Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy Morning Blueberry Almond Muffins

When I first started eating a whole foods diet, the thing I missed most was baked goods.  I love breads, bagels, and muffins; and it was hard to give them up.  It wasn't until I discovered alternative "flours" that I realized I could continue eating these foods without compromising my diet.  Most of the flours I use now consist of ground up whole foods:  ground almond meal, ground rice flour, ground oats...  and they're delicious!  The muffin recipe shown below can be made with any whole foods flour or flours, but the combination I used here is my favorite.  And, honestly, these "Happy Morning" muffins shouldn't be confined to the a.m. hours.  I eat them all day!


2 eggs (can sub. 4 oz. apple puree)
1/4 c. agave nectar*
1/2 c. milk of your choice (I use organic whole milk, but any dairy or non-dairy milk will work)
1/2 tsp. natural Mexican vanilla
1 tbsp. melted coconut oil*
1 c. almond meal/flour
1 1/4 c. ground rice flour
1 tbsp. ground flax seed (not necessary for the recipe, but it boosts the nutritional value)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1/4 c. sliced almonds

*Coming from the same plant as tequila (!), agave nectar has been used for centuries.  The Aztecs considered this sweetener a "gift from the gods."  It has a low glycemic index, which means that it will provide a sweet flavor without a huge sugar rush and rapid increase in blood sugar.  It can also be used medicinally to dress wounds, and in cooking as a preservative.

*Coconut oil has some amazing health benefits: It can regulate cholesterol levels, aid in weight loss, increase immunity, and aid digestion.  It's also known for its antioxidant qualities.

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease muffin tins with olive oil.

2.  Whip wet ingredients together in a large bowl.

3.  Add flour, flax seed, salt, and baking soda.  Stir until combined.

4.  Fold in blueberries.  It's usually at this stage that I decide to add more berries, and I'll throw in an extra half a handful or so.  It's up to you...

5.  Fill muffin tins with batter.  (Helpful hint:  I use a cookie scoop to fill the muffin tins.  It's much cleaner than using a spoon, and each tin gets an exact measurement of batter. )

6.  Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of each muffin.

7.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

8.  Enjoy!  (Yield:  12 mini muffins + 3 regular sized muffins)

Now, let's take a look at the whole process in pictures...

Gather Ingredients.

Whip wet ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add flour, flax seed, salt, and baking soda.  Stir until combined.

Fold in blueberries.  Add more, if desired.

Fill muffin tins with batter.

Sprinkle each muffin with almond slices.  Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes.


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