Spiced Carrot Muffins with Rhodiola Pumpkin Butter

 
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In years past, I really resisted the transition from summer to fall. Like no way do I want to say goodbye to a season marked by 8 pm sunsets, impromptu backyard soirees, warm ocean dips, and too much rosé. Though I live in on the beach in South Florida and if anything the weather only gets better in fall, there's an air of fancy-freeness that only summer has. But I'll admit, I'm excited this time around.

This summer wasn't easy for me. I spent a lot of time soul-searching and digging deep and getting comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Not knowing what's next, but trusting anyways. You know, just doing "the work" of being a human. Even as a yoga teacher, the art of surrendering to what is, releasing control, and trusting the Universe is an ability that doesn't come naturally for this head strong, go-make-it-happen Leo with control issues. So a new season and a fresh transition feel entirely welcomed.

But in the past two weeks, I've really softened into this trusting. (It's about time.) I finally really feel that whatever comes next, is just fine with me. We are, after all, always where we are meant to be, and what is meant for us could never possibly miss our path. Virgo season (which we just moved out of) and fall in general encourage this mentality. Fall signifies a shifting inward and a letting go, making it an especially potent time to slow down, release control, and open your heart.

It's also an equally opportune time to put pumpkin spice in everything and start baking more, so I've embraced that seasonal nudge as well. Look at me, a full-blown fall woman.

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These muffins are everything in way of fall food - warming, spiced, cozy, indulgent - madeimpossibly good for you with brain-nourishing and inflammation-fighting properties and no added gluten or sugar. They can easily be made vegan as well by subbing in a flax-egg. It's one of those recipes that confuses you as to when it should be enjoyed (breakfast or dessert?). The answer is both. 

And while the muffins are totally divine on their own or served warm with a bit of grass-fed butter or melted coconut oil (swoon), I decided to up level the whole situation with a plant-based spiced rhodiola pumpkin butter. Also seemingly indulgent and dessert-like, but equally as nourishing for both brain and body. I included the tonic herb rhodiola for it's ability to elevate mental clarity and creativity, so as to harness all the magic that is this potent fall energy. 

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SPICED CARROT MUFFINS

Makes 8 muffins

½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 medium ripe banana
¼ cup almond butter
⅛ cup raw honey
1 pastured egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup carrots - grated
1 medium apple - grated
½ cup chopped walnuts (plus extra to garnish)
pinch of pink himalayan salt

PREPARATION | Preheat oven to 375º.

Add all ingredients (excluding carrots, apple, and walnuts) to a blender or food processor, combining until you achieve a smooth and creamy batter. Transfer batter to a large bowl, adding in the walnuts, apple, carrots. Stir by hand until well combined. 

Grease a muffin tin with butter or coconut oil, and fill each cup about ¾ of the way full. Option to top each muffin with a few pieces of walnut. 

Place in oven and cook for about 17-20 minutes. Enjoy warmed or cool, and (hopefully) with some rhodiola pumpkin butter on top. 


RHODIOLA PUMPKIN BUTTER

Makes about 2 cups

2 cups organic pumpkin puree
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of pink himalayan salt
1 tablespoon rhodiola 

PROCESS | Combine all ingredients (excluding the rhodiola) in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes (or until mixture starts to sputter). Reduce to low heat, cover, and let simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove from heat and stir in the rhodiola. Sweetness can be adjusted to taste by drizzling in more maple syrup. 

Enjoy spread over muffins, toast, oatmeal, yogurt, desserts, roasted veg, or anything else you can think of. Stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and even longer if frozen. 


I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any questions + comments below, and be sure to follow along on Instagram and tag your photos with #SOLFULhealth so I can see and share. xx

 

Golden Energy Bites • GOLDE Turmeric

 
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A naturally sweet, satisfying, and nourishing go-to snack that I've up-leveled with a hit of GOLDE's highly-coveted turmeric wellness blend. Which, aside from being deeply nutritious + mineralizing, is the most delicious turmeric blend I've ever tried thanks to the unexpected (but much appreciated) addition of coconut milk powder. Swoon. For a long time, I was simply using pure turmeric and a pinch of black pepper (for improved nutrient absorption) in most of my golden concoctions - milks, lattes, smoothies, oatmeal, etc.

