Hey everyone! I wanted to begin this post by saying that I’m taking a little break from ‘What I Ate Wednesday’. I feel that for this month and possibly until the end of this year, I’d really like to just focus on posting recipes because that’s where my heart and mind are.
I don’t know about other food bloggers, but I seriously live for food! I’m constantly thinking about recipes and what I want to do next! I’ve been a recipe hound for so long that I literally have stacks (hundreds!) of index cards lying around my house. I also have notebooks with indecipherable messages to myself about what to do with this food or that recipe. When I’m not writing about food on the blog, I’m usually making it or reading one of the many cookbooks I own or have checked out from the library. I probably need help. I think I drive my husband a little nuts! …but he still loves me. ♥
Today’s recipe is actually one from my mother that I’ve revised. Though I love old cookbooks, a lot of them call for quite a bit of sugar/fat/lard, so some experimenting was needed in order to tone it down a bit for health’s sake.
My daughter and husband both seem to be a bit sensitive to gluten, but I find that baking with a lot of starches doesn’t do them (or myself) well either. The gluten in whole wheat is actually very high in protein, so it balances out the carbs a bit better than eating a muffin that is made up of say, tapioca starch, arrowroot, and brown rice flour (virtually no protein here!). Here is a look at some stats on the most popular flours for baking: (the figures are based on a serving size of 4 T. or 1/4 c.)
Before looking at this, I noted which flours I tolerate best. When I say this, I’m mainly referring to how I feel energy and digestive-wise after eating it. The ones that agree with me the best are chickpea, buckwheat, coconut, and almond (meal). Note that these are some of the highest in protein (I have been wanting to try quinoa as well!). The ones that agree with me the least include sorghum, arrowroot, and sweet rice. Again note that these are some of the highest carb, lowest protein flours. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using these in moderation, but when they make up the bulk of a recipe, they can begin to give someone (me) blood sugar and digestive issues. I’ve seen great-looking recipes that call for 1/3 cup of arrowroot, and I know I can’t make them because I will crash and burn upon consumption. Whole wheat flour, while containing gluten, has a decent ratio of carbs to protein, as does oat flour ! These are ones I employ and find I do okay with as well.
In today’s recipe, I’ve kept it gluten-free by using a combination of almond meal and brown rice flour, which lends a very moist and frankly, perfect muffin texture. I first read about combining the two on Lou’s blog , but didn’t quite know how to go about it…..so I guessed!! I knew I wanted more almond meal than rice flour (more protein), so a did a 2 to 1 ratio, and it worked beautifully! According to the hubby, ‘these taste like the fat-boy muffins I used to buy from the gas station’…..maybe that was a compliment? If I hadn’t tried them myself, I honestly wouldn’t have known, but my own estimation was that these are the best muffins I’ve ever tasted! I know that’s bold, and usually I steer clear of exaggerative talk, but I feel confident in telling you that….
GLUTEN-FREE BANANA BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
2 T. butter or coconut oil, semi-solid
2 T. honey or maple syrup
1 egg (or 1 flax/chia egg for vegans)
1 large ripe banana, mashed
3/4 c. buttermilk (see below for easy instructions on making your own)**
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. almond meal (I use the dehydrated almond pulp from making almond milk)***
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/4 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 c. blueberries, washed and drained (I used frozen)
**I make my own buttermilk by measuring 3/4 c. almond milk, subtracting 2 1/4 t. of it, and adding 2 1/4 t. of apple cider vinegar in its place. It seems like an odd measurement, but it’s based on the fact that the best combination of milk and vinegar (I’ve found) is 1 T. to 1 c. of milk.
***I make the almond meal from almond pulp by placing it on a baking sheet and baking it in the oven for about 6 hours at 170 degrees. Cool it, and grind it in a coffee grinder until it resembles flour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter (or oil) and honey (or maple syrup). Add in the egg, banana, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat until combined thoroughly. Mix the dry ingredients (almond meal, brown rice flour, salt, and baking soda) in a separate bowl. Stir all until just mixed (don’t overmix, the batter should be lumpy). Gently fold in the berries. Bake for 35-40 minutes (a toothpick should come out clean, and the tops should be lightly browned).
I’m sure there are hundreds if not thousands of blueberry or banana or banana blueberry or chocolate banana muffin recipes out there that you could try, but what sets these apart is how darn healthy they are! Low in sugar, low in fat, no gluten, 48 grams of protein alone from the almond meal….what more could you want? I hope you give them a try, and let me know what you think!
If you’re a food blogger, are you obsessed with food?
What’s your favorite muffin?
I happen to love blueberry…but lemon poppy seed would be a close second!