The smells of coffee in the morning are often brutally laden with bitter animosity towards the long day ahead and the warm bed, freshly abandoned. A rude awakening, at best. But really, the punchy aromas escaping your brewing device of choice, pushing you around in the morning aren't to blame -- mornings, by nature, simply aren't fun.
So, Amidst all the unmanageable New Years resolutions laid out, why not make a simple one, inevitably yielding a better year, albeit one day at a time. Namely, by starting your mornings right. Maybe that means waking up ten or thirty minutes earlier than your 2012 alarm or by simply better managing the hour prior to heading out the door. In any scenario, a solid routine allowing just enough time for enjoying the morning, rather than feverishly watching the minutes dissipate, undisputedly facilitates a more productive day.
And as I've said before, a huge part of this routine is eating breakfast.
I always make these muffins for brunches, particularly for Christmas morning. Actually, this previous Christmas morning, they reminded me just how enjoyable they are and how easy they are to whip up. So, if you're looking for a kinder means of motivation for throwing off the covers, take a stab at making these.
Chamomile, generally reserved for lullng one to under the covers, alternatively, here, offers nothing short of a leisurely wake up call. There's also something, perhaps a certain sense of accomplishment interlaced in using the oven before 6PM, moreover noon. If you pre-make the batter and store in the fridge, there's just enough time wash, brush, or make-up while they're cooking. Plus, the smell from baking will fill your kitchen with warmer scents than what I imagine the 'Secret Garden,' itself, boasts.
And if the aromas of coffee feel like a slap in the face from the gods of AM, consider the lavender in combination with the chamomile, the sweetness of the honey and the nuttyness of the almond something resembling a warm and loving embrace. Made from almond flour, these muffins also happen to be gluten-free -- giving your stomach a comparatively relaxing digestive wake-up. I adapted the recipe for Chamomile and Honey Almond Meal Muffinsfrom one of my favorites, Caitlin of RoostBlog, who cooks entirely gluten-free, to include lavender because well, I dig botanicals. And as the almond flour already packs a good amount of healthy omega-3 fats, there's no need to add much extra oil (although the added almond oil really reinforces the flavor) to ensure moisture. The honey is also a great low-glycemic and healthy alternative to white sugar. Hence, all of the purposeful ingredients keep the finished product super lower in saturated fats and calories but big on flavor. Not your average take-away Starbucks muffin.
And when they're done, after you generously drizzle one with lusciously warm honey, sit down and take a few minutes for yourself. Mentally prep for the hours ahead. Grab your laptop, iPad or old fashioned paper and read-up on a few things that matter to you. And let's be honest, while that first cup of coffee is still brewed with that morning time spite, it's not going anywhere. If you're anything like me, caffeine, after all, is essentially fueling all of my daily routines at all hours of the day. But, one of these muffins alongside is surely guaranteed to soften the blow of that punchy morning joe.
So, resolve to slow down a bit while simultaneously always moving forward.Happy 2013 to you and yours,
Lavender and Chamomile Almond Muffins
Adapted from one of my favorites, RoostBlog
2 C finely ground almond flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 T finely chopped dried chamomile flowers + 1 T lavender buds, and extra for garnish (processed through a spice/coffee grinder or finely chopped with knife)
1/4 C almond oil (ghee or your mild flavored oil of choice also work)
1/4 C good honey, plus extra for serving
Greek yogurt for serving, I like Siggi's vanilla bean for these (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet and dry until well incorporated. Pour into lined muffin tins and garnish with whole buds and flowers Bake for 25-30 or until golden brown. Serve hot with butter or greek yogurt and drizzled honey.