But as of late, I can't get enough of this particular blend, which lends not only improved convenience, but also elevated health benefits, housing a medley of five different medicinal spices + herbs. It pairs to perfection with these coconut-y paleo energy bites, that have long been a staple on-the-go snack option in my home. 

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A recap of turmeric's most notable heath benefits, for those that need a refresher.

IMMUNITY BOOSTING | Turmeric contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, in addition to anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antioxidant qualities. This allows for an incredibly nourished and supported immune system. It's believed that inflammation is the root cause of all illness and disease (both physical and mental), so by addressing and reducing inflammation, you lessen and eliminate the prevalence of imbalance within the body and mind. 

MOOD SUPPORT | Turmeric is a potent mood-booster that I regularly turn to for emotional and mental health support. Numerous studies have proven curcumin (the main active compound of the turmeric root) to be just as effective - and infinitely less harmful - as pharmaceutical antidepressants in treating depression and similar mood disorders. There's a known link between inflammation of the brain and depression, which can be treated and reversed through an anti-inflammatory diet that includes foods such as turmeric. Low levels of the hormone Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) have also been linked to a variety of brain, cognitive, and mood disorders, including depression. BDNF is responsible for the multiplication and growth of brain neurons, which is a key process for maintaining and improving brain function, and curcumin has been found to increase levels of this hormone.

NATURAL GLOW | Turmeric works to decrease inflammation and redness on the skin's surface, while also speeding up the healing process and improving blood flow to areas of concern. The consumption of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial foods like turmeric is key to maintaining a calm, clear, and glowy complexion. 

ADAPTOGEN | Lesser known among turmeric's benefits are it's adaptogenic properties. To be considered adaptogenic, an herb must have a normalizing and homeostasis-evoking effect on the body in the face of stress - physical and psychological. Turmeric has been found to regulate cortisol-release and stabilize blood glucose levels, which help to maintain the health of body + mind during times of increased stress. 

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GOLDEN TURMERIC ENERGY BITES

2-3 tablespoons GOLDE turmeric blend
½ cup raw cashews
½ cup raw almonds
2 tablespoons chia or hemp seeds
5 large pitted medjool dates
¼ cup unrefined coconut oil
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of himalayan salt
 

PREPARATION | Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until well-combined. Mixture should form a "dough".

Remove mixture from blender and, using your hands, roll segments of the dough into small balls, placing on a flat surface. 

Allow the energy bites to chill covered in the refrigerator for at least two hours. If kept refrigerated, these will keep for up to three or four weeks. 

Makes 12 bites.


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GOLDE TURMERIC

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Thank you for supporting the conscious brands, like GOLDE, that support the work of Solful Health.


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I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any questions + comments below, and be sure to follow along on Instagram and tag your photos with #SOLFULhealth so I can see. xx


 

Truffle + Herb Polenta Fries

 

I'm totally not ashamed to admit that french fries are my favorite food. If we're getting specific, truffle parmesan fries to be exact. Those who know me IRL know this to be all too true. My signature out-to-dinner move is ordering a salad with a side of fries. It's my exercise in balance, which I believe is of upmost importance when developing a healthy approach to holistic living. (Whatever we have to tell ourselves, right?)

But real talk, while I love fries and don't believe in depriving myself of what I most love and enjoy, I know they kinda (totally) suck when it comes to nutrition. But because I'm unwilling to give up my favorite joy-inducing indulgence (because you know, joy), I'm always on the search for healthier alternatives. Cue polenta: a cornmeal-based porridge indigenous to Northern Italy. I swoon over pretty much any and all polenta dishes - it makes an incredible base for sautéed and roasted produce and pairs to perfection with burrata, herbs, and olive oil. Until recently, I had yet to enjoy it in "french fry" form but had heard of the preparation and was eager to create my own rendition. 

