Unfortunately many kiddos struggle with food allergies. This recipe is dedicated to a sweet patient of mine who has multiple food allergies (nuts, soy, egg, wheat, strawberries, and fish) and seems to also have a latex food syndrome. A latex allergy can cause cross reactivity to certain plant proteins, most commonly banana, avocado, and kiwi. However, there are many more plant foods that can trigger a reaction. In my patient’s case it also includes common fruits and vegetables often used in muffin recipes. Typical symptoms include swelling of the lips/face, itchy throat, rashes and hives. So in order to create a little muffin that this kiddo can enjoy on the road or at home, I decided to get busy in the kitchen. I wanted it to keep it as simple as possible with minimal kitchen tools required. I used a Neat Egg for this recipe, which I found at my local Fred Meyers for $5, but you can also use a pasture-raised egg if egg allergies are not an issue. I like the Neat Egg because it contains only two ingredients; chia seeds and chickpeas. Other egg replacers often use refined starches and gums. The optional add in’s allow you to modify the recipe to accommodate your child’s preference and/or tolerance. If you add more dried/freeze dried fruit, it adds a little bit more sweetness. If you add chopped nuts, it makes it more nutrient dense and filling. You can also sneak in some greens using a greens powder. It’s up to you and your little one! I often make multiple variations in a single batch by splitting the mixture into two or three and adding the extra fixin's to each separate bowl. Sometimes I just keep it simple and leave the batch plain. Whatever makes your little kiddo happy :)
Servings: about 14 little muffins (or 12 little muffins and 1 regular muffin for mama)
OR about 6 regular muffins
Time: 30-45 minutes (depending on the total baking time)
1 ¼ cup gluten free rolled oats
¼ cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar/lemon juice
1/3 cup maple syrup (see note)
1 Neat Egg (1 tablespoon Neat Egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or any oil/melted butter)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8th teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Optional Add Ins:
Crushed freeze dried fruit (Trader Joes carries blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
Dried fruit (craisins, raisins, dried currants, dried blueberries, dried cherries, etc)
Cinnamon, cocoa powder, etc
Dried coconut flakes
Supergreens powder (no more than 1 tsp)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the oats, non-dairy milk, and 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Stir well and let sit 5 minutes, and then stir vigorously until oats break up and soften. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, ground flaxseed, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Stir vigorously until well combined and resembles more of a "batter". The oats shouldn't resemble whole oats that much anymore. You may need to add 1 tablespoon extra non-dairy milk to make sure the batter is “wet” enough if you are using the Neat Egg or using less maple syrup (see note below). Mix together the baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl and sprinkle small amounts into the batter, while stirring. Continue to gradually incorporate the leaveners evenly. DO NOT ADD THEM IN ALL AT ONCE. Make sure your baking soda is fresh, because old baking soda will not give the rise you are looking for.
Finally, stir in any optional add ins. Place muffin liners into your muffin tin and transfer your mixture. I like to keep half the batch plain. So I transfer half of the mixture into the lined muffin tins. Then I add a handful of crushed freeze dried blueberries from TJ's or whatever else I think would be good and transfer the remaining mixture into the the leftover muffin tins. I only have a 12 muffin tin for small muffins, so I always have enough leftover to fill 1 regular muffin (mom's treat). Bake the small muffins for about 18-20 minutes. For regular muffins bake for 25-30 minutes, or when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove the muffin from the oven, and allow them to cool in muffin tin for at least 15 minutes if not an hour. Patience is a virtue :)
Toren likes the muffin broken up into small bite sized pieces. For older toddlers, you can give it to them whole. Also, you can easily freeze the muffins, and thaw in the microwave when needed. They taste great on their own, or warmed up and topped with butter, nut/seed butter, cream cheese, or for a fancy birthday, top with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
Note: I like to use less maple syrup (1/4 cup) when I want to add extra dried/freeze dried fruit because they will add extra sweetness. I use more maple syrup (1/3 cup) when I am not adding in more fruit and instead adding in extra nuts/veggies or when I am keeping it plain. When you are using less maple syrup, then you may need an extra tablespoon of the non-dairy milk to make up the liquid factor.
Nutrition (small muffin): 70kcal, 2.7g fat, 10.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 1.2g protein
Nutrition (regular muffin): 160kcal, 6.4g fat, 24g carbs, 2.4g fiber 2.7g protein
1) You may replace the Neat Egg with 1 regular pasture-raised egg.
2) You can replace the olive oil with any kind of oil, melted butter, etc
3) You can replace the maple syrup with honey, but I suggest using only 1/4 cup as honey is much sweeter than maple syrup.
Blood Building Liver Paté
Liver is nature's multivitamin rich in iron and B vitamins (and other vitamins/minerals), which are essential for building red blood cells. Making paté is an easy "beginner" way of eating liver. I highly recommend using pasture-raised chicken livers for quality and delicate flavor. Beef and lamb livers are more potent in flavor and may be too intense for liver beginners. But that being said, you can use whatever pasture-raised liver you have available.
Time: 30-45 min
½ cup (1 stick) salted grass-fed butter (plus more for topping if desired)
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh sage (or 1/4 teaspoon dry), finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dry), finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram (or 1/4 teaspoon dry), finely minced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound trimmed and evenly diced pasture-raised chicken/beef liver (see note)
Optional: ~1/4 cup bourbon/cognac (one single shot bottle or 50ml) - may replace with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons half and half (or heavy cream)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)
Fresh ground pepper
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Reduce heat to medium low and add the onion. Sauté 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, herbs, and allspice. Sauté another 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and glassy.
Add the liver and cognac (or 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar) to the pan and cook until no longer bloody, but still slightly pink inside, about 2-3 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the liver. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool a little bit, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the cooked liver mixture into a food processor. Process the mixture and add the half and half (or cream), sea salt, and ground pepper. Process until velvety smooth, be patient! If membranes were not trimmed, then there will be a bit of a chewy texture in some bites. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.
Using a spatula, transfer the liver paté into a ceramic or glass container (s). Smooth the top with the spatula and top with optional melted butter/ghee for presentation. Refrigerate and eventually the butter topping will harden. The pate tastes best if allowed to sit in fridge for 1-2 days prior to serving.
Note: Rinse liver prior to starting prep. Then trim the liver by removing as much of the white membrane/connective tissue as possible using a sharp kitchen scissor or knife. This will ensure a creamier paté. Chop into even sized pieces before cooking.
You can easily freeze the paté and thaw for use later. I like to divide the liver pate into a larger ceramic dish for immediate consumption, and the rest into a silicone food tray to make individual servings. I place this into the freezer, and once frozen, remove from silicone food tray and place into a sealable container and keep frozen until later use. Remove from freezer and place into a glass/ceramic dish and allow to thaw 30 minutes on counter or 1-2 hours in fridge.
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.