February 8, 2016

Spring is slowly approaching, and you may notice that some of your root cellar produce is looking a little flat. Baking this tired-looking produce into delightful treats is a fun way to use up winter storage.

The more we use our winter stores, the more we know what we actually enjoy eating and, therefore, what we can be sure to plant in the garden the coming year. Why bother growing something you really aren’t that fond of eating? Kids are really good at expressing themselves when it comes to their culinary likes and dislikes.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups almond meal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey, or to taste
  • 1 T. butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup apple or pear sauce
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 1 cup pineapple, canned or fresh, chopped (can omit and simply add an additional 3/4 cup apple or pear sauce)
  • 1 cup raisins, optional
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, optional (these are a great add-in if you want dessert, not breakfast)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, optional

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin.

Mix almond meal, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl.

In a separate bowl mix eggs, honey, butter or oil, vinegar, and vanilla.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir until combined. Stir in carrots, apples, and apple or pear sauce. Add raisins or chocolate chips and pineapple if using. Do not overmix.

Generously fill each muffin cup and add shredded coconut on top if using. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tops are golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Involve Your Kids

Be sure to have your kids help assemble these muffins because they’re very simple to make. As you work, tell them where each ingredients comes from and talk to them about why you keep food stored from your garden each year.

Try to limit your store-bought produce for two weeks, and see if you and your children can use only what’s in your root cellar for meal creation in those weeks. Make a note of what you all wish you had more of and what you’d really miss if you didn’t have it to eat all winter. This simple exercise may result in less whining about summer work in the garden. Food can be a great motivator.

Lap up these last months of winter baking before the fresh fruits of summer are upon us and all we want to eat are breakfast smoothies. Rummage around in your stores and pantry to see what new combinations you can come up with. My kids love it when I get bit by the breakfast-baking bug. Because I use healthy, nutritious produce, even when the experiment flops, it’s still a tasty treat.



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