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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries in Recipes: Breads and Baking (41)

Wednesday
Jul082009

Applesauce Muffins with Currants and Goji Berries (gluten free, vegan)

 


I have a history of letting applesauce go bad.  I open a jar, use a little for something, then tuck it in the back of the fridge.  Then it sits. I intend to use it for something else, but I don't, and then it sits some more.  Then it goes moldy.  And then I get crabby, because my expensive jar of organic, unsweetened applesauce is no longer good to eat. When this happens, I try to convince myself of something positive as I begrudgingly dump applesauce into my compost bucket.  "At least it molds," I think to myself, "because that means it really is free of preservatives, right?"

I'm always looking for the silver lining.
Anyhow, I decided I was not going to let that pattern repeat itself this time.  As I was cleaning out my fridge last night, I found the proverbial jar of applesauce tucked in a back corner.  I knew something had to be done.  I had to use that applesauce, there was no choice.  Now.  Either bake with it immediately, or freeze it in little cubes for later.     

Since it was a cool night in Minneapolis, and my apartment no longer felt like a steam room, it seemed like a good night to bake something.  And when I decide I want to bake something, I usually settle on a muffin.  I love muffins.  They provide endless opportunity for creativity,  don't need to be sliceable, and are complete and whole unto themselves.  A muffin isn't a slice, or a wedge, or a part.  It is a whole being, satisfying all on its own.  I kind of think of a muffin like my own little personal-sized cake.

I decided to use a recipe from Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo's Eat Right For Your Type as inspiration.   His recipe is for a currant-studded, applesauce-laden quinoa flour cake, and for years it has caught my attention. But sadly, it uses eggs ( I'm allergic), sugar (avoiding), nuts (also allergic), and cloves (yet again, allergic).  I adapted it to be a blend of quinoa and teff flours, threw some goji berries in the mix, changed some proportions to fit with the amount of applesauce I had left over, and adapted it to be egg, nut, sugar, and clove free. Then I made the batter into muffins instead of a cake, filling those muffin cups right up to the brim.  

Thirty-five minutes later, my kitchen was graced with eight plump, moist, and lovely muffins.  They have a wonderful texture and a slightly sweet, rich, spicy flavor - the blend of quinoa and teff is delicious, and is highlighted by the sweet pop of currants and goji berries.  I generally like the way that teff flour and quinoa flour perform, but had never used them together before, and love it!  The texture really blows me away - they remind me of "real" muffins! They didn't crumble into bits on contact or turn to sawdust in my mouth, nor did they bake into some weird, über-moist, dense blob.  Hey, if you've ever baked gluten free, you (like me) are probably intimately familiar with failed baked goods of both those descriptions, right?  Yeah, that's no good.  But these muffins have a definite crumb, and a hearty, yet  light, texture.  Even after sitting all night, the muffin remained steadfast, and was still and lovely today.  I bet these will freeze very well! 

From a nutritional standpoint, these muffins also have a lot to offer.  Quinoa and teff are both high protein, high fiber flours with a low glycemic index, and loads of amino acids.  Chia seeds add an extra punch of fiber, and the goji berries and applesauce pack a wallop of vitamin C with every sweet bite!  In terms of sugar content, I used only 1 tablespoon of agave nectar in the whole batch, relying on the natural sweetness of applesauce.  And by using a high quality, healthy fat - like olive oil, coconut oil, or organic ghee or butter (for dairy-eaters, that is) - you are providing your body with fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and naturally anti-microbial compounds.   Easy to make and lovely to eat, these muffins are the best way to use up old applesauce I've come up with yet.  Enjoy!


