No, I haven’t gone Paleo. (I tried that once, and while I felt good, I decided I just couldn’t live that way.) Over the last month, however, I have cut all the things that might be causing—or exacerbating—my chronic digestive issues. That meant no processed grains no dairy, no alcohol, and no refined sugar. (And no coffee, for four days. Until I realized life wasn’t worth living without it.)
It’s basically a Paleo/Whole 30/No Fun approach that’s not only completely unscientific, but probably informed by a certain degree of brainwashing. But I was desperate. I needed to control something—why not my diet?
My breakfast menu the first few weeks featured a rotation of fruit smoothies, bacon, eggs, spinach, yams, and avocado. Then, I started missing my morning grains. A yogurt-less version my favorite morning muesli didn’t quite cut it, and I began to suspect that whole grains, like the oats I use in my muesli, might actually be making the issue worse. As Ironman Arizona inched closer, I grew more resolute in cleansing my diet of all potential aggravators. (I’m still in denial about those three or four instances of beer cheating.)
The truth was, I just really really wanted a muffin.
When taper time descended this past weekend, I used the extra hours in the day on Sunday to take my muffin craving to task in the kitchen. I also wanted some portable, carb-loading snacks for my upcoming road trip.
Enter the sweet potato. I fired up my oven (yay for cooler temps!) and set to work on two Paleo recipes I discovered on Pinterest. One was this breakfast cookie recipe, which I ended up having to modify significantly (by adding almond flour) when my batter came out far too runny. The cookies also turned out too sweet for my liking. The other was the below muffin recipe, which yielded flavorful, moist morsels that vaguely resemble the real thing. They do have that eggy, Paleo “fake baked goods” texture, but I’ve still been enjoying them this week with my morning coffee.
Hopefully the ol’ glycogen stores won’t know the difference.
And of course, if you’re looking for a real muffin worthy of the morning glory title, I’d suggest these spiced carrot-date muffins with cashews courtesy of my friend Emily.
Paleo Morning Glory Muffins
Makes 6 medium-sized muffins
- 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato (roast whole sweet potatoes in a 350-degree oven, in foil, for 45 minutes, and the skin will fall off. Mash the flesh to use for baking.)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/8 cup shredded carrot
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 3/4 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Beat the mashed sweet potato, eggs, honey, and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl, either by hand or with an electric mixer.
- Stir in the coconut, raisins, walnuts, carrot, and orange zest.
- Mix the salt, cinnamon, and baking powder into the almond flour. Add dry to wet and stir.
- Coat a muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray (I used coconut oil spray), and divide batter among six cups.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes or until muffins are cooked all the way through.
- Allow to cool before serving.
Recipe adapted from carrotsncake.com