Gluten Free “Pina Colada” Muffins

So I’ve been on a quest lately to eat more protein.  I met with my trainer (the awesome Drew Heisler from Heisler Training Systems) last week to go over/tweak my diet, and I found out I’ve been grossly under when it comes to protein.  I’m okay when it comes to lunch and dinner, but I seem to struggle with breakfast and snacks.  I don’t like your typical high protein foods: cottage cheese, eggs, yogurt, beans, tofu, pre-made protein bars, etc.-so I’ve been trying to come up with alternatives.  For breakfast, I found a great high protein oatmeal, and now that the weather is getting warmer, I’ll switch back to smoothies soon.

IMG_7667For the past couple years, I’ve been using PlantFusion’s protein powder for my smoothies.  It is completely plant-based and free of all major allergens: no dairy, soy, gluten (wheat), eggs, nuts, fish, tree nuts, or shellfish.  It’s also free of artificial flavors and preservatives and tastes great.  It contains 21 grams of protein and is the only plant-based protein shake that compares to whey.  I’ve tried the chocolate flavor and recently bought the unflavored version so I can use it in recipes.

I made another version of the Larabar bites with it (protein “brownie” bites) the over the weekend, and a few nights ago I used it in these muffins.  The muffins turned out great and weren’t overly sweet.  With the addition of the protein powder, they have about 8 grams of protein in them.  If I make them again, I think I will add some shredded coconut right into the mix.  They’re great toasted with a little butter!

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix (gluten-free)
1 scoop Plant Fusion Protein Powder (I used unflavored, but you could also use vanilla)
1 egg
1 20 oz. can unsweetened pineapple chunks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
Unsweetened shredded coconut

IMG_7662Preheat oven to 350º F.  Grease a muffin pan (6 muffins) and set aside.  In a large bowl combine baking mix, protein powder, egg, 3/4 cup pineapple chunks, 1/4 to 1/2 cup pineapple juice (from pineapple chunks), vanilla and honey.  Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pan and top with shredded coconut.  Bake for 19 to 21 minutes.  Let muffin pan cool on a wire rack for a bit before removing the muffins to cool completely on the rack.  Enjoy!

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