The internet world told me that we recently had National Muffin Day! Who doesn't love muffins? I don't think anything jazzes up breakfast quite like a muffin and the infamous Seinfeld "Muffin Top" episode is an all time classic that spoke some real hard truths because you can't split a muffin with someone by slicing it horizontally and giving someone the muffin bottom. That. Is. Just. Wrong.
The down side to muffins is that they can be a dangerous breakfast and clock in more calories, sugars and processed fats than a donut. This is one of the biggest reasons that I love to make our own at home so I can control the ingredients, enjoy the house smelling like fresh baked muffins, and savor one as soon as it's cool enough to eat. Today's recipe lightens things up by using a grain free coconut flour. I experiment with different types of flours regularly and grain free baking is an art and science that I'm still trying to improve upon. I am a Whole 30 graduate and although I never planned to eat completely grain free for life, I do clearly remember that I felt amazing when I finished the 30 day program and I don't feel as vibrant when my diet has too much regular flour.
This week's recipe is absent of grains but still full of taste. I hope you enjoy them and I would love to hear any of your grain free baking tips or ideas!
Grain Free Blueberry Muffins
(makes 8 muffins)
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1-3 tsp cinnamon, depending on your preference
-1 individual container plain greek yogurt
-1 ripe mashed banana
-3 TBS coconut sugar
-1/2 cup coconut almond milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix wet and dry ingredients (except the blueberries) in separate bowls. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquids and thicken. Fold in the blueberries and scoop into a greased muffin tin (I use an ice cream scooper) and bake for approximately 22 minutes. It's very important to let these cool completely before removing them or they will easily break apart. Enjoy!
Is anyone else getting a little tired of the snow days? Here in New England, February is typically our snowiest month. While the little Sunday Bakers love hearing they have another "stay home" day, as they call it, we are getting a little bit worn on the shuffling of the mornings with work and child care. That said, mother nature is going to do what she is going to do and we believe in making the best of the situation with cookies.
I've been experimenting with different flours again and I'm loving Bob's Red Mill's Gluten Free 1:1 flour. I think it's the easiest way to convert any recipe to a gluten free version. I don't have celiac or anything requiring a strict gluten free diet thankfully, but I like to experiment with different versions of recipes and try to "healthify" them in different ways. This flour is very versatile and I'm looking forward to trying some bread and dough recipes with it soon.
These cookies will not disappoint if you're needing a quick and easy Valentine's cookie recipe. The recipe makes 2 1/2-3 dozen cookies easily and it's free of any nut products if you are looking to bring them to a school party. So make a batch, sit at the window and enjoy the snow...because it's clearly here to stay for a while!
Gluten Free Chocolate Valentine's Day Cookies
makes 2 1/2-3 dozen cookies
-1/2 cup butter- room temperature
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 cup sugar
-2 tsp vanilla
-1 3/4 gluten free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 GF flour)
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
-1 tsp espresso powder
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup chocolate chips or Valentine's Day M&Ms
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In your mixer, mix the butter and sugars on medium speed until creamed together. On low, add the eggs 1 egg at a time. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until well incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is fully mixed together. Fold in the chocolate chips or M&Ms.
Using a mini-scoop or small spoon, spoon the dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for approximately 11 minutes. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire baking rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!
If you had to go to a desert island and could only bring one food with you, what would it be? Mine would be pizza...and I would secretly hope that someone else who had to go was bringing chocolate because together we'd be unstoppable...and happy.
Today I want to tell you what's cooking in my bread machine right now as Superbowl Sunday rolls in and we get ready to cheer on the New England Patriots. Yes, you can use this recipe if you're an Eagles fan but I hope you're ready for the Pats and our man Tom Brady tonight because we're gonna bring it. Back to the food. Years ago (as in well over ten years ago), I got a lovely gift of a bread machine from my in laws and it's still going strong. I actually don't use it often for bread, but I use it weekly for fresh, homemade pizza dough. I found a recipe online when I got the machine but I don't remember where I got it. I've made it so many times and modified it so much that I just know it by heart. I've made whole wheat versions and white flour versions, depending on what we're going for that week. We've used countless combinations of toppings, cheeses, herbs and spices (my favorites include a lot of garlic and basil). I think homemade pizza beats any delivery services, it's kinder to the wallet, and it's really really easy! I can set the ingredients in the bread machine in the morning before heading out the door and there's a pizza dough waiting for me that evening when we get home.
Bread Machine Pizza Dough (Adapted)
-1 cup + 2 TBS water- luke warm
-2 TBS olive oil
-3 cups flour (this can be all white flour, half whole wheat or other combinations to suit your preferences)
-1 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
Measure all of your ingredients carefully. This is where my "little bit of this, little bit of that" baking style can cause problems because bread machines are very precise. Place the ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. Once the salt has been added, make a well using your finger or the back of the spoon on top of the flour and put the yeast into that well. Put the machine on dough cycle (mine takes 1 1/2 hours) and press start. Once the machine is done, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out or toss until it is shaped for your pizza pan. Add your sauce, cheese and toppings. Place into a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
Fitness and yoga lovin' wife, momma & home baker.