Sunday, December 5, 2010

Blueberry Walnut Muffins

I recently realized that as the daylight slowly wanes, it is more and more difficult to capture cooking moments in natural light. That is my excuse for slacking, take it or leave it.

It has been a busy month filled with major house progress (roofing, plumbing, electrical... insulation and sheet rocking happen next week!) as well as more than a few hours split between the kitchen and the woodshop. I did finally finish one project though and am now a proud owner of one open shelving unit. Next up, a 36 incher and FINISHING THE ISLAND. If I announce it, it'll happen, right? I am also creating a few lighting fixtures out of salvaged materials and mason jars.... which means the "living room" has been converted into a "pile of ongoing projects". It will come together at some point, I swear.

Anywho, I made these muffins at work yesterday for a quick and easy breakfast with scrambled eggs. I like that they use a coconut flour base, which leaves them gluten-free without feeling forced. I did use xanthan gum, which is often used in gluten-free baking to add a certain starchy quality, but if you do not have any, try omitting it (and let me know how it works out!) They also happen to be vegan, using a flax seed slurry and bananas to replace the eggs in the recipe. It is a wonderful way to boost your fiber while binding your muffin together, although you will notice they will not rise much, so go ahead and fill the cups pretty full.

I used frozen Maine blueberries and walnut halves this time, but you could certainly personalize the fruit/nuts based on your freezer supplies or particular whim. I think next time I will try dried pear slivers and pecans for a holiday twist.

Next time I promise a main course post... I am going to test a few recipes this week for upcoming holiday parties I am catering. Any suggestions for fabulous vegetarian dishes you have created (or consumed) over the holiday season? I am all ears...

Blueberry Walnut Muffins
Serves 12

1 cup dried coconut
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. salt

2 tbs. flax seeds
1/3 cup water
2 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup water
1 tbs. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup walnut halves
1 cup frozen blueberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin with coconut oil.

Add the dried coconut to a food processor and process to a coarse flour. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients (through salt) and combine well.

Grind the flax seeds in a spice grinder and mix them with 1/3 cup of water in the food processor until gummy. Add the remaining wet ingredients and blend well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, making sure not to overmix. Fold in the walnuts and blueberries.

Fill the muffin tin with the batter (filling each one quite full) and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Relax. Eat Well.

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