Husband and I are on a low-carb diet, so we don’t eat grains at home. Son is on a gluten-free diet as it helps with his autism. Making gluten-free muffins that taste great is easy, but I wanted to partake in some muffin goodness myself. Plus a GF diet tends to be very carb-heavy when your kid will only eat sandwiches and other things that come on bread products. Making carb-laden muffins wasn’t my idea of adding good things to his diet, so I rarely made them (Daughter won’t eat any kind of muffin that doesn’t border on being a cupcake).
So, in search of a decent grain-free muffin I have perused the web and tried many different recipes. Most use either almond flour or coconut flour or some combination of both. Honestly, none of them have impressed me very much and the likeness to a real muffin was remote enough that it really wasn’t worth the effort.
I recently stumbled upon a wonderful muffin recipe that uses coconut flour, not almond flour. It was by far the best recipe I’ve tried and, frankly, is just about as good as any flour-laden muffin ever was. It has that moist, spongy texture that a muffin should have. As if that weren’t good enough, coconut flour is less expensive than almond flour and you use less of it because it absorbs a lot of liquid (1/2 cup will make about 12 – 15 muffins). Almond flour is also higher in calories than coconut flour (160 vs 120 per 1/4 cup) so less chance of overeating with these babies.
What’s even more wonderful is that I – having no talent for divining recipes from taste, or experimenting by “throwing a few ingredients together” – found a second recipe that was basically a slight variation on the first. From these I was able to determine the basic ingredients, and now I can make pretty much any kind of muffin I want: carrot, zucchini, banana, lemon poppyseed, blueberry…you name it.
I’m so excited about this recipe, and so thrilled that I can finally treat myself to muffins without having to feel guilty, AND so happy that my son loves them…well, I just had to share. Okay, so I shouldn’t be eating these every day. But with the low amount of sugar (in the form of honey or maple syrup) they are a guilt-free indulgence once in a while. And a great way to introduce new flavours and foods into Son’s diet!
The Dry Stuff
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
spices (e.g. for pumpkin I use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon allspice or cloves; I use the cinnamon for carrot muffins and nutmeg for banana)
The Wet Stuff
6 eggs (no, that is not a typo)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (see notes below)
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbs zest (lemon, orange)
1/2 cup of purees or shredded stuff (e.g. pureed pumpkin, mashed bananas, shredded zucchini, shredded carrot)
* if you are using any purees or shredded stuff then decrease coconut oil to 1/4 cup
1/4 cup chopped nuts or dried fruit (e.g. walnuts, pecans, raisins, apricots, cranberries)
1/2 cup blueberries (note: I haven’t tried this myself so use your judgement for the amount)
1/2 cup gluten-free chocolate chips
2 tbs poppy seeds
Mix the wet stuff, add the dry stuff, mix with a whisk until there are no lumps. Fold in any Extras you are using. The batter will be a bit thick, but shouldn’t be too thick or the muffins will be dry. Since I cannot convey texture well in words, you’ll just have to experiment for yourself. If they are too dry then next time use more coconut oil.
Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes at 375 F.
Oh, and they stick a bit to muffin liners. But since I’m too lazy to really clean my muffin pans, let alone grease them, and I refuse to use that spray stuff (God knows what’s in it) I use liners anyway.