MuffinEnvyNew year, new routine and a new menu.

Parents are back at it, packing lunches and snacks for school days and trips around TOwn. Our go-to? Healthy homemade muffins. The problem, I am a one-trick pony – banana chocolate chip. I have a serious case of muffin envy, so when I am out with the kids, guaranteed I am peeking at what the other moms packed.

I’ve turned to two Toronto moms to inspire some new mixes for our snack rotation.

(And if you must, my Banana Chocolate Chip Recipe is at the end.)

Rachel Walker, co-owner of Born Doulas

Rachel is a mom I met in the ‘hood while on the drop in circuit with our second boys in TOw. I can always count on her for recipe ideas and a good story about what it was like growing up in Toronto. She introduced me to 100 Days of Real Food and these delicious kid-pleasing bites that have no no added sugar (it calls for honey). Try ’em: Whole Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins by 100 Days of Real Food.

Christy Varicat, owner of My Spice Box 

Christy didn’t always make things from scratch. Her journey to healthier and tastier food was kickstarted by her husband, someone who never follows recipes and likes to roast and grind his own spices. Her love of real food inspired her to launch My Spice Box, an online store for organic spices. She suggests this gluten-free muffin using healthy alternatives (maple syrup instead of sugar; coconut in lieu of vegetable oil.) Be sure to check out her blog, she has so many other recipe ideas.)

Gluten Free and Vegan Carrot Oat Muffins


Chia paste: 1 tbsp of ground chia seed mixed with 1/4 cup of warm water
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground flax
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 carrot, grated
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 cup of water


– Preheat oven to 375 F then mix 1 tbsp of ground chia seeds with 1/4 cup of warm water and allow to sit for 5 minutes to form your chia paste (egg replacement)
– Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the oats, flours, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, sea salt, ground flax, and pumpkin seeds.
– In a separate bowl, mix the chia paste with the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, carrot, ginger and water; pour over dry ingredients and mix until just combined
– Pour batter into 12 coconut oil greased muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes; allow to cool and enjoy!

MuffinRecipeKids in T.O. Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

As you can see it’s well used, and I am not sure where it comes from. Tweaks: I usually use a 1/4 cup of sugar and a few times I’ve even forgotten to put sugar and they are still sweet and delicious. I also use whole wheat flour and swap in berries instead of chocolate chips. It’s usually about 20 minutes for full muffins and 14 minutes for the mini muffins.

Got a a favourite muffin recipe to share? Please do – email or leave a link in the comments.