Between graduating college, getting married, securing my first “real” job, buying my house, and, hell, even starting this blog, I’ve had my fair share of proud moments over the years. But I have to say, there is truly nothing that gets my chest to swell up quite like creating original recipes that actually taste good. Like, really good. Home ownership could never.
In case you hadn’t picked up what I’m putting down…that was the situation with these muffins.
With the plethora of health-foodie-friendly content out there on the internet these days, I am usually fairly successful in perusing my favorite food and wellness blogs to find what I’m looking for at any given time recipe-wise. Whether I’m on the hunt for a yummy plant-based dish the Hubs will enjoy for our (now joint!) vegetarian nights or trying to address a critical I-need-to-use-this-ingredient-up-before-it-goes-bad situation, I can almost always find what I’m looking for with just a bit of digging. But every once in a while, I come up empty-handed.
Previously, this would most certainly have ended with me shrugging my shoulders and reluctantly starting back at square one to redirect my search. These days however? Baby loves a challenge. While it makes perfect sense when I “type” it out loud, one totally unforeseen consequence of starting this blog is how much more confident I have become in the kitchen. I have learned a ton over the past 10 months simply by getting my hands dirty attempting (key word there…they are not all successes) recipe after recipe—so much so, that if I can’t find what I’m looking for, I have no qualms about adapting, revising, or completely inventing recipes based on my needs, wants, and whims.
So what does this have to do with these muffins? These little loves were born out of an initial failed search. I just couldn’t find a recipe that incorporated multiple vegetables, protein powder, and ingredients I already had on hand (go figure). So what did I do? I friggen winged it. My point in telling you all this is not to humble brag—OK, maybe it is a little bit. But more so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to encourage you to try your hands at creating your own recipes more often! The only way to get better—or even just comfortable—with something is to actually do it.
And real talk? You’re probably already waaaayy more capable than you think you are. In a world where everyone’s constantly striving for more, I’m here to encourage you NOT to…at least when it comes to cooking. Trust me when I say (1) the easiest recipes usually produce the best results, (2) combining simple ingredients can still create bold, complex flavors, and (3) it probably won’t look like the picture in your head but it will taste delicious. Trust yourself. Trust the process. And just have fun.
OK, now about these muffins. As previously discussed (last week), these are a great option to incorporate some vegetables into your AM routine if you’re a baked-goods-for-breakfast type of lad or lass. Their foundation is a mix of oats, shredded carrots, and shredded zucchini, meaning you’re getting in two types of veggies before noon. Um, yes please. As also previously discussed (four paragraphs earlier) these are very, very good and very, very moist. The combination of protein powder, Greek yogurt, eggs, zucchini, and banana yields a fairly “wet” batter. Admittedly, they caught me a tad off guard at first—my toothpick came out clean, but when I bit into them, I almost worried they weren’t cooked all the way through. Never fear, they’re just that moist. Oi, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Recipe is below! As always, be sure to let me know if you do whip up a batch. Enjoy loves!
Morning Glory Protein Muffins
Notes: This recipe yielded eight muffins, which can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. Two of these with a dab of nut butter are amazing for breakfast, and one would make a great preworkout snack.
- 1 super ripe banana
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats (grounded into oat flour)
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add the oats to a food processor and pulse until they are ground into a flour-like consistency. Transfer to a big mixing bowl. Next, add the shredded carrots to the food processor and pulse until they’re basically minced. Add these to the same bowl as the oat flour.
Step 2: Grate your zucchini onto a paper towel. Once you have 1 cup’s worth, place another paper towel on top of your mound and push down gently. Do this about two times. You want to soak up a fair amount of the excess water but not all of it. Once this is done, transfer the zucchini to the mixing bowl with the oat flour and carrots.
Step 3: Add the rest of the dry ingredients—protein powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt—to the same mixing bowl. Mix well (mainly focusing on breaking up the zucchini) and set aside.
Step 4: In a separate mixing bowl, mash up your ripe banana. Add the eggs, yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla, and mix well. Once mixed, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold the mix on itself over and over again until everything is just combined. Try not to overmix.
Step 5: Spray a muffin tin with coconut oil cooking spray and fill each tray just below the top. Bake for 26–28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes in the muffin tin before transferring to a wire rack or plate to cool completely.