vanilla blueberry muffins
Mum introduced me to the wonderful world of muffin making when I was quite young…..I took to it like a duck to water. Muffins are the perfect thing for a child to have a go at making or anybody for that matter. It’s such a simple yet satisfying task that doesn’t take ages to do….and you end up with a dozen soft moist mini cakes to gobble down with your friends.
I was a happy little duck until I got quite ill with glandular fever then chronic fatigue syndrome and found I could not handle the grain content in the muffins because it would make my symptoms so much worse….which brings me to my question:
What do you do when you need the comfort of a fresh baked muffin but for the sake of your digestion (as is the case with mine these days), you cannot go within 10 meters of the dear little darlings without the stomach rapidly bloating out of control etc etc ?…… When I found myself in this dreadful predicament I knew I had to make some major changes to my old muffin favorites. I knew I had no choice but to immerse myself into muffin tweaking sessions until I got results! It was a case of sink or swim. Of course it would be handy to have someone do all that ground breaking work for you and this is why I want to share my VanillaBlueberry Muffin recipe on the off chance that you may have a similar list of no, nos when it comes to what you can and can’t eat these days.
At home we would make our muffins with organic spelt flour (even though spelt is an ancient grain and we used fresh ground organic the lectins in this grain still wreaked havoc on my immune system) but now the tweaked versions are based on almond meal and pumpkin seed meal so that they are grain-free. Muffins featuring apples, pears, honey, and other excess fructose ingredients had to be scrapped as well because I needed to go low FODMAPs. Even the almond meal was reduced because too much can cause a FODMAP problem. After numerous muffin tweaking sessions I came up with some little beauties…. Hooray!! I was finally making progress in the world of muffin rebuilding but…. there was yet more to be done! After reading Dr. Mary Enig’s book “Know Your fats” and “Nourishing Traditions” which was written by Sally Fallon (with the help of Mary Enig), I realised that I also needed to pay closer attention to the kind of fats and oils I was using in my muffins. I had been using grape seed oil and light olive oil as dairy-free options but I learnt that these oils are highlyprocessed products that can easily oxidize and become rancid whereas the more saturated fats tend to be very stable. So now I use a good quality coconut oil and organic ghee. For more about ghee, how it is made and why it is usually considered dairy-free see end of blog.
My oh my, how my pantry has changed these days….has yours changed too? The faithful ingredients that I used to depend on have had to make way for the grain-frees and FODMAP friendlies. For a moment there I thought gobbling down a moist mini cake would become nothing more than a sweet childhood memory but one small bite into a fresh baked Vanilla Blueberry Muffin reassures me that the wonderful world of muffin making (and muffin eating) is here to stay.
The Hidcote lavender in the pot out the back is in full bloom and I’ve used some to decorate the muffins here. Lavender is just one of the many edible flowers you can use to add a unique flavor and some petal charm to something sweet or perhaps a salad or whatever the hippy in you decides to flower-empower .
Exactly what is ghee and why is it considered a dairy-free option? Ghee is a form of clarified butter. Even though it is a dairy food it is often considered dairy-free because the clarifying process removes the lactose and the proteins leaving you with a pure fat. This means that unless you are extremely sensitive to dairy you should be able to tolerate ordinary clarified butter or ghee.
Ghee is highly prized in India and other parts of the world for its unique nutty, caramel like flavor – the result of allowing the butter to cook beyond the initial clarifying stage. As the butter cooks away the milk solids that have formed and separated from the butterfat begin to turn golden brown. It is these browned milk solids that give ghee its distinctive flavor. The milk solids are then strained out leaving behind a fat with no impurities…and barely a trace of an allergen…if any.
Last but not least, Ghee and ordinary clarified butter don’t splatter, burn and smoke when used for frying or cooking at high temperatures because all the water and impurities have been removed.
VANILLA BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
200g almond meal
50g pumpkin seed meal
90g potato starch
100g raw sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g blueberries fresh/frozen
Preheat oven to 150C. Prepare muffin tray by lining with non-bleached individual muffin cases.
In a large mixing bowl add the almond meal, pumpkin seed meal, potato starch, raw sugar, baking powder and sea salt. Use a fork to mix well together. Make a well in the center and add the reaming reserving 80g of the blueberries ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Evenly divided mixture between the 12 muffin cases, place remaining blueberries on top and place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or when a skewer inserted in the center comes away clean.
Allow to cool completely in muffin tray before removing. Can be eaten warm or cold. Keep in an airtight container for 4-5 days.