Yuuuup…you read that right folks! Bite-sized medallions of homemade breakfast sausage AND pancakes together in a hand-held muffin!!! I wanted to get this post up sooner (I’ve been working on the concept since January when I started a stage/internship that required my eating breakfast on-the-go a couple of days a week), but then stage and vacation happened and, well, here we are folks, at the end of my vacation, having accomplished almost nothing of what I intended to get done. I guess that means that I actually had a vacation…or, as close to a vacation as this girl knows how to have.
What I managed to do over the course of my so-called vacation was get back into the gym. The last couple of weeks of stage are always busier than previous ones a) because there is more expected of the students (though for the stage I just finished, the workload was more than reasonable) and b) because there is a final project thing that my school insists each student do ON TOP OF having already paid the school to work full time for free in each stage environment. (Sigh.) I was also sick for the last two weeks of my stage. So, between the project, being sick (as I said, the workload at my stage was super reasonable and manageable), and travelling around for my vacation, I didn’t really go to the gym for about 3 weeks.
Normally, I would be ok with that, except the CrossFit Open started just as my vacation began! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the CrossFit world, the Open is a 5-week event which starts off the competition season; a competition season which ends with the CrossFit Games (a.k.a. CrossFit Olympics) in August. Every week for 5 weeks, a new workout is announced followed by a 4-day grace period for participants to complete the workout and submit their scores online. The top athletes in each category in each region around the world then advance to the next step, CrossFit Regionals. (And the top 5 athletes from each Regional then go on to the Games.)
Now, I’m no Regionals-level athlete, but I’m an avid CrossFitter and really enjoy doing the workouts every year. Even though they leave you on the floor, sucking air, and wondering what the he!l just happened to you, they’re a REALLY good baseline to see how you’re progressing from year to year. They also give you an idea of how you stack up on a provincial, regional, and/or international scale. For someone (like myself) who usually works out on his/her own, that’s huge. It lets you continue to believe that you’re going down the right road OR lets you know that perhaps you should be tweaking your programming.
The other, and, I think, best part about the Open is that it reminds you of how awesome the community is. I’ve been coaching CrossFit for over 3 years at this point, and can’t count the number of times I’ve talked to new members who are slightly intimidated by the idea of being put in classes with seasoned veterans/avid CrossFitters like myself. They’re worried that they’re going to look bad, or just made to feel like a beginner by the sheer fact that they will be surrounded by non-beginners. What I’ve told them every single time is that as long as they show up, do the work, and have fun, they will have the support of every single person in the gym. I have yet to be proven wrong.
I was judging a few people’s Open workouts two weekends ago (many of whom were doing the Open for the first time and were super nervous), and they could barely hear my instructions because the rest of the gym was there cheering them on, taking pictures of them in action (regardless of how advanced they were), and giving them high fives at the end! Though, I didn’t get a chance to ask them, I would bet you anything that in that moment, they had no regrets about doing the Open workout. I’m not sure I can entirely convey what it feels like to be in that ultra-charged atmosphere, but I promise you, it’s uh-mazing. Every. Single. Time.
This year, I’m not feeling all that prepared for the Open because I haven’t exactly been able to train consistently since October or so. I therefore decided to push my goal for this year to next year and just have fun with it this year. Well…try to have fun.
I did the first workout last Monday. It consisted of 150, 35 pound dumbbell snatches and 75 burpees up to and over a 20″ box, spread out over 5 rounds, and with a time cap of 20 minutes. Worldwide, over half the people who did the workout never finished it. I managed to finish. So for me, I figure I did ok; especially since I had only worked out once in 3 weeks, still had a bit of a cough, and had to use two of my breaks to blow my nose! I actually didn’t find it too bad. But I also like burpees (I know. There’s something wrong with me).
The next Open workout was announced last Thursday night…and it had bar muscle ups in it. (Bar muscle ups are considered an advanced gymnastics movement for CrossFitters where the individual does the biggest pull up of their life, lands on top of the bar, and then does a vertical body weight push up until their elbows lock out. It’s pretty cool!).
This is the other amazing thing about the CrossFit Open. There is something about it that gives people that extra “What the he!l” attitude about trying new things/movements that somehow doesn’t work for them when they’re in a class. For me, last year, that was bar muscle ups. I had scared myself out of even trying to learn them years earlier, but then they showed up in an Open workout, and I said, “Well…I guess I’m learning bar muscle ups.” I immediately started scouring the internet for tutorial videos, tips from the masters, biomechanics breakdowns. You name it, I looked for it.
Having coached people how to get bar muscle ups before (despite not having ever done one myself), and being semi-able to do ring muscle ups (a.k.a. the bar muscle up’s ruder cousin), I wasn’t starting completely from scratch. I had a few ideas for progressions to try. And they worked! 10 minutes before the workout, I taught myself a brand new movement, and then got 10 more during the workout itself. It was awesome! I was on cloud nine for weeks! Still am, when I really think back to the memory.
Unfortunately, my bar muscle ups haven’t gotten much better in the year since that day, so when they showed up in another Open workout this year, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Like the bar muscle ups last year, I set a goal for myself. I wanted to get 16. I got 18. I’m not sure how I did, but I did; 18 U.G.L.Y. bar muscle ups. Watching the videos that were taken of my muscle ups, it’s clear that I got them purely on the basis of grit and strength. But in the Open, that’s often all you need. It’s just…amazing.
Newho…now that I’ve bored you to tears about non-food-related stuff/the other half of my life, I will get back to the subject of this post; Paleo-ish Breakfast Sausage Pancake Muffins! When I found out my stage schedule in January included a couple of days during the week where, unless I wanted to get up at 4:30 am (no freakin’ way that would happen!), I started looking for easy-to-pre-make, yet balanced, breakfast ideas. Not an easy task I have to say. I wanted something that had decent amount of meat and a bit of sweet. It also had to fit in the palm of my hand.
