Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential fats that your body can’t make on its own and can only get from the food you eat. So here’s one way to slip some healthy fat into your diet.
It’s currently recommended that you consume 7-11 grams of omega-3 fatty acids each week. They’re crucial for brain function and there’s strong evidence they reduce your risk for heart disease. These fats are also great for your skin! (See Eating for Healthy Skin – Part 2.)
Cold water fish, like salmon and mackerel, are rich in omega-3’s, but whole grains, nuts and seeds are also good sources. For example, one ounce (about 14 halves) of walnuts contains 2.6 grams of these fats compared to a 4-oz. portion of salmon that has 2.1 grams.
For general disease-free health, you should be eating a balanced proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. That is, a ratio of 1:1 – and not more than 4:1. But according to The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Western diets typically consist of excessive amounts of omega-6’s (by as much as 16 times too much) from eating foods heavy in refined vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and corn. These oils are used in most snacks, crackers, cookies, and sweets. To restore the ratio of the fatty acids in the diet, doctors usually advise cutting back on processed foods and “eating more fish”.
These Omega Muffins will help balance out your diet with more omega-3’s and are not sugary ‘breakfast cupcakes’. They’re moist, naturally sweet from the ripe bananas and the touch of honey. Perfect for starting your day or when you’re hungry and on-the-go!
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Chop enough walnuts to fill 3/4 cup. Set aside.
3. Add the following to a medium mixing bowl and set aside:
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat white flour
- 3 Tbsp. honey (Each muffin contains 3/4 tsp. honey compared to a muffin of the same size that typically contains twice that amount of sugar.)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4. Mash 3 overripe med-large bananas with a fork in a large mixing bowl. (It’s not necessary to use a blender.)
5. Mix the following to the mashed bananas with a large mixing spoon:
- 1 heaping Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 large eggs, omega-3 fortified
6. Blend the following to the banana mixture:
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk, omega-3 fortified
- 1/2 cup of the reserved chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds (the seeds add a nice texture)
7. Add and mix the flour mixture to the banana mixture.
8. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
9. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. (There should be enough batter to fill to the top.)
10. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chopped walnuts on top of each muffin. Lightly press nuts on the tops.
11. Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
12. Remove muffins from the muffin tin and place on a cooling rack. After cooling, store in an airtight container and refrigerate.