Pumpkin, Carrot + Banana Bran Muffins

I've been feeling a little frazzled the past couple weeks. Frazzled, disorganized and unmotivated. Before Octavian got sick with hand, foot and mouth, we had a great routine set and our days were (relatively) predictable. Meals and recipes and blog posts were planned in advance, we had a date with the gym every morning and playtime with friends in the afternoon.

Now? Everything just feels a little messy.

I've tried to make up for the chaos in my life by cleaning and organizing the house, but somehow, that just makes things worse. Cleaning a house with a toddler and a puppy in small sections (since, let's face it, I can only manage maybe a quarter of a bathroom before one of them needs assistance) really is like brushing your teeth with oreos (or however that saying goes). So really, I've just been distracting myself from my current reality.

A messy routine and a child whose body is building up an immunity to all kinds of crazy germs; and there is nothing I can do to change it.

I can't change it because my toddler keeps getting sick. I had a doctor appointment planned for this morning because I thought he had croup again but by some miracle his cough has virtually disappeared. I did try the onion trick for the first time last night- You cut a red onion into quarters and place it in your child's room (it will get stinky) while he sleep. It's suppose to help. Well, I don't know if it was the onion, the Vick's on his feet, humidifier or Zarbee's medicine, but his cough improved through the night and he woke up a very very happy camper.

PHEW!

Even with his cough getting better, the next couple weeks will be a challenge no matter how well he is doing...

This past Saturday we made the switch- Octavian is officially in a big boy bed.

So far, getting him to fall asleep has been the biggest challenge. Since I was already used crawling in bed with him sometime around midnight and sleeping on the floor with him until morning, the transition hasn't been THAT hard. However, naps. ugggggh, naps. It took more than an hour to get him to sleep this afternoon, which means, I have to wake him up from his nap in 45 minutes so that bedtime isn't completely impossible.

You guys, I NEED naptime. Naptime is when I get sh*t done (like this post, which will have to be finished after bedtime). Naptime is also my one time of day when I don't have to talk to anyone, and, as a semi-introverted person, I need this time to recharge.

So, the past couple weeks we've strayed from our routine and I suspect the next couple more weeks will look the same. I hope you guys bear with me! I promise I'm not going anywhere!

In the meantime, I will be living off these delicious, healthy muffins. The perfect snack any time of the day. Don't let the bran scare you, these muffins are super moist, too! And thanks to all the good-for-you ingredients, one or two of these for breakfast will keep you going until lunch. Plus, being super portable and all, you can just grab-and-go! I usually double the recipe and freeze the second batch. I just toss them in a ziplock bag and into the freezer they go! Jazz em' up with a little smear of peanut butter, jam or butter (my fav!)

Pumpkin, Carrot + Banana Bran Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 15-18 minutes / Total Time: 30-33 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup oat bran
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup (more if you prefer sweeter muffins)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
3/4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or line 12 muffin tins with muffin liners and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk, wheat bran and oat bran in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate, larger bowl, combine flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In a third bowl, mix the maple syrup, apple sauce, oil, egg, vanilla, banana and pumpkin. Mix thoroughly.

  3. Add the pumpkin mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. If a few clumps remain, that's OK. Finally, fold in the shredded carrots and chopped pecans or walnuts.

  4. Carefully spoon batter into prepared tins. Fill the cups to the top to ensure that you get nice big muffins. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by American Heritage Cooking

Mediterranean Baked Fish with Artichokes + Olives

One Skillet Mexican Quinoa with Chipotle Lime Crema