Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Gluten Free Muffin Mission

Since I went off of wheat and gluten a little over a year ago, for a long time I tried to find a suitable recipe for a gluten free, vegan muffin recipe that was equally as delicious and fluffy as the vegan ones I used to make. Although I've found a handful that taste great, don't call for eight different kinds of flour and are very muffiny, I've realized that sticking to more fruit and veg snacks over baked 'bready' snacks is much more tummy friendly. I still feel a bit heavy after eating gluten free baked goods which is sometimes worth it if I'm really craving a muffin for a snack. But for the most part, if I do bake muffins, it's for my honey or for other loved ones as was this new batch I tried over the weekend.

This recipe was inspired by the Just Banana Muffin recipe I found on the Forks Over Knives website. I made some changes and here's what I came up with.

Blunana Muffs
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
1 cup Gluten Free Oat Flour (GF oats thrown into your NutriBullet or coffee grinder)
1 cup quinoa flour (Try Norquin grown in the Prairies)
1/4 cup Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp ground flaxseed (again, bust out that coffee grinder)
1/2 tbsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp gluten free baking soda (Find this and the baking powder at Vita Health or Bulk Barn)
Whisk dry ingredients together and set aside. Feel free to throw in any other spices you like such as nutmeg, ginger, cloves, etc.

In a blender or food processor, whiz up:
4 ripe bananas (Frozen, defrosted, ripe bananas are PERFECT in recipes like this)
1 small pear, cored
1 apple, cored
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic, unsweetened apple juice or John Boy Farms Manitoba Apple Cider
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 to 1/2 cup blueberries or any other berry/fruit, fresh, frozen or dried

Blend until smooth and pour into dry mix. I like to add my fresh or frozen berries to the dry mix before mixing it all together. Stir until there are no dry bits left but don't over mix. Use some softened or melted coconut oil to oil your muffin tins. I don't recommend using muffin liners as they often tend to stick and they're a bit wasteful and unnecessary, don't ya think?

Bake them at 350 degree F for about 28-32 minutes. Do the toothpick test after 28 minutes and if it comes out wet, stick them back in for a few minutes at a time. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then use a spoon or knife to pull them away from the sides of the muffin tins and tilt them to let them cool a bit quicker. This recipe should make 12 large muffins.
These muffins freeze really well and that's how we keep them in our house. Just grab one and throw it in a container or wrap it in an Abeego (Generation Green carries these and they're AWESOME!) and by lunch time it's nicely defrosted and ready for gobbling! These would also be divine with some flora & farmer jam!
Now, did you notice that there is no salt, oil or sugar in these bad boys? Those awesome bananas, pears, apples and juice all add plenty of sweetness that you won't even miss it. I promise! Other ways to add some natural sweetness to this recipe, throw in a handful of organic, unsweetened raisins, currants or cranberries. Or like I suggested, smear on a bit of local jam. The multi fruit jam from Jeanne Berard Gardens that you can order through Harvest Moon is AMAZEBALLS if you're looking for a new jam to try out.
Give these a try and get creative! I'd love to hear what you come up with so come on over to my Facebook page and post some feedback and pics of your muffs!

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