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Cranberry-Apricot Muffins (Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free)

Gluten-free vegan low sugar cranberry apricot muffins
Cranberry muffins with apricot jam.

By the time you read this post, Dear Reader, I'll be walking Venice Beach. And sighing a long slow sigh. At last. A long overdue getaway- the first vacation since our last visit to the City of Angels- way back in the fall of 2007. Which, considering the roller coaster ride of a year we've all had- personally and collectively- feels like a virtual lifetime ago.

I'll be away for a week. But don't worry. You know I couldn't leave you on your own without a new recipe to tempt you into the kitchen. So I stirred up a new batter for you- some tender breakfast muffins. A fresh combination of tart cranberries and golden apricot preserves in a flour base that features buckwheat, sorghum and quinoa flours- yielding a higher protein profile than your average gluten-free muffin. And, as a bonus to those of you eschewing sugar cane, this recipe has no added sugar. (I didn't add nuts this time, but if you like a little nutty crunch in your muffins these would be lovely with chopped pecans, or toasted almonds.)


A note on ingredients, celiac, wellness, and a few thoughts on vegan vs. ominvore.

I've been asked lately (by a handful of gluten-free readers) if my vegan recipes can be made with real eggs and moo-cow milk. And the short answer is, yes. And as I write this simple yes, I hope this inclusion (and the following) doesn't offend my vegan readership.

I have to bake dairy and egg free due to additional food allergies beyond celiac disease (and because of celiac damage) but if you are living merely gluten-free, any of my vegan recipes can be converted to a more traditional style featuring the eggs and milk you know and love. Use your experience and intuition and adjust the liquid, if need be. And where I use vegan Spectrum Organic Shortening, you may, Darling, use real butter if your little heart desires. I do understand that not every celiac must also be dairy-free. Only half of us.

That's right. According to Dr. Joe Murray at the Mayo Clinic, half of us blessed with the autoimmune disease called celiac need to be GF/CF. Why? 50% of celiacs are allergic to casein, it turns out. That's 1 out of 2 odds, Bubbie, so if you still suffer symptoms after going gluten-free, you might seriously consider getting tested for milk allergy. Don't assume it's "just a lactose intolerance" (and, by the way, if the lactose enzymes or probiotics you're taking aren't working- that's a big clue). But I digress.

In the end, it's all good. Hemp milk, happy cow milk. Free roaming eggs or no eggs. Butter. Olive oil. Work with what works for you- and your body.

I'm not a judger. I'm not exclusive. My diet is not a religion. And even if it was, being the freethinking troublemaker that I am, I'm all for changing it up and experimenting and finding what works for each unique individual soul.

There is no one correct dietary way for everybody. No one size fits all. 

Every body is different, with a specific genetic blueprint and predisposition toward what allows it to thrive- and what turns on the autoimmune switch. Or- in the case of neurodiversity and the rainbow spectrum of autism and mood disorders- what foods trigger the chemistry in the brain toward fog, anxiety and depression. Ease of digestion aside, some of us also think and feel more clearly without gluten and casein- while others seem to feel and experience no difference at all. That's why some families believe in the GF/CF diet for their autistic angels, and some, disappointingly, admit no positive change at all. Temple Grandin reports it works for possibly 60% of those on the spectrum. It's also why eating gluten may pack unwanted pounds on one celiac, yet cause a sister celiac to lose so much weight she is accused of anorexia.

Our job, as I see it, our sacred task, in fact, is to decode and decipher our individual map toward wellness, toward wholeness. It's an ongoing, intricate, often frustrating effort. And some days it feels as if we are the exhausted, brittle heroine in some dark fairy tale, fingers numb from sifting through endless bits of straw to find the golden thread. The thread that makes sense. The thread that leads us home, where we are meant to be, living in wholeness, within a true moment of grace. Our body. Healed.




Cranberry-Apricot Muffins: A Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Recipe


These tart little gems are nutty and not-too-sweet thanks to a dash of stevia and some buckwheat honey. To keep them strictly vegan substitute the honey with organic raw agave.

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a 12-muffin tin or lightly grease and dust cups with gluten-free flour.

Whisk together the dry ingredients:

1/2 cup GF buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Stevia, to taste

Make a well in the center and add in:

1/3 cup organic coconut oil or light olive oil
1/2 cup apricot 100% fruit spread
1/3 cup organic honey or raw agave nectar
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs (whisked with warm water)

Instructions:

Beat with a wooden spoon to incorporate (or use a mixer).

Coarsely chop one cup frozen or fresh cranberries.

When the batter is smooth and slightly sticky add in the chopped cranberries- reserve some for the tops.

Plop the batter into the muffin cups. Smooth tops as you can. Press in the reserved cranberry pieces.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven till firm- about 18 to 20 minutes (test with a wooden pick). If berries were frozen, you may need an extra 3-5 minutes till done.

Place the muffin pan on a rack to cool slightly. Remove the muffins and continue cooling on a wire rack. (If the muffins stay in the pan they'll get soggy.)

Enjoy warm or room temperature. Wrap and freeze leftovers for easy on-the-go treats.

Makes one dozen muffins.

Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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