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Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Blueberry Muffins with Almond Flour

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins with Almond Flour
Tender almond flour muffins bursting with fresh blueberries.

Almond Flour Magic

From the blueberry recipe archives, I am sharing a favorite wheat-free gluten-free muffin recipe (and a health update on my Gut Instinct post). I know, I know.

Another muffin recipe?

While many seasoned food bloggers are waxing poetic about grilling burgers and slabs of watermelon on their backyard grill, the truth is, Babycakes, I'm just not into it. I'm in such a different head space that it almost seems comical to me, reading headlines in my Inbox about the "Ultimate Burger", or how July Fourth wouldn't be a real celebration without a hunk of charred All-American meat or a Philly cheese dog. 

Um. What? 

Our founding fathers might disagree. In fact, wasn't Benjamin Franklin a vegetarian?

Don't worry. I'm not gearing up for an anti-meat rant or anything. That would be downright unpatriotic of me. Though, come to think of it, Thomas Edison was pretty patriotic, wasn't he? He invented the light bulb. An American light bulb. And I like what Tom said, "Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." 

A powerful thought. 

So hang with me for a minute. I've been thinking about America lately, and her addictions. To oil. Fast food. Meat. I've read Michael Pollan. And found Fast Food Nation informative. I was disturbed by Food Inc. And inspired by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I'm a thinking human. 

I like to ponder stuff. 

So after living most of my life as a vegetarian (sometimes flexitarian), when I was told, post hip-surgery, to eat animal protein in order to mend my fractured hip, I complied with my surgeon's advice. I went the organic, free-range, wild caught, sustainable route. And my hip healed. And three years later, I walk without a limp.

But here's the thing. My monkey gut hasn't been happy. Some of it's nerves, I know. Triggered by said hip incident and general, all purpose economic worry. Better known as STRESS. The Devil. Pure evil to your happy little cells.

Life'll kill ya. As Warren Zevon said.

So when I recently went for six days nil by mouth to calm my digestion and heal my sad and wounded duodenum, I tried to look on the bright side. Hey. I had an IV- I was detoxing by default- no caffeine, no alcohol, no red meat, no refined flour. No nothing.

Darling, it was like a trip to the spa.

But without a masseuse and Carlos Nakai.

Doctor's orders upon leaving shot a shiver down my spine. Four weeks of non-pointy food. Blandville all the way. No wine. No spices. No coffee. No tea. He paused and looked at me over the rim of his glasses and reiterated, Not even de-caf! 

Forever? I asked.

He shrugged a Well, yeah, as to a slow witted child.

I blinked and nodded my best upbeat gluten-free goddess nod. I went home. And I did it. Banana smoothies and mashed potatoes defined my life.

I was the Queen of Puree.

Five weeks later I underwent something I have feared for years. The dreaded endoscopy. I have issues with people stuffing tubes down my throat, okay? Not to mention, cameras. I demanded good drugs. It went off without a hitch.

Sitting up in recovery, I yelled out to the anesthesiologist passing by the curtain, I love you! 

I get that a lot, she said.

The good news? No villi damage (go gluten-free diet!).

My doc was happy. We even discussed trying an anti-inflammatory diet. It turns out he's gluten-free by choice. And receptive to the idea that our diet can influence our health (what a concept, right?).

Recipe for gluten-free blueberry muffins made with almond flour
Warm from the oven blueberry muffin and a cool glass of rice milk.

So here I am. Back in the kitchen. Cooking and baking vegan. I'm experimenting with almond flour again (one more positive outcome from all this is the encouragement from my doc to reintroduce foods I have been avoiding since my food allergy blood test; my doc agrees with celiac expert Dr. Peter Green that food allergy blood tests are inaccurate, and basically unreliable, showing mainly what you've been eating a lot of recently; so I am trying new foods one at a time. Back in my diet so far are avocados, almonds, cashews, and GF curry). *See more info below; and read up on the food allergy testing controversy here.

My delicious vegan and gluten-free meal at Julian's Planet Raw restaurant in Santa Monica
Fabulous Thai curry zucchini noodles and "meatball" at Planet Raw.

I'm also trying on a new twist. I'm learning about raw food-- inspired and energized after a fabulous meal at Planet Raw in Santa Monica, shared with fellow blogger Lori White of Stuff 2 Eat. I felt so good-- so well fed-- after enjoying this gorgeous plate of food. I felt light and inspired. Without pain. This was a revelation after years of believing I could only digest well cooked foods. I would never have believed I could eat a plate of raw food and feel so incredible.

So you can expect some raw recipes in the near future. First up is learning how to make some luscious cashew cream. I'm checking out Chef Juliano's cookbook, RAW.

In the meantime- I hope you enjoy these tender almond flour muffins studded with fresh blueberries.

These are light and delicious.

Tender almond meal gives this muffin a delicate nutty scent.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffin Recipe with Almond Flour

Originally published July 2010.

I used Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour in this new muffin recipe. Finely ground almonds create a delicate, soft gluten-free flour that is light and subtly sweet.


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.


Whisk together:

1 1/3 cups almond meal
1 cup sorghum flour or certified GF oat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons Bourbon vanilla extract

Beat in:

1 1/3 cups organic light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water till frothy
1/2 cup warm water, more as needed, up to 3/4 cup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Beat the batter until it is smooth, like a slightly thickened cake batter. I found this batter a bit thinner than I'm used to (I haven't baked with almond flour in several years).

Add in:

1 pint fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

Stir gently and briefly.

Baking instructions:

Plop the blueberry muffin batter into the twelve lined cups. You'll probably have some xtra- for a baker's dozen. We made tiny mini-muffins with our extra better. Too cute.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 23 to 25 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. A wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean.

Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Gently pop the muffins out to continue cooling on the rack (don't cool them in the hot pan- they'll get soggy).

If by some chance, Babycakes, your muffins are soggy or slightly underdone-- due to unforeseen oven temperature variations-- place them back into the warm oven directly on the center rack for five minutes or so.

These are simply divine warm from the oven. 
Enjoy every bite.

Wrap and freeze cooled muffins for future breakfast treats.

Makes a baker's dozen.

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Recipe Source:

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Karina's notes:

If you prefer using eggs in your gluten-free baking, I recommend using two to three organic free-range eggs in this recipe.

*As always, follow your own doctor's medical advice regarding food allergies. Consult with her/him before even contemplating a food challenge- and obviously do not attempt a food challenge without medical advice and supervision.

Almond blueberry muffins on a plate
Gluten-free blueberry muffins. Um. Yes.

xox Karina