APPLESAUCE MUFFINS WITH GOJI BERRIES AND CURRANTS

adapted from Quinoa Applesauce Cake recipe from Eat Right For Your Type, by Dr. Peter J.D'Adamo

yield: 8 regular-sized muffins
3/4 c teff flour
3/4 c quinoa flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c unsweetened organic applesauce
1 T agave nectar
1 T chia seeds + 3 T water (mix and let sit for 10-15 minutes)
1/3 c olive oil, melted coconut oil, melted ghee/butter, or blend (I used a blend of olive oil and butter, yum)
2 T currants
1/4 c goji berries
  1. Preheat oven to 350*, and prepare muffin tin.
  2. Stir together chia seeds and water in a small bowl, and let sit for 10-15 minutes, stirring a few times.  It will become a thick, gel-like goo.
  3. Sift together flours in a medium bowl.  Add baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt, and whisk briskly until well combined.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, oil/melted ghee/butter, agave, and chia goo, and stir until well mixed.  Set aside.
  5. Lightly coat currants and goji berries with a little flour (this will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of your muffins).
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring gently and quickly until evenly moistened.  Then gently fold in berries, and stir only until evenly mixed.  Batter will be thick.
  7. Spoon immediately into muffin tins, filling all the way to the top for big, plump muffins!  Bake at 350* for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in largest muffin comes out clean.
  8. Cool in tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
  9. Store in refrigerator, or wrap tightly and freeze for longer storage.

 

Monday
Jul062009

Rhubarb Coconut Scones (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

Rhubarb Scones!  Yum!

I made this recipe AGES ago.  If you are regular reader, you may remember me mentioning the vegan scones in the post for Raspberry Rhubarb Coconut Bars.  They were darn tasty, but in my constant pursuit of something better, I had wanted to tweak them a bit before publishing. 

But sadly, I haven't been baking as much as I had been - the hot weather isn't really good for baking.  My body doesn't feel the urge to eat baked goods as much, I want salads and raw smoothies.   Plus, I've found that reducing the amount of grain in my day and replacing it with protein or starchy vegetables seems to be happier for my blood sugar.  In short, I haven't really had the time, the desire, or the room in my diet to try making these again.  Since rhubarb season is passing as we speak, and it was a good recipe, I've decided to just publish it.  I was also prodded by email from a reader who saw the scones in the Rhubarb Bar post.  After her search of my post archives came up dry, sent me an email to ask for the recipe.  I couldn't let her down!
These are very good, and were fun and easy to make.  The dough was easy to work with, and held together surprisingly well.  Once baked, the scones looked beautiful, had a nice crisp crust, that moist crumbly texture of  a scone, and a sweet tart flavor from the rhubarb.  I served them with a made-on-the-fly blackberry coconut spread that was divine, but I don't really remember how I made it.  I think I thickened coconut milk with arrowroot, blended it with blackberries, threw in a little vanilla and agave, and let it cool in little cups.  All I know for sure is that I will definitely try making something like that again, and will write down what I do.  
The one downfall is that the scones dried out as the day went on - when I went back at the end of the night for another scone treat, it had lost the moist crumble and was definitely more of a dry crumble.  I made a few adjustments below that might help with that.  If not eating that day, I would recommend freezing the baked scone immediately, and thawing them out in a toaster oven when it is time to eat.  Easy to make, and very tasty, these scones are a winner.  They are not very sweet - scones generally aren't - but if you like a sweeter scone, add more agave or the preferred sweetener of your choice.
Good luck, and enjoy!

Gluten-Free, Vegan Rhubarb Coconut Scones

yield: 6 scones

3/4 c sorghum flour
1/4 c quinoa flour
1/4 c tapioca flour
1/4 c millet flour (or substitute with 1/4 c tapioca flour - it might help make them less dry)
1/3 c quinoa flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 T baking powder (if allergic to corn, use equal parts cream of tartar, arrowroot, and baking
soda)
3 T cold coconut oil, cut into small chunks (chilled solid in refrigerator)
1 T agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup + 2 T coconut milk (and for brushing)
1 c rhubarb, finely chopped
optional: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, etc.
quinoa flakes and finely shredded coconut for dusting
 
Preheat oven to 400*.  Wash and thinly slice rhubarb.  Set aside.

