Pumpkin Spice Flax Muffins and Sweet Potato and Chocolate Sea Salt Chips

By: Tom Shanahan, Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist

In my book, Spiritual Adrenaline: A Lifestyle Plan to Nourish and Strengthen Your Recovery, to be published in January 2019 by Central Recovery Press, I go into great detail on how your nutritional intake and lifestyle choices are inter-related with your sobriety.

Here are some more treats that are not only delicious but also good for you and your sobriety efforts. You can prepare these for yourself, your friends or loved ones without feeling guilty.


Pumpkin Spice Flax Muffins with Kiwi and Raspberry Tree Decoration

Yummy and good for you, this pumpkin spice flax muffin can be decorated with fruit that turns it into a holiday tree. You should be able to make somewhere between six to twelve muffins using this recipe depending on how large you chose to make them.


1 ½ cups flaxseed meal

1-cup all-natural pumpkin puree

½ cup chopped almonds or pistachio

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1-teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup natural applesauce

4 eggs beaten

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup water

1-tablespoon vanilla extract (non-alcoholic)

Sweetener to preference Stevia, xylitol, or agave (5 to 6 tbsps. recommended)

3 kiwis


Almond, all-natural peanut butter, or coconut butter



–           Preheat oven to 350 F.

–           In a large mixing bowl, mix flaxseed meal, baking powder, cinnamon or nutmeg, and salt

–           After mixing well, add applesauce, eggs, oil, ¼ cup water, vanilla, pumpkin puree, chopped nuts of your choosing

–           Mix thoroughly until all the ingredient clumps disappear and all ingredients are completely mixed

–           Allow the batter to settle for ten minutes, portion into cupcake or muffin pan

–           Fill about half way

–           Put in oven and bake for about eighteen minutes

–           Keep an eye to avoid burning (you’ll know it is done when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean)

–           Allow to cool


After cooling, use almond, all-natural peanut, or coconut butter in place of traditional icing. Cut kiwi into small blades to form holiday-tree branches. Use one raspberry as the star at the top of you kiwi tree. Enjoy.

Total preparation time 1 hour. Serves one to ten people.



Sweet Potato and Chocolate Sea Salt Chips


Coconut oil for cooking

1 sweet potato

60 grams of dark chocolate with 80% cocoa content

Sea salt



–           Cut sweet potato into very thin slices (the thinner the better)

–           Break chocolate into small, evenly sized pieces

–           Line baking tray with kitchen paper

–           Put enough coconut oil in a medium frying pan so an ultra-thin layer coats the bottom of the pan

–           Slowly heat the coconut oil until it bubbles (take care so the oil doesn’t splatter)

–           Carefully lower the thin sweet potato slices into the coconut oil

–           Turn each slice at least once and remove when they start to appear golden brown

–           Let the oil drain from chips on paper towel or kitchen paper

–           When all your sweet potato slices have been fried, carefully place on a baking sheet or plate and let oil drain. The slices should harden and become crispy.

–           Put chocolate in microwave safe bowl and heat until the chocolate melts

–           Dip the sweet potato slices in the melted chocolate and place on baking paper.

–           Add sea salt and refrigerate until chocolate hardens.


Total preparation time thirty minutes. Serves two to four people.


If you would like more information on the nutritional value of the ingredients used in these desserts, my book, Spiritual Adrenaline: A Lifestyle Plan to Nourish and Strengthen Your Recovery has more details and will be available for purchase in January 2019. If you would like to pre-order this book, please visit the Central Recovery Press website.

In my next blog, I will share more dessert recipes and there will be easy-to-follow videos accompanying them. So, be sure to follow Spiritual Adrenaline and Central Recovery Press online.


Tom Shanahan outlines the importance of a holistic approach to fitness, good eating habits, and connection to a personal higher power in order to optimize the guiding principles of the Twelve Steps and reinforce relapse prevention. Available January 2019


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