Boy am I ever glad to be on the the other side of that flu! Last Thursday, when I posted my Triple Almond Energy Balls recipe, I thought that after five long days of bedrest I was starting to feel a bit better. Unfortunately, I wound up taking a turn for the worse Thursday evening with some scary flu complications cropping up overnight. My temperature skyrocketed (despite being on fever meds) and my cough became much worse. Luckily I’d already done quite a bit of reading on this year’s flu season because I was so worried about the kids getting it and wanted to know which high-risk symptoms to look for. Based on what I’d read and what my doctor told me, having symptoms improve and then come back even worse than before was bad news (it’s actually one of CDC’s “emergency warning signs” of flu complications). Gulp!
On Friday morning I couldn’t even get out of bed to see the kids. I was nauseous, sweating profusely, and had major chills despite feeling super hot. Adriana came into my room looking concerned and said “Mommy, why you don’t wake up today?” That just broke my heart. I knew I had to get medical treatment right away.
I think it’s been about 15 years since I’ve needed to take antibiotics, but I can’t tell you how grateful I was to have them for this virus, which had turned into bacterial pneumonia. The medicine brought my fever down quickly and I’ve been feeling a bit better each day since—although I still don’t feel like myself. I’m currently operating at about 36%, maybe, lol! I think the flu was extra hard on me because I was already run down from taking care of the kids the week before (I’m so thankful their flu symptoms weren’t as severe as mine…I’ll take one for the team!), and of course nursing through the flu takes its toll on the body. It was a stroke of luck that Eric got by with mild body aches (consider me impressed as he was living off unhealthy food all week!), so he held down the fort while I slept, and slept…and slept some more. Each night, I would collapse into bed at 7pm as soon as Arlo was down (and this early bedtime was in addition to an afternoon nap each day). I’ve never slept that much in my life. (And now I know what it’s like to be a baby/toddler!)
Needless to say, we’re all ready to start a new fresh month and hopefully keep as healthy as we can through the spring. So far March is shaping up to be great—I’m alive, after all. ? Take care of yourselves everyone…I’m sending you all healthy wishes for a happy month ahead!!
Update: Sooo many great questions are coming in about these muffins! I’m answering them in the comments below, so be sure to check them out. Thanks everyone! And if I do any more trials of this recipe I will be sure to update the recipe notes. My next test is going to be a sunflower seed and sunflower seed butter version.
Update #2: I added a nut-free version in the recipe tips! ?
- 1/2 cup (80 g) whole raw almonds
- 2 3/4 cup (400 g) chopped overripe bananas (about 3 to 4 large)
- 1/2 cup (120 g) natural smooth almond butter*
- 1/4 cup (33 g) arrowroot starch
- 2 tablespoons (20 g) chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and set aside two 12-cup silicone mini muffin pans or one 24-cup silicone mini muffin pan. There’s no need to grease silicone pans, but if you’re using metal muffin pans, line them with mini paper liners. This recipe makes enough for more than 24 mini muffins, so line an additional 2 to 3 small ramekins with standard-sized paper liners to use up the remaining batter.
- Add the almonds to the food processor and process to a fine crumb. Be sure not to overprocess the almonds into butter. If the ground almonds start getting sticky, they can negatively impact the texture of the muffins once baked.
- Add the chopped banana to the ground almonds along with the almond butter, arrowroot starch, chia seeds, maple syrup, baking powder, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and salt. Process the mixture until smooth.
- Use a small cookie dough scoop to portion the batter into the muffin pans, filling each until about three-quarters full. Use the remaining batter to fill the ramekins until about two-thirds full.
- Bake the mini muffins for about 18 to 22 minutes (I bake for 20 minutes), allowing an additional 6 to 9 minutes for the ramekins to bake through. To test doneness, gently touch the top of one muffin. When ready, they will spring back very slowly. Finished muffins should also have visibly golden edges.
- Cool the muffins in the pans/ramekins for 30 minutes before attempting to remove. Carefully slide a knife around each muffin and gently pop it out of the silicone pan. (If using paper liners, the muffins must be cooled completely before removing, or the liners will stick to the muffins when peeled.) I love spreading these muffins with a little coconut oil before serving, but they’re also fantastic topped with chia seed jam. And thanks to the nutty taste and natural sweetness, you can enjoy them plain too. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
It’s important to stir the almond butter well before measuring. Be sure not to use firm/hard/dry almond butter as it’ll result in dense muffins.
To make a dozen regular-sized muffins, use a 12-cup silicone muffin pan. Fill each mold to two-thirds full and bake for 24 to 26 minutes. If using a metal pan, be sure to line each with paper liners, filling and baking as directed, until they have golden edges and very slowly spring back when touched on the top.
For a NUT-FREE version: Swap the almonds for 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds and the almond butter for 1/2 cup smooth sunflower seed butter (I use SunButter Organic Sunflower Seed Butter…make sure it only has sunflower seeds on the ingredient list), and increase the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon. The muffins have a distinct sunflower seed flavour, but I find it quite pleasant even though they aren’t as sweet as the almond version. The muffins are also a bit darker, but still need just as much bake time, if not a minute or two longer, and they are more dense.
If you’d like to make these muffins more decadent, try stirring some chocolate chips into the batter! For a crunch, add a couple handfuls of chopped walnuts or pecans.