Sweet Potato Applesauce Muffins

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Adapted from the Oatmeal Artist http://theoatmealartist.blogspot.ca/2012/10/sweet-potato-oatmeal-muffins.html?m=1  Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and vitamin A. Applesauce replaces some of the maple syrup. These are also egg-free. Pair these muffins with some non-fat Greek yogurt and fruit for a healthy breakfast.

1 c. pureed cooked sweet potato

2 T. oil

2/3 c. milk

1/4 c. plus 2 T. water

1/4 c. applesauce

1/4 c. maple syrup

2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. oat bran

1 c. oat flour (I pulsed oatmeal into a flour like consistency)

2 T. flour (gluten free or regular)

2 – 3 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Mix liquid ingredients together in small bowl.  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Add liquid to dry, mix well.  Drop into muffin tin cups that have been sprayed with non stick spray. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

 

Depression and the Church

Yesterday, I read this article how church can help the depressed on how the church can love those in its’ congregation who suffer from depression.  While the points made in the article were good (educate yourself, listen, and pray), I felt the article barely scratched the surface of what the church can do to help those in need.  I’d like to add a few more points for consideration:

  1.  Eliminate Christian-ese and platitudes when talking with someone who’s depressed.  Comments like “you just need to get out more” or “if you just exercise, you’ll feel better” or “you’re not praying enough” or even “you have a demon inside you” are not helpful at all.  The depressed person wants to get better, no doubt about it, but simply has no resources within themselves to do so. Certain types of depression are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
  2. Cultivate ties with Christian counsellors experienced in treating depression. Have a list ready of psychologists  (including contact information) to provide the individual who is coping with depression.  If a person comes for pastoral counselling, something a pastor can do (since pastors are not necessarily trained as therapists) is to help the individual set up an appointment with a Christian therapist.
  3. If you are a friend to someone who is suffering with depression, know that while this may be a difficult time for you to be their friend due to their depressed state, try not to “dump” them (this happened to me…which hardly made my depression better).
  4. Have a guest speaker come in, such as a Christian counsellor, to talk about mental illness.
  5. Keep  a list of emergency phone numbers handy such as the local Suicide Prevention hotline. Take any talk of suicide seriously.
  6. Acknowledge the need for lament. Perhaps a sermon or two on lamenting would be helpful.
  7. Anyone else notice there seems to be a lack of authenticity in church; we all put on a plastic grin? Not only depression is hidden but all wounds, scars, shame, and flaws.   (If you really knew me would you still love me?)   This song by Casting Crowns says it much better than this post.

If everything is objective and there is no room for subjectivity (not relativity, but subjectivity), there is no room for true human experience. And so we are left denying our experiences, which are not always good ones, in the face of the hard objective truth that God is good. We’re often not really given the permission to do otherwise.

Quote From – Need For Lament

 

Baked Energy Bites

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Also known as granola bars. These have been adapted by myself to make a lower-fat, lower sugar version of a recipe from Julie Van Rosendaal.

1 3/4 c. oats (I used quick-cooking)
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. white flour
pinch salt
shake of cinnamon
1 c. nuts of your choice
1 c. dried fruit of your choice
1/4 c. chia seeds
1/4 c. hemp hearts
1/3 c. canola oil
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. plain, non-fat yogurt
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine oats,sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nuts, dried fruit, chia seeds and hemp hearts. Mix well. In small bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, yogurt, egg, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, mix well. Place in pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350 approximately 27 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack then cut up to size you desire. **Can easily be made gluten free by using a GF flour in place of the white flour.