A Wee Little Girl

mostly-good-for-you apple cinnamon crumble muffins
This past week we found out we’re having a little girl. A wee tiny baby girl. Isn’t that something?Though we’d tried to picture ourselves with a girl or a boy, it didn’t seem real. Like trying to imagine yourself as someone else, plunked in their life. We had been rooting for a boy…. it felt easier to picture us with him somehow and I felt like I might be slightly bummed out if it were a girl (yes, how selfish). But when the ultrasound technician told us it was a little girl, we beamed. At each other, inside, outside…. we beamed. I felt a hot tear burn it’s way down my cheek and into my ear. And then another. The first tears I’ve cried during this journey, which seems odd given I’m an emotional mess at the best of times. She was real now, we could picture it. Our little daughter. The little squirming creature that comes to life around 10pm each night, poking and punching, was our little girl. Life – what a trip!

mostly-good-for-you apple cinnamon crumble muffins

One of the more undesirable parts of this experience has been all the anxious women who couldn’t wait to tell me horror stories about “what it’s like to be pregnant” and “what you can expect in the 9 months ahead”, offering their unasked for advice on what I should be eating, doing, not doing, preparing for, what doctor I should see or how a midwife was the wrong choice etc, etc. I try to shut these women out. Smile and thank them for their advice and commentary, however undesired. Their experience is not mine, and never will be. I love being pregnant. Watching the silhouette of my body change, the lines becoming softer and more rounded, that once small pouch under my belly button rounding out in an effort to house the ever-growing little person we’re so anxiously waiting to meet… it’s all been a joy. From the aches and pains to the tiny kicks, every minute fascinating and wonderful in it’s own way. We want to experience it in our own way, with our own eyes. And I vow, with you all as my witness’, that I will not be that lady who tells other pregnant women, especially the first-timers, how to be and deal with being pregnant.

Raising a little girl has been something I’ve continually questioned if I’m equipped for. Can I instill the type of confidence, strength and empathy that my parents instilled in my sister and I? How do you even do that? Is there a manual somewhere? It’s all a bit overwhelming. But boy, are we anxious to try our hand at it. I’m preparing for motherhood in the best way I know how… with food, of course. Whipping up dinners and snacks that I feel would appeal to a little person, things that taste heavy and rich and delicious, but are sneakily filled with whole wheat and oats and other things I tended away from as a child.

I imagine myself tucking these muffins into her lunch as I pat her bum out the door and onto the school bus. They’re good enough to keep, rather than trade for a fruit-roll-up…. I think. It’s these tiny things that make my gut stir with anxiousness and excitement. And so, I eat a lot. And I was hoping you might eat along with me.mostly-good-for-you apple cinnamon crumble muffins

Mostly-Good-For-You Apple Cinnamon Crumble Muffins
makes 12-15 muffins
adapted from Pinch of Yum

⅓ cup unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped apples (Pink Lady, Gala, Honey Crisp)
1 1/2 cups milk (I used coconut milk)
2 teaspoons white vinegar
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1½ cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tbsp wheat bran, optional
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

In a small pan over med heat, melt the butter and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes. It’ll get frothy and as the froth starts to dissipate, you’ll start to smell a nuttiness and see little flecks of gold in the bottom of the pan. Once those flecks are golden brown, remove the butter from the heat. Add in the milk and vinegar and let sit for a few minutes so the milk can get nice and tangy.

Preheat oven to 350.

To a large bowl, add the milk mixture along with the brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Whisk gently to combine. Pour in the flours, oats, wheat bran, sunflower seeds, baking soda/powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves and mix just until no clumps of flour remain. If you find the mixture a little too dry, add a bit more milk. Fold the apples in the batter.  Spoon into lined muffin trays. If using, sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the muffins. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. If it comes out with batter on it, they’ll need a few more minutes.

Crumble Topping
this topping is completely optional but makes the muffins just a wee bit sweeter and of course, much more delicious.

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp old fashioned oats

Melt butter in a pan or in the microwave and stir in the rest of the ingredients until a crumbly mixture forms. Crumble  evenly over the muffin tops before baking.