|Tender gluten-free dairy-free blueberry muffins, warm from the oven.|
Tenderness on the block ...
Baking a batch of fresh blueberry muffins is one of my favorite simple pleasures. I do it early, before the summer day turns sultry and my body slows to a liquid ballet of movement designed to conserve every last salty drop of intention and energy my creaky, vanilla lotioned body can muster. I rise and bake to the morning sun, stirring my batter half asleep, sipping hot coffee (my last remaining addiction). A local mockingbird sings his deceit outside the open apartment window. He is remarkable in his uncanny repertoire. A gifted mimic. Silhouetted high against the North Hollywood sky, perched on the tallest utility pole.
I've been thinking about all the thoughtful comments on my last post- my message in a bottle. Your words were a balm and a message tossed back. Received and pondered. Talked about and appreciated.
I've been reading this week (as I always do). Finding books a provocative companion. Words that illuminate and poke. Shared stories that send shivers of recognition, trigger anger, or tug one's soul (kicking and whining) into that impossible place- that place where you don't want to go. The stuff that scares you.
Because it might be true.
And it might be painful. And it just might ask you to consider something. Something hard. Something true.
I've been reading about this business of being a daughter. This isn't the first time I've looked at this subject. I am no stranger to the postmodern Jungian women's psychology section. But reading a book at twenty is one thing. You bring to its wisdom your newly hatched self-hood, your fresh experience, your familial-infused expectations (and prejudices). The expectations, assumptions and dreams of a young woman. You are the heroine, the daughter starting out on your journey, looking at a long and winding road ahead. So you read. And listen. And play with ideas. You see what fits. And what doesn't.
And then you stand, stirring blueberry muffin batter on a clear July morning, decades later. And here, now, the words ring deeper. And the truth stings darker. There is a lifetime of days spiraling out beneath you and above you (because by now you know that time is not linear, or finite, like some calendar). And the same words vibrate with a different meaning, engraved with experience and regret. The same words illuminate as if from a different light source. Not from the world.
From within you.
And so here I am. A daughter, still. Learning something old as if it is new. And discovering truths as if for the first time, arriving, as T. S. Elliot wrote, where we started.
|Fresh organic blueberries- one of the best tastes of summer.|
|Good morning! Fresh blueberry muffins and cafe await.|
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffin RecipeThese fragrant summery muffins have a fabulous texture- thanks to the soft, fluffy nature of hazelnut flour. A bit of coconut flour adds moisture and a delicate hint of coconut. Heavenly. Our new favorite.
1 cup hazelnut flour or almond flour
1/2 cup sorghum or organic brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted
3 free-range organic eggs, beaten
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons bourbon or Tahitian vanilla
2 cups organic blueberries, washed, drained well
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add in the coconut oil, eggs, non-dairy milk, and vanilla and beat to combine. Continue beating for 2 minutes until the batter is smooth. It should not be overly wet or too dry- this batter is a fairly moist batter, akin to thick cake batter. If the coconut flour has absorbed too much liquid and the batter appears dryish, add another tablespoon of non-dairy milk to loosen it.
Stir in the blueberries by hand, using a big spoon or silicone spatula.
Using a spoon, drop the batter into the 12 muffin cups and smooth out tops with wet fingers. Bake in the center of the oven for 22-25 minutes, until domed and golden brown. A cake tester inserted into the center should emerge clean.
Cool on a wire rack of five minutes, then turn out the muffins to continue cooling on the rack.
Absolutely divine still warm. We
Makes one dozen muffins.
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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|I confess. I eat my work.|
Recipe Notes:I'm now using less brown rice and brown rice flour, and eating fewer rice cakes, etc. Here's why- there is elevated arsenic in rice.
I use Bob's Red Mill Hazelnut Flour (I found it at Whole Foods Market). If you cannot find it locally, you can order it at Amazon here.
Baking the night before- I bagged the leftover muffins in a large storage bag and left them on the counter overnight, as an experiment (gluten-free baked goods usually fare better if frozen the same day they are baked). The next morning these muffins were still tender and moist. (I attribute this wonderful bonus to using hazelnut flour and coconut flour.) After breakfast, I wrapped the remaining muffins in foil, bagged them, and tossed them into the freezer for future breakfast treats.
Subbing eggs- I anticipate the question, Can this be vegan? I hesitate to say that these muffins can be egg-free without a loss of quality. The recipe really benefits from the three eggs. I suspect they will lose their lovely, moist texture and lightness (hazelnut flour and coconut flour are two gluten-free flours that work best with eggs). I do have a tasty vegan blueberry muffin recipe with almond flour here.
Xanthan gum is a touchy topic lately. Some Internet folks insist it's beyond disgusting. I'd say it's hardly that. It's an inert starch made from corn. And yes, it is cultivated from fermentation/mold (so is cheese, and grape must; tempeh is inoculated with a fungus). Xanthan is not evil.
If you don't care to use it, find an alternative that imparts viscosity to gluten-free batters (results may vary).
Here's the thing. Xanthan gum really helps gluten-free baked goods attain a tender texture that doesn't crumble apart as soon as you bite into it. I've baked with it and without it. Some inherently gooey gluten-free recipes don't need it- like my Dark Chocolate Brownies. But all in all, I'd say after ten+ years of baking gluten-free, xanthan gum makes a big difference in the texture of muffins, breads and cakes. So I use it. Read more about xanthan gum here.
For more substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.