Sift flours together with baking powder.  Add to food processor with salt, and pulse to mix.
Run on high to incorporate coconut oil, mixture will be crumbly.  Add quinoa flakes and pulse a few more times to incorporate.

In a small bowl whisk together agave, 1 c of coconut milk, and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture and pulse into a soft dough is formed.  If too dry, add 1-2 more T of coconut milk and pulse.  Remove from processor and transfer to a large bowl, and stir in rhubarb with hands.  Move to floured surface and knead a few times, then pat down into a round.  Brush with coconut milk, then cover with with shredded coconut and quinoa flakes, patting so it all sticks to the scone. Slice in 6 wedges.

Transfer to baking sheet and bake 15-18 minutes.  Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a rack.
Dig in!  Best eaten fresh.  If not eating immediately, wrap tightly and freeze.  Thaw and crisp up in toaster oven/oven.

 

Wednesday
Jun172009

Whole Grain Amaranth Goji Berry Muffins (gluten free, vegan, low sugar) - and what's the deal with all these baked goods?

I had some leftover cooked amaranth, I had a desire to bake muffins, and I had the powers of the internet to find a recipe.  Yeah, I know, I just made waffles.  But those are in the freezer.  I wanted something fresh.  Something warm.  Something to use up my leftovers.  So, I went forth, and baked!
Looking at what I've posted lately, I realized that I really have been posting a lot of baking recipes.  That's great and all, but seriously - I really need to post more vegetable recipes, especially considering that a vast majority of my diet is fulfilled by members of the vegetable kingdom.  My recipe assortment isn't very representative of my regular meals.   Really, what's the deal with all these baked goods?  It looks like all I eat is stuff made of grains.  Huh.  It's kind of funny.  
I guess I never think to post vegetable recipes, because they just happen.  With the exception of making cultured veggies (I have a BIG recipe post I'm finishing on that, actually), vegetable dishes don't really involve any planning or forethought for me.   I just throw them together quickly - I'll steam them, or roast them, or braise them, or just eat them raw, or make huge salads with some kind of meat or bean on top.  Sometimes I'll puree leftover cooked veggies into quick soups.  It all just happens so fast and so effortlessly, I don't think to post what I do.  I will make an effort to do this, because ya'll need to eat some vegetables, not just muffins and cookies and bread.  You can't survive on bread alone, as they say - even if it is gluten-free.
But anyway, back to my muffins.  While you can't survive solely on bread (or muffins or cookies), you sure can enjoy them as part of a balanced diet.  And these muffins would be a great addition to anyone's diet!  They turned out moist and chewy, with a dense, hearty texture.  I love them.  This recipe is adapted from a one I found at the vegan blog Seitan is My Motor.  It was already vegan, so that was super convenient.  Then I made it gluten free, omitted the sweetener and some of the other ingredients, and switched out chopped dates for the lower sugar, vitamin C-packed power of goji berries.  The applesauce and the gojis make the muffins naturally sweet; I would not want them any sweeter, actually, and didn't miss the added sweetener at all.  Plus, they are high in fiber, thanks to rice bran, flax, applesauce, and the natural fibers in whole grain flours.  But the best part?  The goji berries provide juicy little bombs of yumminess with every bite.  Oh, yum yum yum.
What a great way to use up leftover amaranth!  If you've never tried amaranth, give it a whirl.  I find it a little irritating to cook with, since it is such a small grain, but it is delicious, high in protein, low glycemic, and full of great amino acids and vitamin E.  For more info on the awesome history and nutrition of amaranth, click here.  Anyway, whole grain amaranth is great added to stews or casseroles, or cooked up in a porridge alone or with other grains.  It has a really sticky texture, and can get kind of gummy if left to cook too long (as I did this with this batch of amaranth...oops), so watch it!  In baked goods, I really like using amaranth flour as a high protein, lower carb flour option.  Its sticky texture helps to bind things together really well, and it adds a nutty, earthy flavor.  You can easily grind your own amaranth flour from the whole grain, using a coffee grinder.  It is slightly more coarse than store-bought amaranth flour, and gives a nice texture to baked goods; it makes a decent substitute for the texture of cornmeal.  I used homeground amaranth flour is this recipe, and really like the results.
From what I figured quickly, each of these muffins has about 28 grams carbs and between 3-4 grams sugar.  I didn't figure out the rest of the nutrition info, sorry!  But I don't think there is anything scary there.  So bake up a batch and enjoy them.  Then eat some vegetables.  I promise, more veggie recipes will find their way to this blog!  But i won't stop baking, either.  : )

