Baking

The Smell of Muffins in the Morning

IMG_20140715_110921_333~2A rainy day outside, Diana Krall on the stereo & homemade blueberry muffins in the oven = a pretty perfect little morning.

It has been a beautiful rainy morning here in Birmingham, ideal for a blueberry muffin breakfast. Perhaps it seems more wonderful than normal as we are finally settled into our new place! Having been in transition since our December wedding, it feels so good to wake up in the morning and walk into my very own kitchen.

Yesterday I brought home some fresh blueberries which looked too tantalizing to pass up (not to mention they were on sale!) This immediately got me thinking breakfast…

With nothing scheduled this morning, I took the time for a baking endeavor and came up with this yummy morning treat. You will love the blueberries that pop in your mouth as you bite into the sweet crust laced with coconut sugar.

If you try anything new this week, let this be it! They are well worth it and pretty simple at that. And hey– if blueberries aren’t your thing, any fresh berry will do! Think outside the box.

Blueberry Vanilla Almond Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

  • 1/2 C. of Coconut Oil (Melted)
  • 1/4 C. of Honey
  • 1/4 C. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (Can also use rice milk)
  • 1/4 C. Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. of Pure Almond Extract
  • 1 C. of All Purpose GF Flour
  • 1 1/2 C. of Almond Meal
  • 1/2 tsp. of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of Salt
  • 1 C. of Fresh Blueberries (or preferred fruit)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil (or use liners! I would recommend it 🙂 )
  3. Add all wet ingredients together, as well as coconut sugar.
  4. Beat well.
  5. Add all dry ingredients.
  6. Beat well.
  7. Add your blueberries and gently fold into your muffin batter.
  8. Spoon into muffin pan.
  9. Pop in the oven for 15-18 mins.
  10. Enjoy the scrumptious smell that fills your home (oh, and taste, too!)

Note: You can also use frozen berries if you wish; however, it will leave your batter a different color. If you want pretty muffins, use fresh. If you don’t mind greenish-blue muffins, then frozen works great, too!

 

If Friends Were Flours, I’d Pick You.

Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose

Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix

Just thinking about the scent of freshly baked bread makes my tummy rumble. There is nothing like filling your home with the comforting scent of bread baking in the oven. However, for us to enjoy this heavenly scent, we have to have one crucial ingredient in our cupboard: FLOUR.

Being Gluten Free (GF) brings a whole new challenge to the baking scene, particularly when it comes to flour. Not able to reach for your generic all-purpose, you are faced with a slew of foreigners: coconut flour, amaranth flour (what is that, anyway?), gluten free mixes, almond and tapioca flour, brown rice and potato flour, etc. How do you know which kind to use? What brand is best?

After having tried all of the above, I have thus far narrowed it down to three go-to flours: Almond Flour, Coconut Flour and a Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix by Arrowhead Mills. Word to the wise: while Bob’s Red Mill has a number of good products, unfortunately their Gluten Free Flour is not one of them. I made the sad mistake of using it for dessert one day and unless you want your ooey-gooey cookies to taste like little iron orbs, go with Arrowhead Mills!

Almond flour is probably my favorite with its nutty, yet slightly sweet flavor, rustic texture and nutritional benefits. It is great used in cookie, muffin and even pancake recipes. For bread recipes, Arrowhead Mills’ GF Flour is ideal. Coconut flour is also great and can be combined with other flours; it can stand on its own, too, but keep in mind that it has a drier consistency when used alone.

You can find these flours at your local health food store, such as Earth Fare or Whole Foods, as well as some regular grocery stores. In fact, Publix and Walmart have started to carry more GF products! Each have their own Gluten Free section where you can find various GF flours and mixes.  If you can’t find them at your local market, below are some links for ordering on-line.

When it comes to storage, I keep both my Gluten Free Flour Mix, as well as my Almond Flour, in the pantry (both should be stored in the fridge or freezer if kept for a lengthy period of time). However, I have found that Coconut Flour is best kept refrigerated right away.

If you have any questions or simply want to share about your own discoveries in baking, feel free to comment!

Happy flour picking!

For more information and on-line ordering, visit these helpful sites:

Coconut Flour:

http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Secret-Flour-Gluten-Canister/dp/B003XB3NNE/ref=sr_1_8?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1392935822&sr=1-8&keywords=gluten-free+flours

Almond Flour:

(Remember: Almond Flour and Almond Meal are not the same thing. Almond flour is made using finely ground blanched almonds, while Almond Meal is made with the almond’s skins still remaining and is not always as fine as flour.)

http://www.nuts.com/nuts/almonds/flour.html?utm_source=bing-ads&utm_medium=cpc&utm_group=90-AlmondFlour[3030]&utm_campaign=1-Nuts&utm_term=almond%20flour&utm_type=Exact

Arrowhead Mills All Purpose Gluten Free Flour:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00061EMNE/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=1535523722&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000LKUTUK&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=19AASKQZJN7JPA2H49Z7

Find Your Nearest Health Food Store:

https://www.earthfare.com/

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/?reloaded=true

http://sprouts.com/

http://www.naturalgrocers.com/

http://orgharvest.info/