Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Strawberry-Vanilla Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

I'm a big fan of muffins.  More specifically, I'm a big fan of blueberry muffins.

If I'm being honest, I'll concede to the fact that I have a raging, undying love of blueberry muffins.

So imagine my horror, circa May 2008, when I realized that my body hated on gluten and I'd never again open a box of Betty Crocker blueberry muffin mix.  (What can I say?  Boxed baked goods and I were tight back in the day.  During grad school, I kept some just-add-water blueberry muffin mix in the cupboard for the days when I felt like my overworked brain was going to angrily climb out of my skull in protest.)   

It was a dark time.  No joke.

I've tried several pre-made GF blueberry muffins in the last four years, but they've all tasted like sandpaper.  Then I read about baking with almond flour -- everyone said that unlike brown rice flour, which produces muffins that could double as a cute little brick, almond flour produces light, fluffy creations that actually taste good.

I had to try this.

I tested the almond flour theory using a recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Muffins (I'm not on the Paleo plan, but I occasionally borrow from Paleo recipes that strike my fancy), and it was a hit.  There was no doubt: I was a convert to the world of baking with almond flour.

I decided to tweak the recipe a bit and see if I could come up with some blueberry muffins, because it's high time for blueberry muffins to be welcomed back into my life.   

The results were pretty good, but not spectacular.  I suspected I could do better.

So, last night I tweaked the recipe again and made strawberry-vanilla muffins.  Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!  These muffins are light, fluffy, and delicious -- and, since they're made with almond flour, oat flour and applesauce, they're loaded with both protein and fiber.

Damn Good Strawberry-Vanilla Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Oil Free)
Makes 12 muffins

1 cup almond flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup GF oat flour (again, I like Bob's Red Mill)
3/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs (vegan option: add the equivalent of 2 eggs using either a flax egg or Ener-G egg replacer)
1/3 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup honey (vegan option: agave or stevia)
1 tsp almond butter (preferably smooth and salted)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup fresh strawberries, diced small
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Vanilla sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Put all ingredients but the blueberries in a mixer, and mix until combined and smooth.  Gently fold in strawberries by hand (they're delicate little dudes, and a mixer will smush them).  Line a muffin tin with paper liners, and dollop the muffin batter into the tins.  Sprinkle vanilla sugar onto the top of each muffin (how much you use is up to you).  Bake 20 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick stuck in the center of each muffin comes out smooth.

Ain't she a beaut?

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