WHOLE GRAIN AMARANTH GOJI BERRY MUFFINS


yield: 10 regular-sized muffins
3/4 c amaranth flour (store bought, or home ground)
2/3 c brown rice flour
2 T arrowroot starch
1/3 c rice bran
3 T ground flax
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c unsweetened, organic applesauce
1 T olive oil
2/3 c cooked whole amaranth grain
1/2 c hot water
1/4 c goji berries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare muffin tin.
  2. Mix together flours, bran, starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt and allspice in a bowl.  Whisk briskly to introduce air and make light.
  3. Heat water, and pour over goji berries.  Let sit for about 5 minutes to sweeten water and rehydrate berries.
  4. In a large bowl, mix applesauce, oil, and cooked amaranth until well blended.  Pour off goji soaking water into bowl with other ingredients (reserve goji berries on the side), and mix again until well blended.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring only until evenly moistened. Gently fold in goji berries.  Batter will be thick.
  6. Spoon into muffin tin, and bake for about 35 minutes at 350, until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven.
  7. Let cool in tin for 5-10 minutes, then remove and let finish cooling on rack.
 

 

 

Wednesday
Jun102009

Chewy Chocolate Buckwheat Cookies with Chocolate Coconut Glaze and Sea Salt (gluten free, vegan)

 

