Well it’s January, and for most of us in the industrialized world, that means it’s time to get our diet and lifestyle back on track. And that means eating cleaner, reducing the processed stuff and generally avoiding sugar and refined flours. I take it a step further and really try to embrace a more Paleo diet. That means no flour or grain whatsoever, very little sugar, less starchy stuff, and more fresh organic vegetables, naturally raised meat and fish, and healthy fats.
All of this is great, but the sudden withdrawal of even the little bits of (gluten free) grains and sugar that I had, makes me crave it. So without totally blowing my diet, I decided to whip up some muffins, in hopes they’d take away my cravings. They hit the spot! And they seem to be very popular with everyone who has tried them thus far.
Muffins, fortunately, are an inexact science—unlike cakes or baking bread. Or perhaps I’m lucky and just know the right ingredients to add in the right amounts. Regardless, I started throwing together ingredients, and Viola! Out came these beauties. And Lo and Behold. They were pretty tasty. I am already on my third batch in the past week.
Cranberries have some of the highest quantities of antioxidants out there. They even top blueberries! They are full of vitamin C, making them great as an immune booster, and their unique properties fight harmful bacteria in the digestive system, They also help to prevent kidney stones, prevents cancer, and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. Not bad for one little berry, huh?
According to a recent study from Cornell University, cranberries also contain compounds that are toxic to a variety of cancer cells including lung, cervical, prostate, breast and leukemia cancer cells.
Fresh cranberries–not the frozen or canned kind–have the highest levels of nutrients, and are at their peak usually in the late fall and early winter, just in time to add their bright color and tart tangy flavor to holiday meals. Since they are hard to find any other time, I usually stock up on the fresh ones and throw them in the freezer to use in smoothies, sauces, and muffins.
Almost Paleo Cranberry Muffins
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, whole
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2-3 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tst nutmet
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup ground flax seed
- ½ cup oats
- 1/3 cup walnuts, pecans, or almond slivers (optional)
- 1/3 cup melted butter or coconut oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup protein powder (I used the “Raw” brand)
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Grease muffin tin or use paper muffin cups
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients except cranberries and stir vigorously
- Add cranberries, stir
- Divide into muffin cups
- Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until centers are done.
- Cool and enjoy!