Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Whole30 Happy Muffin Recipe (Dipped in a Disclaimer)

Disclaimer (please read this first!):  When I sat down to write this post this morning, I should have been more thoughtful in my approach to sharing this portion of my Whole30 journey. So, for any of you seasoned Whole30 vets, my apologies to you and as well to any of you newbies out there, as it is not my intention to lead you astray.  The Whole 30 program emphasizes, in their menu planning/food restrictions, very specific reasons for not eating any baked goods such as pancakes or muffins while on the detox.  I have read those reasons and respect them completely.  However, this is MY journey, and I think it's worth sharing the REASONS why I made the choice to incorporate this muffin recipe into my meal routine.  That being said, if you are currently addicted to sweets of any kind, especially baked goods, do not make this a part of your Whole30 plan, stick with the recommended menu.

While detoxing is difficult, I as much as I hate the feelings that come from giving up certain foods, I also hate the feeling of a severe lack of appetite toward the foods I'm supposed to be eating.  Veggies, fruits and most meat proteins have never been a problem for me, but eggs and meat every morning for breakfast (no matter how I fixed them) were becoming very unappetizing, to the point of upsetting my stomach.  Here's where my mind-set shifted.  As a mother and a runner, I NEED fuel!! Two weeks into the detox, I was tired of waking up hungry yet struggling to find something that I could eat and enjoy. (In the book, they even recommend eating a hamburger pattie for breakfast - that just wasn't going to happen for me.) At that point, I was either going to quit the detox, or allow myself to create something new that I could eat from the Whole30 grocery list.  (All of the muffin ingredients are Whole30 approved.)

Making and eating the muffins not only kept me from quitting the detox, but they also helped me regain a palette for eggs and other proteins.  Please note that I always eat the muffins with some form of protein such as almond or cashew butter or a side of sausage or eggs, and I DO NOT eat them every day.  I also believe that the muffins give me the extra energy/carbs that I need to sustain my running schedule, which is awesome!!  I see that some people who have blogged about the detox drink fruit smoothies for breakfast with no protein.  The authors of the detox give also give reasons as to why that is not a good choice specifically for the breakfast meal, but smoothies arene't necessarily a "banned" food as my muffins are.  I don't agree with that logic at all, that's just my opinion, and you can take it for what it's worth.  I hope that sharing this recipe will help those of you who have had the same struggles as I have had in completing the detox (numerous athletes voiced on the Whole30 blog forum that they struggle to maintain their training schedule due to a lack of energy), without making you feel as though you have "cheated" on the journey.

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Twenty-three days ago, I dove head-long into a detox program called the Whole30 (if you would like to catch up on that business, just click here).  And, since my 30 day journey is about to come to an end (hallelujah), I thought I would begin sharing a few of the recipes that I've actually enjoyed eating, ones that have saved me from dietary despair, and my family from the side effects of mommy quitting chocolate cold turkey.
Photo Credit: funnyfoodphoto.com
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  It always has been.  But, it quickly became my least favorite meal during the detox, because there were so many things that I could not have - cereal, any type of baked good, peanut butter, yogurt, cream in the coffee etc, etc.  And, since I'm not a big meat eater, consuming a plate of greasy fried bacon or sausage wasn't going to happen.  That pretty much left eggs to work their magic on my morning mojo.  A little egg scramble with side of fruit? Not bad, not bad.  But, after about a week of that, just the thinking about eggs kicked my gag reflex where it counts.

So, I had to come up with a plan. It was either invent something that I could eat and enjoy, or saddle up my horse and ride it out of detox hell.  My first thought was to scour the internet for "Whole30" approved recipes, and after a little bit of searching, I found one for muffins. BAM!  I had all of the ingredients necessary to bake the muffins, but I thought the recipe seemed a little time-consuming.  After a few little tweaks here and there, I finally came up with the golden ticket.
Now, don't go expecting these to burst like bakery in your mouth. Remember - they have NO sugar in them (not even honey or agave!), and NO flour.  Because the detox had already heightened my sensitivity to anything sweet, and curbed my cravings for carbs, these were perfectly satisfying, healthy and yummy (in my humble opinion).  If you are a live the Paleo lifestyle and want to sweeten them up a bit with honey or agave, more flavor to ya!! I like to eat mine with a tablespoon of cashew butter slathered on top.  Or, if you can, go for the side of bacon and eggs.

Whole30 Happy Muffins
{Printable Version}
2 ripe bananas, mashed (you need a ripe one to give the muffin sweetness!)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) or walnut oil
3 Eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon (more or less, if you like)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (more or less, if you like)
1/4 tsp. salt
coconut oil to grease the muffin cups

Optional Mix-Ins:
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if you use frozen, add 1TBS more coconut flour to the mix).
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries and the zest of 1 lemon.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries or apricots (use the kind without weird preservatives, like Eden  organic.) and the zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sliced almonds sprinkled on top before baking.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the banana, applesauce, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Add the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt combining well.  Choose your optional "mix-ins" and stir just until combined.  Grease 12 muffin cups and evenly distribute the batter in each cup, spreading the tops so that they are even.  Place in a 375 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until done.  Let the muffins rest in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.  For extra decadence, or if serving to guests, brush muffin tops with melted ghee while still warm. Let cool completely and enjoy!!


  1. These look wonderful. I wonder what a good sub for the applesauce would be. I never, ever have any on hand when I need it. And I'm thinking I'd like to make this asap! :)

    1. I think that you could mash an extra banana (or two) and perhaps add a bit of 100% pure orange or apple juice if you have some on hand just to get the wet ingredient ratio right. Let me know if you come up with an alternative that works!

