Archive for Muffin

Pumpkin Muffins – Finally!!

    Gluten-free pumpkin bread is a recipe that I have been working on ever since gluten awareness because it is such a family favorite. The recipe has wandered down many culinary alleys (some of them dark) with various flours, binders, sweeteners and never quite making it. Finally there is this recipe. It is receiving favorable comments from people accustomed to these experiments and some who have tasted them and just enjoyed them as pumpkin muffins without qualification.
    What has been really interesting is that the beginning versions that followed the original recipe exactly, except for flour, have been totally unsatisfactory. It was only after the versions using vegan binders did the texture start to become more satisfactory. This is something for future experimentation.
    My only disclaimer at this point is due to the fact that while the recipe has been in development it has only been baked in silicon cupcake forms. That allows for tasting fresh and warm, tasting the day after baking, and finally tasting after freezing and barely re-warming in the microwave plus having sample sizes ready-to-eat. So I have not tried loaf pans yet and do not know what baking-without-gluten issues may lay there – fair warning!

1.5 tbsp ground chia seed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
½ cup + 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cups quinoa flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan
1/2 tsp fruit pectin
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp water (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare for 20-24 cupcake size muffins or perhaps 12 large muffins.

In a large bowl:
Combine the ground chia with the applesauce. Add the agave nectar and pumpkin puree and stir until combined. I have previously added some drops of stevia to make them sweeter but they are very well received without it. Set aside for about 30 minutes or so to allow the chia to absorb some moisture. Add coconut oil and vanilla just before combining with the dry ingredients as coconut oil has a tendency to congeal at room temperature.

In a medium bowl:
Sift the flours, xanthan, pectin, baking powder, baking soda, spices and sea salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined. If the batter is really stiff stir in one tablespoon of water at a time until the batter is a scoopable texture (dense and puffy).

Fill your prepared bake ware to the 2/3 level. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness with a tester or with a very thin knife.

Allow the muffins to cool in pan on a wire rack. Turn out after 10 minutes so they don’t get sweaty. After they have cooled wrap individual servings and store in an air-tight container on the counter for 3 days or keep in the freezer.

These have a very cake-like texture and I have also frosted them with a cashew cream frosting and served them as cupcakes.

Gretchen (Mom)


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Coconut Banana Muffins

   The treasured souvenir that I brought back from our Mexico cruise after Thanksgiving was some of that fabled Mexican vanilla – a few bottles to share and one for me. It has been such a treat that my supply is rapidly dwindling. I searched the internet for a more local supply and this is what I found. Molino Real Vanilla 

Molino Real Vanilla

Molino Real Vanilla


   These petite muffins are densely nutritious and very filling. They make a wonderful first breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea and/or a delightful little afternoon snack. The Mexican vanilla described above, along with the coconut flour, gives them a delightful fragrance. I shared these with friends at The Caring Place for expert opinion as they are not very sweet. Clara, who has gluten issues, gave it two thumbs up. Ann, who does not have gluten issues and has much baking experience, also gave the recipe a high rating. I love it when friends from both sides of the gluten equasion equally enjoy a recipe. I used dried cranberries which added a bright touch of color to a light colored muffin. 

Out of the Oven

Out of the Oven


Adapted from Salba Banana Coconut Muffins (GF)  at the

Coconut Banana Muffins
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 room-temperature eggs
1/3 cup mashed banana (1 small, ripe banana)
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla flavor or vanilla extract
12 drops of liquid stevia or 2 small packets granular stevia 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon shredded coconut, unsweetened (desiccated)
2 tablespoons whole or ground chia seed
2 tablespoons raisins, cranberries, blueberries or finely chopped nuts or cocoa nibs 

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
   Sift and whisk together the baking powder, salt, cinnamon and coconut flour (it keeps better in the freezer but it does get clumpy) in a medium mixing bowl. Add the chia seed, coconut, and optional ingredients and whisk again to blend the dry ingredients.
   Whisk together oil, eggs, banana, and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until well mixed. Measure spoonfuls of batter into silicon muffin cups or a muffin pan greased with coconut oil. I used a large size kitchen scoop (50 ml – 10 teaspoons) and filled the silicon muffin cups to the inside line which produced seven muffins.
   Bake 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then pop out of the pan or liners. Serve immediately or wrap individually for later use. The flavor seems to improve/mellow after wrapping and cooling and the fragrance comes through the wrapping!
   Even with the banana and cranberries these muffins have only about 11 grams of carbs with 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and a  very low GI index which makes them ideal for these post-holiday low-carb high-protein diets. 