Obviously, some kind of muffin came to mind. (Breakfast sandwich also came to mind, but that’s still too messy for me, so muffin it was). But how to get the meat in the muffin…and not a piddly amount of meat like half a piece of crumbled bacon on the top. I wanted recognizable chunks of meat.
If not bacon, the next thing that logically comes to mind is breakfast sausage. But in a muffin? What kind of muffin would have sausage in it?
Then it hit me, why does it have to be muffin batter at all? Pancakes and sausages go together like PB & J, so why not put the pancake batter in the muffin tin? And it just went from there…
At this point, it’s safe to say I’ve made these Paleo-ish Breakfast Sausage Pancake Muffins about 10 different times, in 10 different ways. I’ve tested the recipe iterations on folks at the gym, friends, and even my supervisors and colleagues at my stage. (You know you’re confident with the recipe when you’re willing to bring it in for people in charge of your grade and a potential reference letter!) They’ve been a hit wherever I’ve brought them! One of my supervisors even brought the last one home for his wife!
So! Without further ado folks, I present you with Paleo-ish Breakfast Sausage Pancake Muffins!
Paleo-ish Breakfast Sausage Pancake Muffins
Bite-sized medallions of homemade breakfast sausage AND pancakes together in a hand-held muffin!!! What more could you want?!
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 muffins
Breakfast Sausage Medallion Things
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp dried/rubbed sage
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
Pancake Batter Things
- 2/3 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp xantham gum
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp brown sugar (OR 4 tbsp coconut sugar. The batter will be a darker brown.)
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (from a tetra pak. I use So Delicious)
- 2 tbsp canola/melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla paste (or 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract)
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- Maple Sugar for garnishing
Breakfast Sausage Medallions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly grease a baking tray. Set aside.
- Combine all sausage medallion ingredients together in one bowl. Mix with a spatula or your hands until uniformly combined.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the sausage mixture into 12 balls, making sure they’re all about the same size. They should be ~ 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Arrange the balls on a baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.
- Squish the balls flat, making sure they’re about the same size as the bottom of your muffin tin holes.
- Bake for ~15 mins, or until no longer pink in the middle.
- Set aside to cool.
- While the breakfast sausage medallions are baking, prep your pancake batter. Lightly grease a muffin tin, and set aside.
- Sift the flours, xantham gum, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and brown (/coconut) sugar. Whisk the dry ingredients together until uniform.
- Slowly whisk in the coconut milk and oil.
- Add the vanilla paste and maple syrup, and whisk the batter until uniform, and any clumps are gone.
- Quickly pat dry each medallion with paper towel and set aside on a plate.
- Fill each muffin cup with pancake batter until about 1/3 full.
- Place a sausage medallion in each cup, making sure it’s in the middle of each cup/not touching any sides.
- Pour more pancake batter in the cups until full.
- Bake for 10 mins at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pull the muffins out of the oven quickly to top with a couple pinches of Maple Sugar.
- Put back in the oven for a further 10 mins.
- Set aside to cool.
- Serve with a touch maple syrup drizzled on top.
- Breakfast Sausage Medallions inspired by Juli Bauer’s “Apple Fennel Breakfast Sausage” recipe in her Paleo Cookbook.
- Pancake Batter inspired by The 20 Minute Kitchen’s “Best Gluten Free Vegan Pancakes”: https://www.the20minutekitchen.com/best-gluten-free-vegan-pancakes/
- Muffins will keep in the fridge for up to a week (or a month in the freezer) in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
- If you don’t eat all the muffins right away, definitely reheat them before eating. I usually toss them in the oven for about 10 mins at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you’re REALLY sensitive to gluten, I would recommend purchasing certified gluten-free oat flour like Only Oats Pure Whole Grain Oat Flour, 1KgOnly Oats Pure Whole Grain Oat Flour or BOB’s RED MILL Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour, 623 GramBob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour.
- Ditto for corn. If you’re really sensitive to corn products, I would add 1/4 tsp of baking soda to the dry ingredients instead of the baking powder AND add 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar to the wet ingredients before mixing.
Now…while this recipe isn’t hard, it is slightly more involved than some of my other recipes. By involved, I mean that you have to first make the breakfast sausage medallions, and while they’re baking, make the pancake batter, assemble the ‘muffins’, and then bake the whole thing together. It’s 100% worth it though, and the steps easily blend together into a single process. Promise!
The other great thing about this recipe, is that if you’re a culinary leper like myself, you will probably have most of these ingredients on hand. Even if you don’t, they’re not difficult to acquire. That being said, this recipe is definitely Paleo-ish in that there is sugar in the pancake batter which could be substituted for 4 tbsp coconut sugar if you wanted. The batter will be a darker shade of brown, but should taste ok. I also use Oat and Quinoa flour. Unfortunately, these can’t really be substituted by anything else without completely banjaxing the texture of the pancakes. Again, #soworthit !
Per usual, if you’re REALLY sensitive to gluten, I would recommend purchasing certified gluten-free oat flour like Only Oats Pure Whole Grain Oat Flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour. Same goes for corn. If you’re really sensitive to corn products, I would add 1/4 tsp of baking soda to the dry ingredients instead of the baking powder AND add 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar to the wet ingredients before mixing.
Ok…that’s that for this week folks. I’m hoping to get back to a regular posting rhythm again once I get my new schedule worked out. I’m back in classes now for the last semester of my life, and they didn’t start gracefully. This week has felt more like a quick drop in an ice bucket. Rude.
Per usual, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to leave them below or shoot me an email!
Ciao for now!