I love the combination of dark chocolate and sea salt.  B.T. McElrath, a local chocolatier, makes an amazing chocolate bar called the Salty Dog, a combination of dark chocolate, butter toffee, and sea salt. It is positively to die for.  Anyway, I've been having salty, chocolate fantasies lately.  I was struck with an urge to bake last night while working on chemistry homework, and decided to make some kind of salty, chocolaty confection to take to work with me today.  
I've been eyeing up the "Chewy Chocolate Drops" cookie recipe on the back of the Baker's unsweetened chocolate square box recently, and thought that would be the perfect starting point.  The general idea is good - a chewy, chocolaty, petite glazed cookie - but the ingredients were an impossibility (wheat flour, eggs, sugar, butter, Cool Whip....).   So, I took to work adapting and altering, adding and substituting, tweaking and taste testing, in between licking off beaters, spoons, and spatulas, and scraping out bowls.  I pulled out all the stops, blending a few different flours, and throwing in melted chocolate, raw cacao nibs, chia meal, coconut oil, agave nectar and stevia, fruit puree.  It was very experimental.  Anyway, I finally decided to stop tweaking and bake the darn things.  While my little gems were in oven, I whipped up a coconut cream and chocolate glaze that would make an incredible chocolate sauce on just about anything.
I had to sneak a couple of the finished cookies as a midnight snack, and was totally pleased.  Success! Then I put them on my favorite antique plate, a lovely relic from my dearly departed Great Grandma Sylvia, and put them in the fridge to chill, thinking that they would be even more delicious chilled - kind of like little truffles.  This morning, I tried a cold one.  Even better than the night before! Moist and chewy, boasting a deep, dark chocolate flavor, chunks of raw cacao nibs, a little sweetness, a hint of coconut, and a bite of sea salt.  The glaze had hardened once chilled, and provided a great contrast to the soft cookie.  Wow.  This cookie was seriously good. 
So, I proudly brought them into the photo studio and placed them at the reception desk, thinking they would be lovely little treats for people to enjoy with their morning cup of coffee.  The photo studio is full of foodies (and coffee addicts).  These people know good food (and good coffee).  So, I insisted on completely honest feedback.  I was positively ecstatic to hear that everyone LOVED them.  The entire batch of 3 dozen was nearly gone by noon, and a lone cookie remained after the lunch hour; no one ever wants to take the last one.
Here is some of the feedback:
  • "A little sweet, a little salty."
  • "Oooh, cold chocolate, the best."
  • "Exquisite!  You should open a bakery."
  • "The flavor of chocolate lingers after  you're done.  Delicious."  
  • "These are great, Kim.  You could bring these in anytime."
  • "Nicely done.  Not too sweet.  I don't like really sweet things; this is great."
  • "Is that sea salt?  Nice touch."
  • "The coconut is great."
  • "Oh, they're healthy cookies?  There's fruit in them?  Okay, I'll have one. [insert eating here] Oh, this is good."
  • "I had one this morning right away and needed another one.  I really like the salt with the chocolate."
  • "Gluten free?  Really?  Now you're talking my language."
  • "Gluten free chocolate coconut cookies?  Who baked these, you?  Oh, how cuuuuuute!"
  • "Okay, I'll have just one more, since they are gluten free and they are just sitting here....  Wow, these are really good.  Is this caribou or chocolate? [she meant carob - so cute] Chocolate? Yum." - my dear friend and and coworker Amy, as she reached for her fifth cookie
  • "Wow, these things totally filled me up for breakfast!  I need another one." - Amy, as she reached for her sixth cookie
Some of the ingredients are a little wacky; not every pantry will be stocked with amaranth flour, chia seed, or creamed coconut, for example.  While the buckwheat helps add to the rich flavor of the cookie and I think is necessary, you could try substituting some other GF (or even regular flour for you gluten-eaters) for the amaranth and/or rice flour - but I can't guarantee results, since each flour behaves differently.  The chia meal helps to bind it all together and adds a moist, chewy quality.  Buy chia seeds pre-ground, or buy seeds whole and grind yourself in a coffee grinder or blender (the more economical choice).  A container of whole chia seeds is a little pricy, but it lasts a really long time, and is worth the investment.  You could try substituting ground flax, but flax doesn't retain quite as much moisture as chia, and I'm not sure how it would behave.  The creamed coconut is a must-have, so head out and pick some up; I really like Let's Do Organic Creamed Coconut.  It has a great flavor and is awesome to add to sauces, frostings, and smoothies.  Plus, it is easy to find at Whole Foods and the local co-ops (check out the baking section), and isn't too expensive (about $2.50 for a 7 oz box).  I am thinking of ordering some on Amazon - you can get a 6 pack for $9.33!
These cookies are a hit. So, make a batch, and share with friends.  Enjoy!
CHEWY CHOCOLATE BUCKWHEAT COOKIES WITH CHOCOLATE COCONUT GLAZE AND SEA SALT (gluten free, vegan)
yield: about 3 dozen
Dough:
1/2 c + 2 T buckwheat flour
1/4 c + 2 T amaranth flour
1/4 c white rice flour
3 T chia meal (use pre-ground chia, or grind whole seeds yourself in a blender or coffee grinder)
3/4 c water
1/3 c fruit puree (I used peach puree)
2 T coconut oil (or other light tasting oil)
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 T agave nectar
1/2 tsp SweetLeaf stevia sweetener 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 T coarsely ground raw cocao nibs (optional)
Glaze:
1/4 block creamed coconut
1 square baking chocolate
Sprinkle:
sea salt
finely shredded coconut (optional)
BAKE THE COOKIES >>>
  1. Sift together flours and chia meal in a large bowl, and mix with warm water.  Let sit for for at least an hour at room temperature so flours and chia absorb liquid and dough becomes thick.
  2. In a microwave or double boiler, melt together coconut oil and chopped up chocolate squares.  If microwaving, check every 30 seconds or so so it doesn't burn - it will melt in 1-2 minutes .  Stir together until chocolate pieces are totally smooth, then add fruit puree, agave nectar, stevia, and vanilla, and mix with a hand mixer until well blended. 
  3. Break up dough a bit, then add chocolate mixture, and mix until nearly smooth.  Add baking powder and cocao nibs, and mix until smooth.
  4. Place in refrigerator (or freezer!) until mixture becomes more firm and easy to spoon.
  5. Preheat oven to 350*, and line baking sheets with parchment or grease with coconut oil
  6. Spoon dough onto baking sheets; each cookie should be about 1"x1", about 1 T of dough.  Bake for about 12-13 minutes.  Remove from oven, transfer to baking sheet, and let cool completely. 
MAKE THE GLAZE >>>
  1. To prepare frosting, melt together 1 square of baking chocolate with creamed coconut.  Stir until well mixed, adding a little agave nectar to taste.  NOTE: Packaged coconut cream tends to separate - the coconut solids settle and the coconut oil rises to the top.  You want to have a mix of both for the recipe, so cut the solids into quarters and the oil into quarters, and take one section from each.  Easy! 
  2. Place in refrigerator until glaze has become more firm, but still spreadable. 
FROST AND FINISH >>>
  1. Once cookies are completely cool, and glaze is firm and spreadable, frost each cookie.  NOTE: The cookies must be completely cool, or the frosting WILL melt!  
  2. Sprinkle frosted cookies with coarsely ground sea salt.  For an extra touch, add a sprinkle of finely shredded coconut, if desired.
  3. Serve immediately, or chill for maximum yumminess.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

