Healthy eating has been important to my family and me for a long time. My husband, Terry, and I have been vegetarians for 40 years, and our adult children are lifelong vegetarians. Healthy eating is more important than ever now … my son, Will, and daughter-in-law, Chea, had a beautiful baby girl, and Terry and I became new grandparents on November 2 (yay!!!)! Terry and I along with our kids and kids-in-law want to be both healthy and good examples of healthy eating for the newest member of our family.
Terry and I got a head start on extra healthy eating when our daughter, Christina, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (low thyroid) and suspected gluten sensitivity in 2011. We tried to support Christina in her journey to regain her health by creating gluten-free family recipes for when she visited, like the one in my Creating Healthy Family Recipes post.
In late 2012, Christina started to experiment with strict gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free eating along with exercising 6 days a week for 6 months. You can read about how it transformed her body in her 6-Month Nutrition and Fitness Experiment. She’s done two experiments since then with very positive results. You can read about Christina’s experiences (and find more gluten-free recipes) on Fit Body Full Life.
Because of Christina, Terry and I started eating gluten free at home. We often eat foods with gluten when we eat out, but I’ve converted all my recipes to gluten-free versions. I bake with brown rice flour a lot. Following is my latest adaptation of a peanut butter muffin recipe I’ve used for a number of years.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oat Bran Muffins (with Cacao Nibs)
I love peanut butter, and peanut butter muffins are favorites of mine. I’ve gradually made my peanut butter muffins healthier and healthier. My latest addition is cacao instead of chocolate chips. Cacao is a Mayan super food that is filled with antioxidants and has no sweeteners. I used to add ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips to my peanut butter muffins. Now, I add ½ cup cacao nibs instead. Cacao nibs are bitter eaten alone, but the honey in the muffins adds sweetness and the cacao nibs create an interesting texture and mild chocolatey taste.
I do use regular oat bran in the muffins, which might have a slight amount of gluten. You can find certified gluten-free oat bran.
To make the recipe both healthy and gluten-free, I used coconut oil instead of butter, brown-rice flour instead of processed flours or whole wheat flour, honey instead of sugar, and the cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips. Because I raised athletes, I have a habit of adding protein powder to baked goods. I typically use whey powder, although soy powder (and egg substitute) can be used for a vegan recipe.
Here’s a printable recipe I created for natural, gluten-free, peanut butter oat bran muffins.
I’d love to hear what healthy-eating ideas have worked for your family. 🙂
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