These days, it can feel a little overwhelming to know which of the different superfoods and extracts and supplements you should be consuming. I guess the golden rule – as always – is “everything in moderation,” but really, could we make it, like, a little more black and white?!
Something I’ve learned over the years is that it’s important to do your research. Claims may be bold, but if there’s not any evidence to back it up, it is worthless.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will never do you any harm. But if you want the boost of an extra something, might I suggest spirulina? This blue-green algae is an extremely potent anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to be anti-cancer, anti-viral…all the “anti’s.” It was famously used by NASA as a “do it all” supplement for astronauts in space. And if it’s good enough for an astronaut, it’s good enough for me!
However, if you’ve ever encountered the stuff, you’ll know it has a very distinct flavor, to say the least. And it’s not one that we naturally go wild for.
The common name for spirulina is “pond scum” and that is indeed how it smells and what it tastes like. The color is fantastic and the health benefits phenomenal, but it can be difficult for many of us to find ways of hiding the flavor. I’ve tried sprinkling it on salads and roasted veggies and the outcome is always the same; I end up begrudgingly eating my sad meal, then pushing the tub of green to the back of my pantry in disappointment.
But no more, Dumplings! I’ve found an excellent way of incorporating spirulina into some incredibly nutritious and delicious breakfast muffins. The combination of zesty ginger and lemon and sweet-sour raspberries complement the flavor perfectly. The result is a hearty, healthy muffin that satisfies cravings without giving you the unpleasant sugar rush of so many of them. Add a dollop of coconut whip or yoghurt onto the side and these are a tasty treat that ticks all the boxes.
Zesty Spirulina & Raspberry Breakfast Muffins (Vegan & Gluten-free!)
- 1 Banana
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Flax
- 4 Tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
- 1/2 Cup Gluten-free Oats (Or sub regular)
- 1 Tablespoon Spirulina
- 1/2 Cup Agave or Maple Syrup
- 1 3/4 – 2 Cups Besan (Gram) Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Cup Non-dairy Milk (I used rice)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Teapoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Lemon
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Raspberries
- 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
- 6 Tablespoons Water
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F/170°C and line your muffin pan with parchment cups. This recipe with either make 110-12 large muffins or up to 15 smaller, depending on the size of the cups.
2. In a small bowl, combine your chia seeds with water and let become gelatinous for about 5-10 minutes.
3. In another small bowl, combine your non-dairy milk with the apple cider vinegar and vanilla and allow to become slightly frothy for 5-10 minutes.
4. While those two are activating, mash your banana in a large bowl. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the lemon, flour and raspberries. Mix, then add in the chia ‘eggs’ and milk/vinegar mixture.
5. Add in the zest of the whole lemon and the juice of half. Add the flour last and don’t worry if you need to go slightly over 2 cups. Add enough to slightly stiffen the mixture, but don’t go overboard. It should be on the runnier side. It should fall in dollops off a spoon with ease, but not run off the spoon.
6. Gently fold in the raspberries.
7. Divide between your muffin cups and bake for approximately 15 minutes until the tops are golden and an inserted skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
8. Enjoy with coconut whip, yoghurt, extra raspberries or any other fruit of your choosing. Best enjoyed within 2 days, but can also be frozen!
Related: Lemon Blueberry Spelt Muffins
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Photos: Kat Kennedy