countertop mills make this fast and easy.) Or if milling your own flour seems too much, well, that’s where our fresh-ground mixes come in.
2. Go for organic ancient-grains.
As the gluten-free craze underscores, it has become difficult to ignore that there is something wrong with modern industrial wheat. Whether its the pesticides killing gut bacteria, the extreme scientific manipulation of the plant itself, or the intense processing, clearly the best course is to just steer clear of the modern stuff and go with ancient or heritage grains—the grain our ancestors ate. Not only are they unchanged by modern science, they are tastier too. We like to add in some whole oat flour to the blend for a nice mix of soluble and insoluble fiber and a light creamy flavour.
3. Use only natural/whole foods
Eggs, yogurt, natural fats like olive or coconut oil and butter. These simple whole foods will give you the power boost of proteins, carbs and good fats your body is going to want when your workout really revs up.
4. Easy on the sugar
Freshly milled, organic ancient grain flour is amazingly delicious, so it doesn’t need to be sugar bombed. The rich, light earthy flavours are a delight all on their own, so just a modest bit of extra sweetening does the trick. Which is critical to even energy and avoiding an unhealthy rush/crash cycle. Also, with sugar, you want to go organic and as raw as possible. If you really want to cut down the sugar add an overripe banana as an even healthier sweetener with bonus potassium.
Ditch those factory-made energy bars
By following these four guidelines, you transform the junk food we call a muffin into a nourishing, energizing meal replacement. Delicious, all natural, and, homemade. So unlike prepackaged “energy” bars, you know what’s in it—all wholesome, real ingredients. That means its just as good for the kids’ school lunches as it is for the gym. And of courese you can adjust it specifically to your needs. Looking for a bit more energy to get you started? Add some dried fruit or fresh berries. Want to boost micro-nutrients fiber and protein? Mix in some cracked flax-seed. And muffins freeze and reheat beautifully, so it’s really convenient to make a batch on the weekend and have snacks ready for the rest of the week.
Whether you want to use our mixes, source your own fresh organic flours or mill your own, our base recipe is a great foundation. And from there, you have endless variations to suit your mood, nutritional requirements and family tastes.
So there you have it. Everything you need to do the unthinkable: add delicious fresh-baked muffins to your healthy clean eating toolkit.