Real juice is ugly.
Have you seen Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead yet? It’s good. I watched the documentary about a year ago when I was still researching the best long-term diet to address my health concerns. The documentary makes great points about our nutritional deficiencies, the obesity epidemic and the onslaught of diseases suffered as a result. Their solution? Juice it up! I bought the claim and went out to get myself a shiny new stainless steel juicer. I also purchased enough produce to rival a small garden and orchard. Well, two weeks (and over $200 in fruit and veggies) later, I stood staring at this silver fox in disbelief. How do people sustain this?!
Real juice is ugly. First of all, it’s expensive. Secondly, the amount of time it takes to stock the produce, wash and prepare it for the juicer, run it through, then break down the machine and get all the components free of pulp before it starts to get sticky is substantial. Then when it does come time to enjoy your fresh juice, it’s likely settled and oxidized and now looks like something you’d find in a diaper. UG-LY. It didn’t take long for this appliance to find itself a nice place on my pantry shelf.
But alas, I have renewed my love for the juicer. And here’s why. No matter where you fall on the Paleo spectrum, most flours are a no-go, especially the ones containing gluten. The only primary flours for baking are almond and coconut, but they come with strings attached. Almond flour is quite expensive and coconut flour presents a challenge with texture and a tendency to burn easily (or maybe that’s just me?). And let’s face it, neither of them offer the nutritional benefits of fresh apple and carrot pulp.
Juice pulp makes a fantastic base for muffins and pairs perfectly with almond meal (the cheaper alternative to almond flour). I actually use my juicer specifically for the pulp and consider the juice itself as an added bonus.
APPLE-CARROT PULP MUFFINS
I try to make these Apple-Carrot Pulp Muffins at least once a month. Since I don’t like to eat eggs or anything too fatty before a workout, these muffins are a perfect breakfast before a run or catching a WOD. And I must confess, they are a morale booster for me when I am missing the convenience and taste of regular baked goods. I’d make these muffins even if they weren’t Paleo!
Juice 5 medium apples and 1 large carrot. This should yield approximately 2 cups pulp, with the larger chunks of carrot and pieces of apple peel removed.
- 2 cups pulp
- 1.5 cups almond meal
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of Primal Crunch
Optional: dried cranberries, chocolate chips, chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix together the two cups of pulp, almond meal, flaxseed meal, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, crack the eggs, add the vanilla and whisk together. Stream in the honey while whisking so it doesn’t get glumpy.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and bring together. If you’d like to add dried berries, chocolate chips or chopped walnuts now is the time to do it.
Since there’s no added fat in these muffins, put liners in the muffin pan. I experimented once with greasing with coconut oil and it bombed big time. Liners are the way to go.
Divide the batter between the muffins and top each with Primal Crunch.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Be sure to get them out before the Crunch topping gets too dark! In my oven (which runs a little cooler I think) the tipping point was 30 minutes, so keep an eye on them after 25.
Let the muffins cool slightly before eating.
A side note about the coconut palm sugar. It’s made from sap from the coconut palm, has a very low GI rating and notable nutritional qualities. There are palm sugars on the market that blend with white cane sugar, so be sure to read labels and only get the pure stuff. Despite hitting important nutritional criteria, even the pure stuff is considered an “in moderation” Paleo item. It’s still sugar, after all. If you are not comfortable using this, then substitute by adding more honey instead. Stevia is considered Paleo, so that would also be an acceptable substitution. Just go easy on the Stevia! It’s much sweeter by volume than honey or coconut palm sugar.