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Double-Coconut Muffin-Waffle Batter

   When I first began to be serious about gluten-free living (actually living as opposed to avoiding the issue) I began to copy likely looking recipes off the web. When I began to blog about the gluten-free journey for Rita and me then the issue arose of giving credit to other bloggers who offer their insights and share their recipes.
   So I have recipes like this one that was inspired by Raspberry Double-Coconut Muffins from I-know-not-where. Yes, I searched many combinations of variables with no hits. Perhaps this generous person no longer blogs or has taken up other topics. But today Rita, her husband David, and I spent several fun hours trying the basic batter in several different forms.
   The batter was specified for muffins. But we were craving waffles as well as wanting to test the waffle iron. It was a a re-sale bargain and in need of a good gluten-free waffle batter. So here we went again. After the basic batter was mixed Rita turned half of it into muffins while I presided over the waffle iron and David gallantly assisted us both with a thorough evaluation of all results.
   The three of us loved this recipe equally as muffin or waffle. We tested pancakes by adding more liquid to the batter but the flavor balance was off. Another day, another experiment will be required for pancakes.

FTB - Orange Marmalade,  Raspberry Jam, Fig Preserve

FTB - Orange Marmalade, Raspberry Jam, Fig Preserve

Double-Coconut Muffin-Waffle Batter
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs
1 1/4 cup coconut milk (regular, light, or part coconut & part almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

coconut oil (for the waffle iron)

Preheat your oven to 400*F if you plan to have muffins.

In your batter bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl beat together all of the wet ingredients. Then dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk all together. As in all such batters it will still be a bit lumpy but especially so with the coconut flakes.

For waffles: heat the appliance according to instructions. Oil it well with vegetable oil (we used coconut oil). When the appliance light signals that it is ready, spoon in the recommended amount of batter. Close the top and wait until it signals that the waffle is done. Then pull the waffle out and proceed to make the next one until the batter is all used up.

For muffins: spoon a good tablespoon of batter into each of 12 muffins cups or tins. We used the handy little silicon muffin cups that pop out muffins and wash up easily. Place about 1 teaspoon of jam in the middle of each cup. We tested fig preserves, seedless raspberry jam, and orange marmalade. Spoon in the remaining batter divided between the muffins to cover the jam. Bake for about 25 minutes depending on your oven. They will be very firm to the touch when they are done.

Yields 12 servings.

Mom and Rita (and David)

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Cranberry Juice Drink and Oatbran Banana Muffins

    Rita recently sent me the proportions for a juice drink that she has been using on her ‘love your liver’ diet. It is simple, tart, and tangy and each ingredient is something that I already have on hand but had never used in this combination.

Cranberry Drink:
1/4 cup 100% pure cranberry juice (no sugar)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, preferably fresh
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
8 ounces of water

Rita's Cranberry Drink

Rita's Cranberry Drink

    Baking efforts over the summer left me wondering if I would ever have a successful bread or muffin incorporating bananas. I was nearly resigned to using dry banana muffins mashed up with fresh fruit for a breakfast pseudo-cereal. Then along came Sweet Freedom. These recipes are going over to the gluten-free side so easily that I have enlisted family and friends to enjoy them with me – and they don’t seem to mind!
    The Oatbran Banana Muffins with almond butter are breakfast heaven. The only adjustment that I made to Ricki’s original recipe is to replace the 1 3/4 cups of spelt flour with a like amount of flour blend that I favor in most sweet recipes.
My GF Flour Blend:
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup sorghum flout
1 teaspoon xanthan

