Family traditions. Something as a child you don’t think much about but as you age you start to cherish these traditions. Traditions are bonds that hold our human connections together. Now, I’m not necessarily talking about religious traditions, though for some these traditions are extremely important and relevant to their culture. I’m referring to traditions that your family does that are unique to your family. Perhaps even traditions that are weekly. It could be as simple as Sunday morning brunch or Friday night movie night.
As you grow older and your life starts to develop a schedule that no longer includes some of your family on a daily basis you begin to create new traditions. When I met my husband, it was important to me that we have our own traditions as a family unit (be that 2 or 4 of us). Food always plays a major part – whether it is a gathering of friends and family to decorate our Christmas tree or New Year Day traditional feast – food is a priority. Probably when you think back to traditions you did as a child, food was involved.
Living on the West coast, neither my husband or I have immediate family to gather with for holiday weekends. This is a large price we pay to live in a place that is surrounded by mountains, ocean and never-ending forest. Long weekends that I associate with traditions always make my heart a little achy – missing my family for simple things like sibling yelling matches and unending guttural laughter. As a child, this Easter weekend would be filled with church, an Easter egg hunt and a wonderful feast of food on Sunday – mostly listening to my Grandmother tell dirty jokes. Now, as little Q becomes old enough to really enjoy traditions – my husband and I wanted to create some for him.
We will be making a huge feast on Friday (not a normal tradition for food) allowing us all weekend to digest. On the menu is a beautiful free run turkey with home-made stuffing, scalloped sweet potatoes, broccoli salad, sautéed Swiss chard and I’m still deciding on dessert…could be a tough one. I’m sure a hike will be in there somewhere or the discovery of a unique neighbourhood as we enjoy the sunshine. Sunday morning Easter egg hunt is a must – what kid doesn’t want to search for chocolate eggs??? And to follow will be a delicious brunch which will include these Morning Glory muffins. These muffins are really a meal in themselves, packed with carrot, apple, raisins, walnut and coconut. I have created this gluten-free, vegan version which has been tested by everyone and the postman (literally) who had no idea that it was not the “traditional” version. They are unbelievably moist with a wonderful fluffy texture (something hard to achieve with gluten-free baking) and utterly satisfying. Use a food processor to save time on grating and feel free to cut the recipe in half if you’re only looking for 12 muffins. This makes 24 – lots for leftovers to freeze and have as an easy on-the-go breakfast. Remember, eating clean means planning ahead and these muffins are a great way to do that. Serve to your weekend guests for breakfast (perhaps warm with some almond butter or fresh smashed fruit?). YUM!
What traditions will you be doing this long weekend? Any new ones that you are creating with your family?
- 6 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 1½ cups water OR 6 eggs
- 4 cups of carrots, grated
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 4½ tsp pure vanilla
- 2½ cups brown rice flour
- 1½ cups sorghum flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 cup (approx) water as needed to moisten mixture
- In a bowl, mix chia seeds and water. Let sit and thicken.
- With a food processor, grate the carrots and apples. Place in a very large mixing bowl.
- Add apple sauce, melted coconut oil, raisins, unsweetened shredded coconut and raw walnuts. Mix well together and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, and xanthan gum.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and begin to mix. Mixture will be dry, so as needed add approximately 1 cup of water until the mixture is just moist. Try not to over mix!
- Grease 2 large muffin tins (total 24 muffins) and scoop mixture into tins until mixture is gone. Fill each one up nice and high!
- Bake for 30 - 40mins depending on your oven. Don't over bake or may be dry. Enjoy!