Gratitude has been on my mind a lot lately. What may seem like the smallest things are what I feel most grateful for. My fridge full of food, my husband’s footsteps on the porch returning home, waking up to cool, crisp air. Of course this just scratches the surface. I have committed myself to taking time to be less “productive” and to be more present and grateful for the opportunities and special people that I have in my life. Back in the spring I began to go to weekly women’s circles at a yoga studio. I had no idea what to expect when I walked through the door and as I was heading there I thought that I should be doing something that in my mind, was more productive, aka doing something more lucrative. Woman, was I wrong.
Not having a full time job or a career for the first time in my life was a little difficult to wrap my head around. So I thought that every waking moment needed to be filled by acts that showed that I was actually doing something. I needed to feel validated for my decision to leave my career and for navigating the path of uncertainty that I had chosen. When I was on the fence about going I thought about my full-time job self and how I would have jumped at the chance to attend had I ever had a Friday off.
As I walked up the stairs to the studio and found myself greeted by a welcoming group of women in a beautifully decorated room, all of my preconceived notions and doubts fell somewhere around where I took off my shoes. I was in a place where it was okay to take time to breathe and to think without necessarily being “on.” I left that day feeling the opposite of uncertain. I felt confident, valuable, and powerful. It helped remind me that being present and giving yourself time to develop and grow was imperative to have the energy and skills to follow my passion and actually be productive. Of course I knew this but sometimes we need the most obvious reminders smack right in our faces.
I was so grateful for this time. So grateful for the support of my husband to go. So grateful for the space held by these women. So grateful that something like this even existed geographically close by. Over the past few months I have been able to settle into a routine that allows me to slow down and take in everything that I have been granted. Similarly to when we traveled last year all fall, I felt less the need to do, and more excited to just experience. I find myself reading more, sitting silently more, taking longer walks, doing more yin and restorative yoga, getting outside more often, and living more intentionally.
The devastating storms and shooting in Vegas has me feeling even more grateful for everything I have the opportunity to experience. I find myself hugging my fam a bit tighter and being more present when we are together.
And sometimes you want to show your gratitude and give hugs in the form of yummy autumnal muffins. One of my bae’s is doing a no added sugar month (where she eats no added sugars in any foods) and I am joining her (though I may have forgotten and eaten a brownie), so I decided to play around with naturally sweetened muffins.
These muffins take all things fall and wrap them up in one delicious cozy little muffiny package. Sweetened with apple butter, shredded apples, and flavored with spices, they make the most delicious healthy snack or breakfast. I personally love them slathered in almond butter, but plain is amaze-muffins, too!
I have tested these a few times, doing a vegan version and an egg version and both turn out amazing. The only difference is that the vegan version yields 10 muffins whereas if you use eggs you will get 12. The main recipe page has the vegan version, but see the notes below if you’d rather use eggs and not sweet potato puree.
If you are not vegan, please follow the recipe notes below!
Healthy(er) apple cinnamon muffins
A little bit of fall in your muffin cup!
- 1 c oat flour 1 c oats blended in Vitamix or store bought
- 3/4 c sprouted whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp flax egg see notes below
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 c coconut oil , melted
- 1/3 c unsweetened apple butter (L & A brand)
- 1/2 c almond milk
- 1/2 c sweet potato puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c honeycrisp apple finely chopped
- 1/2 c honeycrisp apple shredded
- 1/4 c pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 c walnuts
- 1/4 c raisins
- 2 tbsp fresh or crystallized ginger, minced optional
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line or grease a muffin tin with coconut oil.
Combine all ingredients from oat flour to salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine together flax egg, coconut oil, apple butter, and almond milk.
Whisk in sweet potato mash and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.
Add in apple plus whatever additional add-ins you are using, though I recommend all of them.
Pour the batter into a lined or greased muffin tin.
Bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes.
Remove from muffin tin and allow to cool on a wire rack completely before removing paper liners.
*You may substitute either flour with the other. (Go all oat flour or all whole wheat).
**To make flax egg combine 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp. warm water. Allow to sit a few minutes to "gel."
***To make oat flour, grind 1 c. oats in a blender of food processor.
****If you are not vegan, substitute the mashed sweet potato with 2 eggs and reduce the milk to 1/3 cup and the coconut oil to 1/4 cup. Bake for 20 minutes instead of 25.