Is it too early to have spring fever? The holidays are over, so I am over the cold weather. If we never get another inch of snow this year I would be more than happy. Don’t get me wrong, I like winter and I love it when it is cold and snowy for Christmas and New Years…but after December, I begin to get antsy for beautiful spring to arrive!!
We LOVE to be outside, my kids love to run and play and go on hikes! I think that is the part about the cold weather that makes me so anxious, not that I don’t like it to be cold, I just don’t like to be cooped up indoors. The weather this past Sunday didn’t help to ease my longing for warm weather, but we did take advantage of it somewhat. Even though the babies were nursing little colds, we thought the fresh air would do them some good. We packed up a few snacks (including some really yummy muffins that I made – check out the recipe below), got on our boots and headed out to Springdale Farms! We only left for an hour or so, but it was so wonderful. The girls got to feed a few goats, pet a mini horse, watch some sheep graze and go on a hike! Ok – Matt, Gabbi and I went on a hike and Autumn and Scarlet were carried along the trail – but it was still so much fun! No matter what time of the year, there is something so amazing about taking walks deep into the woods. Springdale farms is a great place for kids to do that too, because there are little signs here and there explaining some of the differences between the trees, how to tell how old they are and even which ones produce syrup. Gabbi love that stuff – there was even a small replica of a longhouse! Despite being miserable most of the day, the babies didn’t cry the whole time we were outside and when we got home they took the longest nap. I’m so thankful for the winter, so that we can truly appreciate the rest of the seasons, but I am so looking forward to the longer, warmer days ahead…
Here are a couple of pics of the girls at Springdale Farms….we were having such a great time that I forgot to take very many…
They spent the majority of the time in one of the barns feeding and petting all of the goats. I love that my girls love animals so much. Gabbi has declared that we should buy a farm, and you will never see Autumn happier or more excited than when she is around animals, she lights up and squeals and laughs with such enthusiasm!
Outside, after feeding the goats, the girls ran over to the fence that was holding the horses. Gabbi proceeded to whistle and this little guy came over. He spent awhile with the girls, letting them pet him (very carefully) and feed him some of the hay that he was already eating. When we walked away, he followed the girls for awhile along the fence and it was the cutest thing!
If you live in Monroe County and have never been to Springdale Farms, you should definitely check it out. Its free to get in and open 7 days a week. During warmer months they have a petting area, which costs $1 per person. They also have a milking facility on the farm which does daily tours for an additional fee, we have never been to that part but I plan on taking Gabbi soon. It’s a great place to take the kids to just walk around for awhile and for them to feel what it is like to be on a farm! You can check out their website here. Its run by Heritage Christian Services, which is a great organization.
Now, onto that muffin recipe…
These muffins were inspired by those little packets of mini muffins that they sell at the grocery store. Gabbi LOVES them, but they are not that great for you and are not filling at all! She will eat the whole box in a day!! But, she really wanted some miniature muffins to pack in her lunch and I loved the idea of having little muffins that Autumn could hold in her hand without dropping them all over the place….
So I got to work researching some muffin recipes and came up with a combination that everyone could eat and would like. They ended up turning out amazing and were gone in about 2 days. This recipe made 25 mini muffins plus 7 regular sized ones…
1 1/4c Bobs All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix
1/3 c Gluten Free Oats (quick cooking oats are fine too!)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chia seeds
1/4 c vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 c Agave syrup
1/4 c real maple syrup
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c of peanut butter – melted – I read about adding melted peanut butter to a muffin recipe and it intrigued me! We added it to this recipe – so yummy!!
1/4c vegan choc chips or carob chips
Pre – heat oven to 350
In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients (if you want to you can add the chia seeds now, or you can add them into the almond milk and let them sit in the liquid until they begin to get gelatinous.) Mix dry ingredients until well combined. Add in all wet ingredients, except for the melted peanut butter. Mix until it is just combined (over mixing muffins can make them dense). Fold in melted peanut butter and chocolate chips.
Distribute batter into prepared muffin tins. Mini’s need about 12 minutes, and regular sized muffins need close to 20!
Enjoy warm or at room temperature ….
**If you do not have agave or maple syrup on hand, regular granulated sugar can be substituted. However, you will need to increase the amount of milk in the recipe. I do not have exact measurements because I didn’t test it, so I would just increase the milk 1tbsp at a time until the batter feels right **