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Mighty Morphin’ Power Muffins
Before Ryan and I moved from Paradise to Los Angeles, I was privileged to be a member (and a coach) at a magical boutique gym called E3 Gym – Endure. Excel. Evolve. During the weekday, the classes that I attended/taught started at 5:30am. Which meant I would roll out of bed at 5:05, fumble in the dark for my workout gear, and dash out the door–pausing only long enough to grab some hot lemon water to go.
However, this pre-workout plan was not sustainable. Classes were hard core. We lifted heavy barbells, swung large kettlebells, and hauled our body weight thru chin ups, push ups, dips, box jumps, and pull ups. Whew! The lemon water was (obviously) not giving me the oomph I needed to power thru those workouts. I wanted a grab ‘n’ go quick fuel up that had protein/carbs/fats and was portable. The final criteria was that I didn’t want it to be overly sweet, because I just couldn’t handle that first thing in the morning.
Enter the Mighty Muffins
A muffin is the obvious “to-go” option for morning fuel. But, they are often more the stuff of birthday cake and less of a hearty breakfast. So, I set about the task of “healthifying” a childhood favorite: the bran muffin.
The resulting bran muffins went thru quite a few iterations with varying degrees of success. And, still, the ingredients sometimes change based on what I have in my pantry and fridge. The whole milk yogurt is sometimes exchanged for an equal measurement of cottage cheese. I’ve used almond flour and whole wheat pastry flour in place of some of the whole oats. I’ve also used oat bran instead of wheat bran. There have also been additives of flax seed, chia seed, hemp seed, wheat germ, collagen peptide powder, and whey powder. Hence, the “morphin'” portion of the name.
But, the following recipe is the one I keep coming back to time and again. These aren’t your typical bran muffin-y muffins. They are small because I use them as a pre-workout snack. And, instead of being light and fluffy, they have almost a custard-y center due to the moisture from the pumpkin.
I look forward to having one every morning! (Seriously, one of the last thoughts I have before falling asleep. Coffee and bran muffin! Ryan thinks I’m weird. Hah!)
I like to keep a few in the fridge in an airtight container ready to go. Just heat them in the microwave on high for a few seconds! I usually put a small dollop of almond butter on top and enjoy it along side my morning coffee. Delish!
Mighty Morphin’ Power Muffins
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup plain yogurt greek or skyr
- 1/3 cup oil coconut or avocado
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups wheat bran
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 – 3 cups berries
- Grease two muffin tins or line with paper liners
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a blender blend together: pumpkin, oats, yogurt, oil, molasses, honey, water, and vanilla. Blend until smoothish – it will start to resemble natural style peanut butter!
- Add the eggs and blend to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl mix together: wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
- Toss the berries in with the dry ingrediants.
- Pour the pumkin mixture into the bran mixture and fold to combine.
- Scoop two tablespoons of mixture into each muffin tin.
- Bake until the center is no longer wobbly. 20 – 25 minutes.
Notes from my kitchen:
- If you are planning to use these as a pre-workout snack, store a few in an airtight container in the fridge and freeze the rest. They heat up really well in the microwave. Just place in a bowl or on a plate and zap for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- If you want a more substantially sized muffin use the batter to make 12 – 18 muffins instead of the full 2 dozen.
- Both the oil and the molasses are added at the same time and in the same quantity. By measuring out the oil first, you can avoid having the molasses stick to the measuring cup, thus, eliminating time consuming cup scraping.
- If you feel you would like the muffin to err on the sweeter side simply up the amount of honey by a couple of tablespoons.
- For the yogurt, I always gravitate towards the full fat (usually about 5% milk fat) but low-fat (2%) will work as well!