We’ve all heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And that is absolutely true. It’s important that we nourish our bodies in the morning, because of how long we go without eating due to being asleep during the night. Eating breakfast also provides fuel for us, making tasks such as going to school or work much less stressful on our brain, increasing our performance and making it easier to concentrate on what we need to do.
Breakfast is definitely important, but what’s even more important is what you eat for your first meal. Common breakfast foods such as sweetened cereals, muffins, croissants, scones, toast, and bagels all have a high Glycemic Index (GI), meaning they have simple carbohydrates that break down quickly once digested, spiking our blood glucose levels. They provide a burst of energy for us, but our blood glucose levels decline as quickly as they rise. This results in us getting hungry for lunch quicker and feeling sluggish due to the crash of blood glucose levels. Not optimal for people with busy school and work schedules!
Fortunately, studies have shown that eating foods that are Low GI, such as almonds, legumes, pure maple syrup, and steel cut oats, have more complex carbohydrates that are broken down slower than their higher GI counterparts, resulting in a more steady and slow increase in blood sugar levels, meaning we don’t experience the same kind of crash and post-breakfast hunger that we would if we were to eat something that contained more simple sugars. Low GI foods are also known to steady insulin levels, preventing our bodies from developing insulin resistance.
The Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology conducted a study to see how low GI breakfasts and snacks could affect overall blood glucose profiles. They concluded:
“Consumption of a low GI breakfast and afternoon snack was capable of attenuating 24-h blood glucose profiles, minimize glycemic excursions and reduce food intake…This simple dietary intervention may be an acceptable approach in improving overall glycemia and energy balance.”
These Matcha and Adzuki Bean muffins are a delicious on-the-go breakfast, with tons of health benefits. They are gluten and grain free, made with hearty chickpea and almond flours, both low GI foods to keep you feeling full until lunch. Adzuki beans (aside from being super tasty) are a great source of fibre, which helps to keep bowel movements regular; they also are a good source of magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, manganese and B Vitamins, such as niacin, thiamin and riboflavin. Alongside these health benefits, they’re also- you guessed it- Low GI to help avoid the dreaded post-breakfast crash.
Matcha green tea powder is revered for its amazing antioxidant properties. A serving contains 34 mg of caffeine, which is perfect for waking up on early mornings, but due to an amino acid found in matcha called L-Theanine, the caffeine is released slowly into the body, meaning you get a longer, more gradual energy increase rather than the caffeine rush and crash that we all know coffee is responsible for.
These muffins are packed with nutrients, healthy fats, are gluten and grain free, refined free, and vegan! They’re almost too good to be true. Make a batch during your meal prep day to have these on hand for your busy weekdays. Enjoy!
Matcha and Adzuki Bean Muffins
This recipe is adapted from a video on Ryoya Takashima’s Youtube Channel “Peaceful Cuisine”. Original recipe can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDy3ijT3JWg
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
3/4 cup adzuki beans, drained and rinsed well
2 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp melted coconut oil (or another oil of your choice)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup +2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp high quality matcha
1 tbsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chickpea flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with liners.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the adzuki beans and 2 tbsp maple syrup. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, until beans are softened and there is no liquid left. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, combine the melted coconut oil and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. If your coconut oil begins to harden, heat the mixture in a double boiler or place your bowl over a pot with simmering water (make sure your bowl is heatproof!).
4. In a separate small bowl, combine your flax seeds and 3 tbsp water. Allow to stand for a few minutes until thickened and gelatinous. This is your flax egg!
5. Add the flax egg to the wet ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined.
6. Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from muffin tins.
Written by Rebecca Moutoussidis
Kaur, B. & Ranawa, B. (2015). The impact of a low glycemic index (GI) breakfast and snack on daily blood glucose profiles and food intake in young Chinese adult males. Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology, 2 Issue 3. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.meir-ez.medlcp.tau.ac.il/science/article/pii/S2214623715000563np=y&npKey=a2cf03112f2075313e095c1c1a79f85b8ff5f733fa01b549ad91639940221c3e
All Breakfast All the Time (n.d.) Glycemic Index. Retrieved from http://www.mrbreakfast.com/glossary_term.asp?glossaryID=158
Sears, A. (n.d.) Glycemic Index. Retrieved from http://alsearsmd.com/glycemic-index/
Satherley, J (2014). Could you swap your morning latte for green tea? Matcha has a caffeine kick but the antioxidants of a superfood. One coffee addict travels to Japan to attempt the challenge. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2713411/Would-swap-coffee-Matcha-green-tea.html
Organic Facts. (n.d.) Health Benefits of Adzuki Beans. Retrieved from