Blueberry Almond Muffins (Paleo)

Blueberry Almond Muffins - Paleo

The light came in through a window behind my back, over the sink and past the counter where my grandpa would make breakfast sausage in the mornings. Next to that was the fridge, decorated humbly with only a few cards. On the wall hung an off-white phone, it's cord long and tangled from use. The counters and the oven door were a faded tawny orange color, the wooden cabinets a deep mahogany, with golden stain--or at least that's how it is my memory. They're given no help from the rusty colored vinyl floors, which reflect an extra orange glow onto everything in the room. 

I sit in a kitchen chair with metal legs and a faux leather cushion. My grandma has pulled my hair back into a pony tail but it's like you would expect from any toddler: the stray wisps are everywhere, escaping the elastic ponytail holder and doing their own thing. That's where time is frozen: I'm pouring fresh blueberries into a bowl of batter, while my grandpa snaps a picture. The mixing bowl, bigger than my head, is also orange. Daringly, I'm wearing no apron, just a floral dress with puffy, short sleeves (it is the '90s). 

Blueberry Almond Muffins - Paleo

If it weren't for that picture, I wouldn't remember this day. Actually, I'm not sure if I do remember this day--my memories from being in this house are fleeting, single moments that fade and disappear before they really emerge. But because of this photo, I feel like I remember making those muffins. Not just those muffins, but many muffins. I feel like I remember preparing that same recipe every time I visited, setting my fate as a baker early. 

Blueberry Almond Muffins - Paleo

Many years later (and many times in-between), I would go back to visit. Everything was as it had been: orange vinyl, white phone, that dated oven door. Most of the cards on the fridge were the same, only a few were added to the mix. This picture sat in a frame in the living room, amongst 20 or 30 others. My grandma told me that when my younger cousins found the photo, they asked her if they could also learn to make muffins. Instead she taught each of them a different recipe, leaving her legacy behind in the whisks and folds of homey pastries.

Blueberry Almond Muffins (Paleo)

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

Sweet blueberries are accented by toasted almonds in this tender muffin.

Yields: 6    |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/16 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoon raw honey
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 scant tablespoons cassava flour
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and fit a muffin pan with 6 muffin liners.
  2. Next, in a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: almond flour, cassava flour, salt, baking soda.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: honey, coconut milk, vinegar, vanilla, melted coconut oil, and eggs.
  4. When the wet ingredients are fully combined, add the dry ingredients to the wet 1/2 at a time, stirring in-between. A batter will form. Once no clumps remain, fold in the blueberries gently.
  5. Using two spoons, scoop the batter into muffin liners until they are about 5/6 of the way full. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of slivered almond and then bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Set on cooling wrack to cool 10 minutes.

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Grain-Free Cinnamon Rolls

^^^ That is what sugar and spice and everything nice smells like. Seriously. 

I've been on a quest to find a fluffy grain-free  cinnamon roll for a few years now. It's been a rough journey. Almond flour usually results in a dense, semi-crunchy dough that is certainly never fluffy. Coconut flour requires a lot of liquid to combat it's dryness, but when you add a lot of liquid it's pretty much impossible to roll out the dough and roll it up with cinnamon. And the cinnamon filling is the best part of the cinnamon roll, so that's a big problemo. 

That's why, even though I rarely bake with large amounts of tapioca flour, I went for this time. It sticks together, makes a moldable dough, and results in a fluffy finished product. If you ask me, tapioca flour is a bit of a real-food loop hole. If we're talking about foods that nourish your body, tapioca flour falls flat on it's face. However sometimes you just need a cinnamon roll, and sometimes, your soul needs a little bit of nourishment too. 

For those days, this recipe is a winner -- allergy-friendly, but also fluffy, soft, and sweet. The cinnamon filling is made with whole fruits, so no extra sweetener is needed! Dates are the main sweetener here, but I added shredded apple for good measure because, well, cinnamon + apples = more please!! 

Did you see that big pan of cinnamon rolls in picture #2?? Not even kidding you, there were only 3 and a half left an hour after they came out of the oven. Note to self: Next time, gorge on cinnamon rolls after yoga, not before. 