  2. I can't wait to try this recipe. So would you ever continue on this Whole30 lifestyle for longer than 30 days?

  3. I am going to write about that next week in the follow up. Yes and no. I will continue some of the Whole30 principles, but will most likely incorporate brown rice and gluten free oats back into my diet, and of course the occasional cheese to go with my wine!!

  4. Just read your updated disclaimer and wanted to lend my support to that. I'm not on this particular program but I am on a similar diet for life. In other words, I can't just do this for 30 days and then just breathe a sigh of relief and go back to garbage "in moderation." My short and long term health depends on what I put in my mouth. So, I eat what is real food and what doesn't hurt my body. If it looks like a muffin and tastes like a muffin on occasion, I am thankful! I eat almond flour goodies like these in moderation because I want to keep the bulk of my nutrient intake with other foods but I welcome the wholesome diversion. Like you, I think that the inclusion of certain healthy "treats" like this encourages me on this journey instead of drawing me away, particularly while I'm pregnant!

    Having said that, I do know that too many of these delicious items definitely spark a craving for me for sweeter foods more frequently. But that is a psychological battle we all fight in different ways. It did help that I didn't discover wheatless baking for almost a year... it allowed me to cut the physical ties completely.

  5. I'm gearing up to do a whole 30, but first I have to test out some recipes and also go on a giant minivan trip across the country to stay in a log cabin with all (and I mean ALL) of my in-laws for a week. Not conducive to maintaining that diet, that trip. Kind of trying to make it easier when I do take the plunge by cutting back on most of forbidden foods anyway, as well. ANYWHO. I've been making smoothies out of coconut milk (1 cup/half a can), and frozen fruit (which I can also pour into popsicle molds for the kids. Very filling. You can also do frappucinos with coconut milk and coffee frozen into ice cubes. I was never really crazy about coconut, but done this way, it's pretty good.

  6. Thank you for this post and I'm going to try these muffins. I do like eggs, meat, vegetables, and fruit. But I have never been a huge fan of meat, especially red meat, and the diet is a bit overwhelming on the meat side. I'm finding that few meals are very appetizing at this point. I made a big pan of fritattas and was having that for my breakfast, and I literally am starting to gag just thinking that I'll have to have it again tomorrow morning, and I typically can stomach just about anything. I'm almost done with the first week.

    I have been sensitive to dairy since a child and don't plan on adding that back in, but I definitely plan on adding rice back. Pasta and breads are my weaknesses, so I'm going to try to find recipes such as this to fulfill that want (apparently it's not a need) while still being able to cut gluten and sugar out.

  7. Thank you for posting this and I'm going to try these muffins. I'm almost done with my first week on Whole30 and the thought of having another frittata for breakfast is nauseating to me, and I can stomach just about anything. Although I like meat, I'm definitely not attuned to eating this much and with every meal, and at this point nothing seems very appetizing or appealing to me. I do plan on adding rice back if I can handle it!

  8. I just tried these, and they are great! I tested several mix-ins, and the best, by far, was whole (frozen) cranberries, lemon zest, and walnuts. YUM!!! Thanks!

    1. Awesome! i'm so glad you enjoyed them! They make a great, no guilt snack too. Thanks for sharing your recipe approval with me!

  9. I'm on my fourth Whole30 but my fourteen year old daughter is doing it with me for the first time. I typically wouldn't do any baked goods during Whole30, but I'm trying to ease her into it without feeling too deprived. We made these muffins and they are so delicious and versatile. They definitely satisfy the "bread" craving. Thanks so much for posting the recipe!!!

  10. I have tried a lot of Paleo muffin recipes .... :( At last I found one that tastes good! My husband is very thankful! I added an extra really ripe banana, he likes them sweet.

    1. I am so glad you like it! Yes, some of the Paleo recipes on Pinterest look good, but don't taste very good, even if you're not a picky eater. But, I think these are pretty satisfying and have just enough sweetness to fool your tastebuds! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I really love these muffins and they totally saved me during my Whole 30 since I didn't think I could look at another egg. I have continued to make them as I've transitioned more to Paleo cooking.

    I did notice that there is a difference between the recipe above and when you actual print out the recipe in reference to the coconut oil. Do you add 1/4 c of the coconut oil to the mixture or is that only for greasing the muffin cups? I normally use parchment liners so I've left out the coconut oil and wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something even more delicious!

    Thanks again!

  12. I thought baking soda was out because of the corn? Could you clarify? Thanks!

  13. what is the calorie or serving size per person?

  14. I am soooo glad you made this post. I am a first timer to the whole 30 and on my 9th day. I honestly thought I was going to puke this morning trying to eat my eggs. Like you I am not a greasy bacon hash brown kind of girl. I am 57 years old and have several health issues( not due to weight) but I feel maybe to the types of food intake hence this detox, mind you if I lost 5 lbs I wouldn't mind a all :) . That being said. I truly didn't know if I could follow the regimen either so this has given me a second wind and the push that I needed. I had the samesort of thinking as you and started looking for recipes but didn't know that baking soda was compliant????? And so I am wondering if baking powder is compliant as well?? My daughter found your blog/ post and sent it to me and said "mom you have to read this lady's blog I swear I would have thought you wrote it" So once again thank you for this post I will be having muffins tomorrow and I actually looking forward to getting out of bed tomorrow


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