 

Sunday
Jun072009

Cardamom Prune Teff Millet Muffins (gluten free, vegan, sugar free)

 


I laugh at how often I've posted lately; I really have been doing lots of things other than baking, eating, and blogging, I swear!  But, I baked these up this morning, some for me and some for a friend, and they were really good, so I felt compelled to write up a post before heading off for the day. 

I tried out a couple new things in this recipe.  First, I used teff flour. I haven't tried baking with teff flour before, which is funny, because teff is everywhere in Minneapolis.  There is a large East African immigrant population here, and you can easily find teff flour everywhere from the corner Ethiopian market to in the bulk bins at the co-op.  But for some reason, it remained as the one GF flour I just hadn't tried.  So, it was time..
I also tried a new egg substitute I've been thinking of - a few soaked prunes, a little flaxmeal, and boiling water. It worked great to hold everything together, and added a rich, slightly sweet flavor.   Actually, I didn't add any other sweetener, and just relied on the natural sweetness from the prunes.  I also added some finely minced prune (see the photo at right!) to the batter, so there would be sweet little prune bombs scattered through the muffins.  I've really missed prunes - I had left them aside when I started the anti-Candida diet last year, and hadn't gone back since.  Since my Candida is now gone, but still have some other yeast issues and still in a healing/maintainance phase, I'm cautiously reintroducing things to my life - but in moderation. While I'm not to a stage where I feel I should just eat prunes plain as a snack, I think that if used moderately and spread out in a recipe, they should be just fine.  
I used a high-protein, low glycemic blend of whole grain teff and millet flours, then added just a little arrowroot starch to help with texture.  As with many of my recipes, I soaked the flours in advance. The benefit of this is that is breaks down phytonutrients in the grain and starts the fermentation process, allowing for more easily digested starches and proteins.  Instead of using kefir or yogurt to soak, I used a mixture of water and a little apple cider vinegar, and let it sit for about 24 hours.  
These muffins turned out great - this is a dense, sturdy muffin, with a mild, spicy flavor, just a little hint of sweetness, and studded with gooey little chunks of prune.   They had a definite crumb and good texture, but were almost a little dry (I may have baked a few minutes too long).  Next time I make them I will see if I can address the dryness issue.  But overall, I really like the way that teff behaves, and think these muffins were a total success!   I spread a warm one with a little homemade ghee/flax oil/olive oil spread, and it was very good.  After calculating the nutritional information (I was curious), I was pleased to discover that "4" was the magic number:  each muffin contains about 4 grams of protein and fiber, and only 4 g of sugar.  I wasn't so pleased at the calorie or fat count, however - that coconut oil really adds up!  Oh well.  My diet may be free of lots and lots of things, but fat and calories do not happen to be in that list.  Find a few baking notes and the detailed nutrition info at the bottom of the recipe.
Hooray for teff, hooray for prunes, and hooray for these tasty muffins. 