Grain-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

For those days when you just need a cinnamon roll.

Yields: 15 two to three inch rolls   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dates, pit removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon for filling
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk (canned, full fat)
  • 3/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large apple
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Bring the 1 cup of water to boil. Remove from heat, and pour into a small bowl. Place the dates in the water to soften them.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prep the dough: In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together 1/2 cup of coconut oil and honey. Once incorporated, add the vanilla, room temperature eggs, and coconut milk. Beat until fully combined. (If your eggs are cold when you mix them in, they may not cream into the coconut oil as well).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt. Once the dry ingredients are well distributed, add half to the wet ingredients. Beat until fully incorporated, then add the other half. Set dough aside.
  4. Finish prepping the filling: Drain the dates, and add them to a high powered blender. Blend on high until a thick paste forms. Scoop the paste into a small bowl. Grate the apple with a cheese grater. Fold the apples, 1 tablespoon coconut oil and cinnamon into the date paste.
  5. Make the rolls: Pat the dough into a disc shape. Place the disc shape between 2 pieces of parchment. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Remove the top layer of parchment. Feel free to trim any uneven edges now — this is not necessary but will result in more even end rolls. Spread the date paste mixture out in a thin, even layer on the dough. Now, starting at one edge of the rectangle, roll the dough: Use the bottom layer of parchment paper to help you — this dough is softer than a wheat dough, and needs the help. Tip: Each time I go to roll the dough over, I loosen it from the parchment with a spatula. Some bits may stick to the parchment— that is ok.
  6. Grease a 9-inch pie pan. Once you have rolled the dough into a log, you may cut your cinnamon rolls: Use a separated knife, and cut the roll into 1-inch rounds. Wipe your knife clean each time. Place the cinnamon rolls 1/2 to 1 inch apart in the pie pan. Once all rolls are cut, cover pan with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  7. Bake rolls for 40-45 minutes with the aluminum foil on. Then remove the foil and bake for an addition 10-15 minutes. Rolls should be soft, but quite golden when done. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

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Grain-Free "Seeduction" Bread

My dad always bought the same bread when I was growing up: Seeduction Bread from Whole Foods. It was a big, round loaf with a dark color and as you may have guessed, lots of seeds. We had a well-loved front loading toaster oven, with a glass door that squealed as you opened it. It wasn't rare for one of us to leave the bread in just a bit too long, making it "extra crispy". 

It wasn't until I set out to make this loaf that I remembered what that smelled like. White bread may just smell yeasty or sweet when it gets toasted, but Seeduction bread is so much more. Calling it "full bodied" makes it sound like a bottle of wine, but there's no better way to describe it. It's nutty, savory, and full.

This Paleo version filled my house with that familiar scent as it baked, conjuring memories of our green kitchen and trusty toaster. I've never been a bread lover, but there was something in the way this loaf baked that made me love it. 

This bread is dense. Packed with sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and pepitas, this loaf means business. I made it using mostly almond flour, which does mean it crumbles easier that traditional bread, but I don't let that stop me: Snack time? Toast up a slice, top it with avocado, and sprinkle the whole thing with a touch of salt. Lunch? I'm pretty sure a stack of BLTs is in order. And don't forget breakfast! I actually used this bread to re-shoot the photos for my Paleo Breakfast Sandwiches. Just make sure to use a plate :)

Paleo Seeduction Bread

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free   |      |    Print Friendly and PDF

This recipe is reminiscent of Whole Foods’ “Seeduction Bread,” but made without grains.

Yield: 1 loaf, 8 x 4 x 2 inches   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk of choice (I used coconut)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt until no clumps remain.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple cider vinegar, honey, and coconut oil. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a thick batter. Gently fold in the various seeds.
  4. Shape dough into a loaf (bread will hold shape in the oven). Place in the center of a baking pan, and use a pastry brush to coat the top with a thin layer of non-dairy milk. Sprinkle with extra seeds. Place in center rack of oven and back for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, bread should be golden and firm to the touch. Turn the oven off, and leave the loaf in for 10 additional minutes. Then set it on a wire rack to cool. Use a sharp serrated knife to slice.

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