Oatbran Banana Muffins

Oatbran Banana Muffins


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Cinnamon Tea Bread or Muffins

   The past few weeks have been an endless circle of baking and modifying a recipe after Rita challenged me to enter a healthy Christmas cookie recipe contest. My initial reaction was ‘isn’t that an oxymoron’? Nevertheless I started brainstorming and baking. One experiment was enough to convince me not to desecrate chocolate in this manner. So then the burden fell upon the much-loved gingerbread cookie. After quite a few versions and gracious friends nibbling and ranking them the recipe was written and submitted. It met Rita’s greatest hopes in that this delicious cookie is built from mostly nutrient dense gluten free flours and that it is also egg free and dairy free. She has friends that will benefit greatly from this combination. She and I also came up with an appropriate frosting/filling to make the basic recipe more festive. Even though the cookies are good I am so burned out on gingerbread right now. There are leftover cookies in the freezer so that in a few months I can think about a crumb crust for pumpkin cheesecake. And I will write all about it then.
   Quick bread recipes are versatile in that you may bake them as a loaf or divide into muffin cups for individual portions. This cinnamon bread recipe is my most happy accomplishment right now that I have been anxiously waiting to post. It is adapted from Erin McKenna’s Cinnamon Toasties recipe that she demonstrated on the Martha Stewart show and can be viewed on Martha’s website. I use tapioca instead of arrowroot and add ground flax seed as well as increase the xanthan. It can be made diabetic friendly by using a sugar substitute designed for baking – my choice is Lakanto but there are others available that are less expensive and locally available. The result is a firm loaf that slices beautifully. Small peanut butter sandwiches made with thin slices of this bread are a satisfying, healthy treat for breakfast, lunch, or snack!

1 cup garbanzo flour
1/2 cup potato flour
1/4 cup tapioca
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute for baking
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup store-bought unsweetened applesauce
1 cup hot water + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract +
1/4 teaspoon orange extract

Preheat oven to 325*F. Spray or oil a large loaf pan.

In a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients. Sift together several times so that they are completely combined. The various dry ingredients have different nutrients and baking properties and they all need to be well blended before the liquid is added.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, and orange extract. Then add the hot water to the mixture. 

Add the oil/applesauce mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and even it out across the pan and into the corners.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the loaf to remain in the oven for at least another 30 minutes. It will be toasty brown on the outside. Test with a cake tester just to be sure it is completely done. Let it cool completely on a wire rack or in the oven before unmolding. Then wrap it in a tea towel so that it does not dry out. When it is completely cold you may wrap it for storage.

This is an excellent keeper but after a day store it in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it.
Note: This loaf sinks slightly in the middle upon cooling but is definitely cooked all the way through.


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Gingerbread Muffins

There was an interesting looking recipe for scones on the back of the sorghum flour bag. Those scones sounded good. After measuring out all of the dry ingredients my thinking took a sudden left turn and I suddenly decided spices were in order and butter and yogurt were out. The first batch only had the cinnamon spice but I decided upon tasting the result that this recipe needed to go a little farther and morph into gingerbread by adding ginger and cloves. Unlike some other recipes that are best right out of the oven these were much better the next day. The moisture becomes evenly distributed and the spices mellow.

Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread Muffins
12 Muffins

1 ¼ cups sorghum flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 ½ tsp. cream of tartar
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Xanthan gum
¼ tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. Sucanat
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. cloves

¾ cup coconut milk (Goya – 9 gr. fat /2 oz. serving)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla

½ cup seedless raisins, optional (provide a good bit of the iron)

Prepare the muffin pan and set aside. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Whisk the coconut milk, applesauce, and vanilla together. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the raisins. Divide the batter into the muffin cups, about ¼ cup per muffin.

Bake the muffins in a 350*F oven for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave them in the oven for 5 more minutes before removing the pan to a cooling rack. Transfer the muffins to a sealed container when they are just cool to the touch so that they retain their moisture.

Kcal 180  Protein 3  Fiber 3  Fat 3  Carb 35      
Vitamins A 0.00%  C 0.00%  Calcium 1.79%  Iron 6.80%


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