I kind of miss the ability to sleep with abandonment like my teenagers. Yes I know that they are awake at ungodly hours in the night, but the way they soak up sleep in the day time is amazing. Left to themselves they would probably wake up for lunch (who needs breakfast?) and doze off again soon after. I do remember as a teenager with long unimpeded holidays, being able to wake up at 11 in the morning, blissfully stretching out catlike in the bed, just enjoying the lingering wisps of sleep.
The picture is much different now – years after crazy work hours going on overnight call, waking up at the crack of dawn to bundle the kids off to school has permanently ingrained a certain sparse sleep pattern that is functional rather than pleasurable. But I’m grateful that I still retain the ability to fall asleep quickly at night and of course Sunday afternoons are sacred unto my extended nap where I do most of my catch up sleep.
Sitting in a Paediatric Clinic listening to children and teenagers with histories of migraine headaches, sleep deprivation is one of the key problems that our kids face in busy Singapore. Almost every kid I see gets at least 2 hours less than what they should be getting at night. And I’m equally at fault myself – lingering late at night to catch up on bedtime reading and answering WhatsApp’s of other nightbird-type friends, I probably shouldn’t be the one to throw the first stone.
So recently I took on a significant role in church ministry. And I like how one of my friends gave me a notebook last week that said “Boh pian [hokkien for “no choice”] got to work hard”. This pithy Singlish saying hits uncomfortably close to home, as my calendar has been crazily packed of late and sleep has become shortened and brief. So when I went for a women’s silent retreat recently, I truly spent 70% of the retreat sleeping, beginning even from the bus ride to Malaysia where I snoozed happily between stops. And this pause in schedule, intentional time away to hear God was really needful as I gave my body a chance to rest and an opportunity for my soul to be replenished.
“I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.” -Psalms 3:5
So I’m learning in the midst of busyness to learn to take pit stops for rest, pleasure and replenishment. This week I didn’t achieve big targets at work or in the kitchen, but there were many meaningful meetings with people, and I tweaked one of my recent Pandan Coconut Muffin recipes to include a streusel topping. I think the original recipe left me feeling like it needed something more and I couldn’t quite figure out what. But if finally decided that it just needed a little more texture to complete the muffin and indeed that’s what I did. Apart from having a fun and slightly crunchy and chewy top, this muffin on first appearance is not so scarily green as the brownish streusel topping helps it to look less like a handful of kryptonite and more like a sweet treat. So I’m grateful for the little things that God gives as daily blessings – rest for the packed days ahead, delight in perfecting a recipe – it’s all like a streusel topping…it’s not an essential but it makes things so much better!
Low Carb Pandan Coconut Muffin with Streusel Topping
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
- 1/4 cup erythritol
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp pandan paste or essence
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
- 1/2 cup monk fruit powder or other sugar substitute
- 50g butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C
- Make the muffin batter. Mix 1 1/2 cups almond flour, 1/2 cup dessicated coconut, 1/4 cup sugar substitute, baking powder and salt.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and mix in the coconut milk, coconut oil and the pandan paste.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly.
- In another mixing bowl, mix the streusel ingredients (almond flour, monkfruit powder, dessicated coconut and salt). With a pastry blender or two knifes, cut the butter in until the mix looks crumbly.
- Fill muffin cups half full with the muffin batter, then sprinkle about 1-2 tsp of streusel topping over each muffin.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven to cool. Serve.