Australian-based psychology and nutrition expert Delia McCabe's new book, Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook, is brimming with recipes designed to keep your mind operating at peak performance, including ones to sharpen your mind in the a.m.
The muffin recipe she shares here is her family’s Sunday morning staple, created with her gluten-intolerant son in mind. It’s brain-boosting benefits are three-fold: First, the fiber in the polenta and psyllium husks gets everything off to a great start. “Fiber is great for brain health indirectly because it helps the gut work more efficiently, which increases the quantity and quality of the nutrients delivered to the brain,” says McCabe.
Secondly, the unrefined carbs in the gluten-free flour blend and carrots and bananas keep blood sugar steady, ideal for all-day brain function. “It’s important to keep in mind with all meals, but especially with breakfast after a night’s fast,” says McCabe. And, finally, the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil provide a unique kind of fat that can be broken down and used by your brain cells for fuel.
The recipe is also endlessly versatile: Add a cup of chopped dried fruits and nuts, a but of orange zest for flavor, and serve them with a smear of nut butter for an extra-filling effect.
Ready to start your morning off right? Keep reading for the recipe.
Golden Polenta Muffins
2 cups chickpea flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 cup potato starch
1 1/2 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
1/4 cup coconut oil, plus more to oil muffin tray
1 cup polenta
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp psyllium husks powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
2 cups finely grated carrot
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1. Combine chickpea flour, rice flour, potato starch, and arrowroot starch. Reserve one cup of gluten-free flour blend for the muffins. Refrigerate the remaining gluten-free flour blend in an airtight container for future use.
2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil a 12-hole muffin tray with coconut oil.
3. In a large bowl, combine the polenta, one cup of the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder, psyllium, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the vanilla, mashed banana, carrot, coconut oil, milk, and syrup. Stir the banana-carrot mixture into the dry ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin tray and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove the muffins from the oven and leave them to stand for about 10 minutes before removing them from the tray.
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