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It’s about this time of year that my cravings hit.Sugar, sugar, sugar! Of all kinds.

If I am being totally honest, I know exactly where this is all coming from. Cravings take on two forms – physical and emotional. Physical – I am truly hungry and needing quick energy (sugar). Or emotional – I am bored and fed up with this winter and cold and getting stuck inside.Okay, it’s emotional.

Winter is never easy for me. I’m a summer girl through and through and even though I own a full spectrum lamp and make every attempt to get outside to exercise (even walking my dog in 10-degree snowstorms), the cold beats me every time.I want to make myself feel better, do anything I can to get through. And that’s when the dark side taps me on the shoulder, beckoning me to eat chocolate and desserts and cookies.

Does it ever really help? No. I know this from years of dealing with my emotional eating. But, there can be a compromise every once in a while.

I had a lot of bananas lying around and even more blueberries in my refrigerator which seemed to be a perfect fit for making a muffin. Muffins, if done right, can be a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth as well as fill you up without regret.

Whenever I bake, I typically use whole wheat pastry flour as the base. This whole grain is full of fiber and is a perfect substitute for white flour. I decided to even cut it in half and use some almond meal to add in healthy fats.I also used the minimum amount of sugar I felt I could get away with. I used unprocessed real maple syrup, which is dark and rich.The bananas helped out too.

All in all, if you are having your own winter sugar craving, this Whole Grain Banana Blueberry Muffin recipe is something you can feel okay about. Make a batch, eat one and freeze the rest for another day. And let’s get ready for spring!

Whole Grain Banana Blueberry Muffins

 

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil (or canola oil)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (or you can use frozen)

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a muffin tin with liners.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and eggs. Beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Slice the bananas and add to the bowl, along with the yogurt and vanilla. Continue beating until the bananas are slightly mashed (I like some texture but you can also mix until bananas are well mashed).

3. In another medium bowl combine the whole wheat pastry flour, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and gently mix until just combined. Add the blueberries and mix them in. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean. Eat warm with a cup of green tea while watching the snow fall until spring.

Copyright© Heather Carey, MS 2018