By Brandi Black, RHN
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
It can be tricky to stick to a whole food eating routine during the holidays. The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and celebration, so there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a few sugar cookies, mashed potatoes, or rum and vegan eggnog. However, the negative effects of consuming too much refined sugar, salt, and saturated fat can catch up to your mind and body quickly.
The good news is you can avoid feeling sluggish, bloated, and exhausted during the holiday season while still treating yourself. One of the best things you can do is to recreate healthy versions of classic holiday recipes in your kitchen, using whole and minimally processed ingredients.
These cranberry spelt morning muffins are not only a festive and delicious treat, but they’re nutritious enough to eat as balanced breakfast.
Cranberry Chlorella Spelt Morning Muffins Health Benefits
High in fiber (the carbohydrate that helps you feel your best)
Fiber supports healthy digestion, blood sugar balance, and helps remove unwanted materials from your digestive tract.
These cranberry morning muffins are made with spelt flour which is higher in protein and fiber than regular all-purpose flour. The “stars” of this muffin recipe— cranberries— also add an extra boost of fiber.
Getting enough fiber in your diet can help blood sugar balance, which can impact your mood and energy levels. Fiber is also essential for regular digestion and elimination. This is why you’ll find high fiber foods such as fruit, vegetables, lentils, beans, and whole grains as the main components of detoxification and healthy weight plans.
Fiber is the primary carbohydrate that keeps the digestive tract clean and forms healthy bowel movements. It also acts as a prebiotic which feeds healthy gut bacteria— also known as probiotics. Since the gut is the foundation of your overall health, eating high fiber foods should be prioritized during the holidays (and always).
Women need approximately 25 grams of fiber per day, while men need between 34-38 grams.
A few easy ways to ensure you meet your fiber intake during the holidays is to swap out regular or all-purpose flour in baking for spelt, kamut, or brown rice flour. We also recommend always loading up half of your plate with raw or steamed vegetables and snacking on in-season fruit, such as apples.
In order for fiber to move through the digestive tract efficiently, fiber needs to be paired with adequate water consumption. When you’re busy during the holidays and consuming more coffee or alcohol than usual, it can be helpful to set a reminder on your phone or download a free water reminder app. It’s recommended to drink extra two glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage or coffee you have, as both are dehydrating.
Sweetened naturally with fruit and coconut sugar
The sweeteners in this recipe come from natural sources: a small amount of orange juice and coconut sugar. You can also use maple syrup or Sun Wakasa Gold Plusin this recipe.
Since the orange juice hasn’t gone through heavy processing, it still has its vitamins, minerals and antioxidants intact.
A note on fruit:
It’s true that fruit and fruit juice contains a natural sugar called fructose. But unlike white sugar, some fruit are paired with fiber when eaten whole, which slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream. When juiced, the fiber in fruit is removed, but the juice still contains essential vitamins and minerals, which makes it a better choice to use in your recipes than refined sugar.
Loaded with healthy fats to promote blood sugar balance
Healthy fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and hemp hearts, are the ultimate blood sugar balancing nutrient. Healthy fats slow down the release of sugar from carbohydrates into the bloodstream, which provides you with steady, slow releasing energy.
Since refined sugar is digested very rapidly, it can cause blood sugar levels to quickly spike— followed by a sharp crash a few hours later. This leaves you feeling exhausted, moody, and irritable. To get your blood sugar levels back up again after the crash, your body will crave more sugar, and thus, a vicious blood sugar spike and crash cycle ensues.
Including healthy fats at breakfast (and every snack and meal) will keep your energy levels balanced, your appetite full, and may even help you feel more calm and focused during the holiday rush. For this reason, these cranberry spelt morning muffins are also a great snack to take with you on the go.
Extra Nutrients with Sun Chlorella Powder
Lastly, by adding some Sun Chlorella Powder to these muffins, you add all the benefits that come with it – vitamin D, active vitamin B12, iron, chlorophyll, nucleic acids, and much more!
Cranberry Spelt Morning Muffins Recipe
Yield: 10 medium sized muffins
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp Sun Chlorella Powder
1 cup frozen cranberries
1 tsp grated ginger
4 tbsp orange juice
¾ cup hemp seeds
2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup olive oil
1 cup unsweetened nut milk
1.5 tsp aluminum-free baking soda
A pinch of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease muffin tin with coconut oil.
3. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
4. Once thoroughly mixed, combine wet and dry ingredients together.
5. Place even spoonfuls of the muffin mixture into the muffin tin.
6. Bake for 18 minutes or until the a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool for ten minutes.
Author: Brandi Black, RHN