CARDAMOM PRUNE TEFF MILLET MUFFINS

yield: 8 muffins

1 c teff flour
3/4 c millet flour
1/4 c arrowroot flour
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
1 Tbsp flax meal
8 prunes (4 whole, 4 finely minced)
1/2 c boiling water
1/3 c coconut oil, warmed to liquid (or other oil of choice)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp hot water

SOAK THE FLOURS >>>
  1. Sift together flours in a large bowl.  Add spices and salt, whisk to mix well.  Add water and apple cider vinegar and stir, forming a thick dough.
  2. Cover and let sit for 12-24 hours at room temperature.
MAKE THE MUFFINS >>>
  1. Preheat oven to 400* F, and prepare muffin pan.  Put water on to boil.
  2. Place 1/2 c. boiling water, 4 whole prunes, and 1 Tbsp flax meal in a blender.  Put cover on blender, and let mixture sit for about 5 minutes to soften the prunes and let flax absorb liquid.  Then blend on high until mixture is totally smooth and thick.
  3. While prunes are softening,  finely mince the remaining 4 prunes, and coat prune pieces with a little millet flour to prevent sticking and sinking.  Set prune pieces aside.
  4. Melt coconut oil to liquid.  In a small bowl, whisk together oil, blended prune/flax mixture, and vanilla until evenly combined.  
  5. Uncover dough, and break apart with your hands so there are lots of small pieces.  Add prune/oil mixture to dough and mix with a hand mixer until smooth.  Taste the batter, and adjust any spices as necessary.
  6. Dissolve baking powder in 1 1/2 T hot water (it will foam!) and add immediately to batter, stirring a couple times very quickly and gently.  Add minced prune, and stir only until combined.  Do not over mix!
  7. Spoon immediately into muffin tin and place in oven.  Bake at 400* F for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

BAKING NOTES/NUTRITION:
If you'd like to skip the flour-soaking step, make the following adjustments:
  • Omit apple cider vinegar
  • Mix all dry ingredients (flours, spices, salt, and baking soda) together.
  • Add 3/4 + 1 1/2 T warm water to dry ingredients first, then mix in prune/oil/vanilla mixture, then add prune pieces.
  • Bake as directed.
Try adding a handful of chopped nuts or seeds for crunch and extra protein.
If you want more prune and can handle the sugar, I'd recommend doubling the amount of minced prune for more prunetastic flavor.  The minced prune chunks only show up here and there; most people (including myself!) would probably prefer more prunes. 
These muffins are not very sweet.  If you want a sweeter muffin, add a little stevia (zero GI option) or agave/honey/maple syrup/brown rice syrup.   Just reduce the amount of water slightly to account for the extra moisture if using a liquid sweetener.
If you have a sweet tooth and a chocolate craving, I bet these would be pretty darn tasty with a handful of your favorite chocolate/carob chunks or chips thrown in the mix.
As I've been thinking about this recipe, I think that if it were modified just right, it could make a very tasty, very dense prune cake.  I'm thinking more prunes, a moister texture, a little sweeter flavor, and maybe some carob added for richness...maybe some kind of creamy coconut whipped topping...hmn...  This may have to happen sometime.  I'll have to think about this...
Approximate nutritional information:
Per muffin (8 muffins/recipe): 227 calories, 10.5 g fat, 30.5 g carb, 4.5 g fiber, 3.8 g protein, 4.3 g sugar
Whole recipe: 1816 calories, 84 g fat, 244 g carb, 36 g fiber, 30 g protein, 34 g sugar

 

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