One Ingredient at a Time

by Robin on October 6, 2011 in Dinner Table, Engaging the Senses, Food, Hospitality, Nurture

Morning Muffin

Providing food to our families that is both nutritious and satisfying is such a challenge, but it can be done! Teaching our daughters (and sons) about ingredients and their health-promoting benefits will equip them with the knowledge and experience they will need to help their future families.

What are simple ways in which we can begin to improve the quality of the food we serve?

A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to the author of “Health for Godly Generations”, Renée DeGroot. Renée also has a very informative newsletter that will help you understand more about nutrition which you can sign up for here, as well as find past newsletters.

It was in a recent newsletter that Renée showed how she recreated family favorite recipes into healthier versions. I wanted to apply what I’ve been learning to our family’s favorite muffin recipe and share our success with you! Listed below is the original recipe first, then the our adapted recipe with notes on why I chose the new ingredients. I have been taking baby steps – one ingredient at a time – and now looking back it looks like giant steps!

Our [Original] Favorite Muffin Recipe

2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
8 oz. sour cream
2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. fruit (blueberries or strawberry & bananas are our favorites)

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar, oil, vanilla, sour cream. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients together then add to wet mixture. Stir until all is all is mixed, don’t worry about little lumps. Add fruit. Pour into oiled muffin cups filled 2/3 full and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. These muffins freeze well.

Gluten-Free Muffins

Our [Updated] Favorite Muffin Recipe

2 eggs farm fresh free-range or organic
1/2 c. sugar or sucanat or 1/2 c. coconut sugar
1/2 c. coconut oil
1 t. vanilla
8 oz. plain organic yogurt
2 c. whole wheat or 1 c. whole wheat and 1 c. white flour or 280 grams of gluten-free flour (we use whole grain all-purpose)
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. fruit (if possible, use organic)

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar, oil, vanilla, yogurt. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients together then add to wet mixture. Stir until all is all is mixed, don’t worry about little lumps. Add fruit. Pour into oiled muffin cups filled 2/3 full and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. These muffins freeze well.

Take a Bite

  • Eggs | When possible, use farm fresh free-range eggs. Happy chickens make for healthy eggs.
  • Sugar | This can be one of the hardest ingredients to change in our diets. A subtle way to begin is by decreasing the amount of sugar that you use in a recipe. By decreasing the amount by 1/3 to 1/2 of what you normally use allows your taste buds to begin to taste something other than just ‘sweet’. Adding banana or applesauce to this recipe could enable you to decrease the sugar amount even more.You can also begin venturing into the world of alternative sweeteners. Not artificial sweeteners, but healthier alternatives! Begin looking at and reading about natural sweeteners and find what would work best for your family and your budget.Suggested alternatives:sucanat, maple syrup, honey, agave, stevia powder, stevia drops, coconut sugar, etc.
  • Yogurt | Organic yogurt or made from raw milk. Coconut milk can also be used.
  • Salt | Look for unprocessed salt such as: Celtic sea salt, Himalayan salt, etc. These salts are a whole food and are full of minerals not just sodium.

These are just some ideas to get you started! There is much to learn about nutrition, and it can be a wonderful adventure to share with your daughters. Remember baby steps will turn into giant steps; just keep going.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously

to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)


Married to Rob for 32 years and mother to Breezy and Emily Rose. A sinner saved by Grace, loves making her home a warm and inviting place to live and create in. Maker, gluten-free baker, and manager of several home businesses - Noble Rose Press, Clementine Pattern Co., and The Breezy Tulip Studio. You can find her at her brand new blog

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Jennifer October 6, 2011

This is a great post! I love the idea of taking baby steps. It not only eases your taste buds into the change, but it helps with the pocketbook by not buying all the new ingredients at once! It is so sad that the healthy options are so much more expensive. I’ve always thought, less processing = less cost, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. 🙁

Thank you for the motivation to start really making the change in our house one ingredient at a time! 😉

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kirsten October 6, 2011

This is great, Robin, thank you! Very helpful ideas! It feels much less overwhelming and “doable” to be able to adapt recipes I already use. And, I just read thru some archives of the Health for Godly Generations and loved it!

Christy, The Simple Homemaker October 6, 2011

Fantastic post! This is the approach we’ve been taking for years. Now we think nothing of making everything from scratch, avoiding sweeteners, staying away from processed foods, and the like. We are still baby-stepping our way along.

I SO appreciate this post. The “do everything perfectly now and never mess up or all your children will have terrible diseases and you’ll all die and it will be all your fault” posts from some real food blogs make me want to give up and go buy Doritos and eat the whole bag with a Snickers chaser…and a smile on my face…and a really, really bad stomach ache. In fact, I’m writing a post about that now. But, I digress. Thank you for this post! 🙂

Rhonda October 6, 2011

I love this! So true–start with baby steps otherwise it’s too overwhelming. I started using Mountain High Yogurt in place of sour cream about 6 months ago and really like it–better for us and my family doesn’t notice any difference.

Mrs. June Fuentes October 6, 2011

Such beautiful photography! The work of Emily, I presume? Thanks for the inspiring post! 🙂

Many blessings…

Nikki October 6, 2011

Thanks so much for the helpful suggestions! These look so yummy, I can’t wait to try them!

I have some concern about agave, there are conflicting reports so I’m not sure what to believe. As such, I have decided to avoid it unless I’m convinced of its safety.

Vickie October 6, 2011

Thanks so much for the recipe. I almost bought a box of blueberry muffin mix yesterday and after reading the package I put it back. Now I can make muffins this weekend a healthier way.

Christin October 6, 2011

This is such a great idea. And really a simple one!! Thank you Robin! :O) You are always a blessing!

Dorothy October 6, 2011

The muffins look good.

Lucy October 6, 2011

Definitely a worthy pursuit. I tried this year to start by growing pumpkins for pies, but unfortunately have not seen any fruit despite the fact I planted my seeds in May. I still will be pumpkins I pick myself, however, from a local u-pick. 🙂 I did that for my grape pies, and the results were fantastic.

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