These muffins are packed full of protein and pops of fresh blueberries, inspired by Oregon berries straight from the farm.
Have you ever been on a vacation that has absolutely changed your life? One that you can’t stop thinking about. One that changes your core? That trip happened for me exactly a month ago today. I headed to Portland, Oregon for Indulge Conference for food bloggers, and it absolutely changed me.
The amazing friends I was finally able to meet after being online friends for so long. The beautiful city I was able to explore. But over and above all of that, the food.
I don’t even know where to begin talking about the food and the amazing things I experienced that weekend. So first we will start with this batch of muffins I was inspired to make.
Blueberries. I’m actually not a huge fan of them. Well, at least I wasn’t until my weekend in Portland. I realized that blueberries don’t always have to be flavorless and blah.
Blueberries that are picked right from the plant itself are plump, sweet, and full of so much flavor. They just pop in your mouth.
On day three of the conference weekend, we went on a farm tour sponsored by OXO and Travel Oregon in the Willamette Valley. Our first stop was at Our Table Cooperative – or as I like to call it, heaven on earth.
Straight from Our Table’s website:
“Over the last one-hundred years, our food system has become increasingly consolidated and industrialized. The result is fast, cheap and convenient food of questionable nutritional value at vast social, economic and environmental cost. The current food system hides the real costs of production in myriad ways. An honest accounting that includes fair wages and the true costs of long-term environmental impact would result in a very different picture. The challenge that lies ahead is for all of us to work together to re-imagine how we grow, process, distribute and eat food in a way that makes it accessible for all members of society.”
You guys. This is how it’s supposed to be. That’s all I kept saying throughout our tour of the farm.
Food that you are able to watch grow and to care for from the very beginning stages of prepping the soil to picking it from the land. And this was the theme of the entire day.
In fact, the entire weekend we were spoiled by fresh farm-to-table fare. How often do you have a chef come to your table, tell you what you are being served, and then tell you about the farm the food was grown from all the way down to the name of the farmer. It was absolutely unreal!
Not only was I blessed with the peace of mind that I was eating fresh fare, but it was all in the flavor. With each bite, I was wow-ed over and over again.
Just like I am with these muffins. There is a reason why I bake healthy snacks for my family instead of picking up pre-packaged varieties from the store. No, I may not know the exact farm my ingredients come from, but the fact that I can name and pronounce each ingredient I use in my recipes is a big deal to me.
We do our very best to not put many “unknowns” into our bodies. We base our meals and snacks off of produce picked up from the local market and grains that I know are nutritious to my body and not just empty fillers.
So I know to you, these may just look like plain old muffins, but the truth of the matter is that they are more than that to me and my family. They are a reminder to eat as local as we possibly can and to eat REAL food!
[Tweet “We should stop asking why real food is so expensive and start asking why processed food is so cheap.”]
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- zest and juice of 2 medium lemons
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 cup oat flour, (1 cup of oats ground in a blender to a flour)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, (frozen can be substituted as well)
- In a small bowl, stir together the flax seed and water. Set in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl stir together yogurt, agave, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flax+water mixture.
- In another medium bowl stir together whole wheat flour, oat flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, chia seeds, and salt. Pour dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. Mix gently just enough to combine. Add blueberries and gently fold until evenly distributed.
- Using large ice cream scoop, fill muffin tin with batter, 3/4 to full for each muffin. Bake for 19 - 21 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool off completely.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture, upload it to Instagram and tag me (@happyfoodholly) and use the hashtag #inspiredbyholly
We were greeted at Our Table Collective by founder, Narendra Varma, at this gorgeous red barn that has been made into their store full of produce, local honey, jam, and flowers. It was so lovely to hear him speak about the land and their mission.
I learned just how photogenic produce can be.
Once we were finished at Our Table Collective, we gathered in another section of the barn to pick up the produce that was grown right there on the farm to be used at the next stop of our tour, The Kitchen at Middle Grounds. Here we created our appetizers for the afternoon, but because it was a warm day and we wanted to be sure our produce was as fresh as it could possibly be, we were sure to transport it all in the OXO Greensaver Activated Carbon System Containers. I know, I know, that sounds like a mouthful, but it’s really quite brilliant!
We really do eat a lot of produce in our house, but I’m really sad to say that there is a lot of it that goes to waste. We do buy mostly organic so it’s shelf-life is shorter than non-organic. Also, I saw a video online this week that showed me JUST how much farmers are throwing away before it even hits the shelves or markets, and it made me sick to my stomach.
The solution? These containers. They are absolutely brilliant and I am already seeing a difference in the length of time our fruits and veggies are staying fresh. Talk about stretching those bucks just a little bit farther so you can afford healthy produce!
If there’s anything I learned from my weekend away, it’s to educate and position myself in a way that healthy and local food will be available to me and my family. Real food is important. Knowing where my food comes from is also important.
I know this is going to sound awfully hippie of me, but I truly believe a bond is formed if you are able to learn the roots of your food… literally even if you’re able! Touch the soil it’s grown in. Meet the farmer that tended to it. Pick it right from the tree if you’re able.
Find that connection. Remember that connection as you wash it, slice it, and turn it into a masterpiece. And again as you serve it to yourself and your family. And finally as you bring that first bite to your mouth and taste all the love and care that went into the meal.
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