While this recipe is more in the healthy-ish category, it's crazy insane delicious and paleo, gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan. Unlike other french fry alternatives, the texture of polenta allows the fries to get super crispy on the outside while staying soft on the inside and the resulting crunch and flavor is pretty damn close to the real thing.  

I opted to add in lots of fresh herbs, truffle salt + olive, and parmesan because these flavor combinations are obsession-worthy. However, you could easily sub out the parmesan for a dusting of nutritional yeast (it's my go-to vegan option) to keep the dish vegan and dairy-free. But don't skip the truffle toppings and herbs, I beg of you. 

A note on sourcing quality polenta: The majority of conventionally-grown corn in the United States has been compromised with GMOs and pesticides, making it an increasingly health-aggravating substance. Always be sure to source organic and non-GMO corn and corn products (including polenta) to ensure you don't unknowingly expose yourself to these harmful substances. 


TRUFFLE + HERB POLENTA FRIES

  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup organic polenta (not quick-cooking)
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh chopped herbs (parsley, basil, sage, rosemary), plus more to garnish
  • 2 tbsp grass-butter or coconut oil
  • Truffle oil 
  • Truffle salt
  • Coconut or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional), plus more to garnish
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste

TO MAKE: Combine water, polenta, herbs, and a bit of salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking the mixture together. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After about 10 minutes, add in the butter/coconut oil and parmesan cheese (if using), stirring to combine. 

Once polenta is done cooking, transfer to a baking dish, spreading evenly. Allow to cool uncovered for about 45 minutes. You can also cover and keep refrigerated for up to one day.

Preheat your broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with coconut or olive oil.

Remove polenta from baking dish (turn upside down onto a cutting board) and cut into sticks about the size of thick french fries. Brush the polenta fries with oil on all four sides and space evenly on baking sheet. Broil about 4 inches from heat until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool before gently removing from parchment paper.

Top with truffle salt, fresh chopped herbs, a dusting of parmesan or nutritional yeast, and a liberal dosing of truffle oil. 


I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any comments below, and be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #SOLFULhealth so I can see!

 

Berries + Whipped Coconut Crème

 

Sharing a sweet, simple recipe that is sure to become both your new favorite breakfast in bed and nourishing summertime dessert. My cooking style is always about letting the food shine through without any added sugar or flavorings, and this is especially true during the spring + summer seasons, when everything tastes just so damn fresh. No need to adorn fresh, sun-ripened produce with much to create something sweet + satisfying.

This recipe is a play on the classic pairing of berries and whipped crème - without the dairy or sugar. It's the epitome of summer eats: flavor-forward, light + nourishing, and simple-chic. We most recently enjoyed these on a sunny Saturday morning lazing in bed with our gigantic (and coconut-loving) pup Cooper, but this dish feels equally at home at an al fresco summertime soiree with friends. 

It's totally lick-the-bowl-clean delicious yet completely wholesome and plant-based, with no added sugars or artificial anything. A tried-and-true SOLFUL treat that I'm so excited to share with all of you!


BERRIES + WHIPPED COCONUT CRÈME

  • Two or three handfuls of fresh, organic berries of your choosing
  • 1 (BPA-free) can of full-fat culinary coconut milk

TO MAKE: Place your unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. Then next morning, remove the chilled can (being sure not to shake up) and open. You should find a semi-hard layer of thick coconut cream at the top, with all the coconut water/liquid at the bottom. Scoop out the cream and set aside, reserving the liquid for another recipe (smoothies!!!). With a standing mixer, hand mixer, or blender, "whip" the coconut cream until it's light and fluffy (resembling whipped cream). 

Arrange your berries into a bowl(s) and top with your whipped coconut crème. Serve as is or topped with a bit of bee pollen, shredded coconut, and/or fresh mint for an energizing + nourishing pop of color and flavor.