03 August 2013

Paleo Blueberry Muffins

I'm newish to the flourless baking terrain, but it seems to me there's a bit of disparity on how to make a grainless muffin. Do a simple Pinterest search on "paleo blueberry muffins" (and do pin this one while you're at it, if you're into it--I think you will be!) and you'll see a staggering range of results. Some recipes with lots of eggs, some with coconut flour, some with tapioca starch, etc, etc. But in the end, I'm failing to understand why it needs to be complicated. I am all about getting the best result from a strategic and short, good-quality ingredient list. And I don't want to use up all my eggs in a simple muffin recipe. Did you know that using too many eggs also can cause issues with rising? Another reason to stick to simple/traditional measurements. Across the board for almond flour muffins, After trying these based off of the ratios on the wonderful blog Tasty Yummies (I changed out cherries for blueberries/walnuts), I've come to intuit the most successful results stem from a 1 to 1 ratio of flour to egg, with honey and a liquid fat as the moisturizers. Baking soda is typically all that's needed for leavening. We're into keeping it simple, and we're into these.

An almond flour, honey and olive oil batter is smacked with lemon zest, a pinch cinnamon and a good dash of vanilla. Fresh blueberries and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts are folded in, just as you would make a normal muffin. Blanched almond flour is light and yet high in protein and nutrients. While not interchangeable with all purpose, it works in slightly similar ratios as a grain flour would. And yet its natural moistness lets you use less fat ratios than you normally would! I slipped in some walnuts because they are high in Omega 3 fats and blueberries are a superfood as is olive oil. That's why I combined them all for a delicious gluten-free breakfast bite. The muffins are baked and cooled split to reveal a nice, moist crumb. In humid weather, they keep best wrapped in the refrigerator (after being cooled). Yum.

 Paleo Blueberry-Walnut Muffins
Inspired by Tasty Yummies

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 farm eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil (I used about 75% olive and 25% grape)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup blueberries
2 T chopped toasted walnuts

Oven to 350 degrees.

Mix almond flour, salt, baking soda, zest and cinnamon in a large bowl, breaking up any clumps of flour with your fingers. Set aside.

Whisk eggs then add oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk well.

A bit at a time, add wet to dry, mixing carefully until just incorporated, then stir in berries and 3/4 of the nuts. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups. For me this yielded 7 normal sized muffins. Pinch the reserved nuts atop and bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops are getting a little color.

Cool in the pan 5 long minutes, then release and cool completely on a wire rack.

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