Once you begin getting serious about looking after your own health, or that of your family, your world suddenly seems to shrink to the size of a supermarket label – a food label to be precise!
Up until that day you most probably had been happily going your way without too much concern for the amounts of saturated fat or salt in the food you bought each week. But now! Now you cannot put an item of food in your trolley without closely examining that dreaded label.
The trouble is course, that we all generally need to buy some processed food each week (unless you live on a self-sufficient farmyard that is!). So the real challenge is determining what is ‘healthy’ and acceptable, and what is unhealthy by your standards and is therefore unacceptable.
And that challenge is something that you must accept if you are determined to buy and consume the healthiest food possible. That might involve determining a maximum level of carbohydrates, or the minimum amount of fat, or the lowest sodium levels, or a number of factors combined.
But what do you do if you need something off the shelves which does not easily meet your levels of acceptance? The obvious answer is of course to make your own. And this is the very reason that we made a decision some time ago to buy a greater number of fresh fruits and vegetables, a lower number of processed goods, and began making our own foods where possible.
These photos shows our Fruit, Oat and Nut Muffins which over a period of time have become our favourite family snack and are flour-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free, and delicious. And best of all, we can control AND vary the ingredients and taste every time we make a batch.
We will list the ingredients below for anyone interested. They really are easy to make and filled with nutritious goodness your family will love. We generally make a double batch which gives us around 24 muffins, each weighing about 70gms (2.5ozs). Each muffin could be cut in half if desired to provide a bite-sized and yummy kid’s morning or afternoon snack.
They keep for weeks in a sealed container in the freezer and can simply be defrosted overnight in a container in the fridge for use the next day. And once you have bought the bulk ingredients (and read the labels), they are sitting in your cupboard ready to use in the next batch of muffins in a flash!
What do you think? Check out the ingredients below and then tell us, would you eat them?
- 2 cups of rolled oats
- 1 cup of nuts (roasted and then crushed or chopped in a food processor)
- 3 tablespoons (tbsp) of chia seeds
- 2 tbsp of LSA (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds)
- 3 cups of fresh seasonal fruit (finely chopped or processed). Note: Apples and bananas do not have as much flavour as mangoes and mandarins, so be aware of the types of fruit being added. Dried fruit could be substituted in an emergency but can cause excess gas in some people. Bananas and similar fruit will make a drier mix while berries and many moist fruits will make the mix more wet
- 1 cup of dates (chopped)
- half a cup of mixed peel
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) of vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp of your favourite mixed spice
- 3 tbsp of honey
- 1 egg
- small amount of water – only if needed
- optional: 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup of cocoa.
We prefer to measure and prepare each of the ingredients prior to mixing so that we can then preheat the oven to 180C (350F) fan forced while we make up the batch. Once the oven is on, we then combine all ingredients using a wooden spoon (though you could use a food processor).
As we mix we keep an eye on the consistency. We want it moist enough so we can grab a handful and make it into a ball which holds together (too dry and you end up with muesli, too wet and you have slop, though placing the mix in the fridge for 30 minutes will assist in shaping). Be careful about adding water as this will weaken the mixture – we prefer to add some more processed fruit or honey than use water. If it is too wet, just add some more rolled oats or LSA.
Once you have the consistency and ingredients you want grease a muffin tray (12 or 24 depending upon whether a single or double batch is made) and spoon an equal amount into each cup until the mixture is almost level with the top of the cup. Once the mixture has been spooned into each cup evenly, press down with the back of the spoon to ensure the mixture is compacted properly. You could also use patty pans if you wanted to in the muffin tray.
Then place the muffin tray/s into the oven for around 15 minutes, checking and possibly turning halfway through. They will cook very quickly so do not leave them too long. Once cooked, remove the muffin tray/s from the oven and leave to cool on a wooden cutting board or safe area. Once completely cold, the muffins can easily be removed from the muffin tray/s and placed in sealed containers for later use.
You might need to try one though – just to be sure, lol.
Living each adventure,
Chris and Trev Barre
Promoting a healthy, active, fulfilling lifestyle for all ages. Let us encourage you to Live Each Adventure.
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