Lemon Blueberry Muffins (with gluten and dairy free options)

*This post is linked up with Gluten Free & DIY Tuesdays at Allergy Free Alaska and Jeanie of the Baking Beauties. Check it out!

I was having a bit of a diva in the kitchen fit that Saturday. I had declared the night before, in no uncertain terms, that I was NOT going to bake anything in the morning. I was tired. My feet hurt. And it was time (I again declared with great flare) that the children learn to do for themselves a bit more at meal times.

So there. I sure told them. (Hangs head in shame.)

I got up the next morning and made my coffee. I threw together a pan of scrambled eggs (cause I was hungry, mind you–and note there was still no baking).

But then the blueberries in the frig caught my eye. And the wheels started spinning. I remembered the leftover lemon glaze in the frig from a scone order I’d made. The NEED started building. Cause sometimes a girl needs warm fluffy muffins studded with fresh blueberries and lemon zest. Yes need.

So I looked up a few recipes and found one that I had all the ingredients for (Yay!) and I could adapt for my daughter’s food allergies. (It wasn’t totally about me.)

 

blueberry muffins 1

 

This is the gluten/dairy free version I made that morning. For the fluffiest and yummiest texture, I really recommend the flour ratio I used. If you have some other gf mix you’d like to use, feel free, just note that I can’t say for sure what it will be like.

(This recipe is adapted from this one at Heavenly Homemakers. While I’m at it, I’d highly recommend you check out this blog. Super encouraging, practical, and everything Laura makes is real food and tasty!)

blueberry muffins 2

Lemon Blueberry Muffins (gluten and dairy free)

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  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used a mix of 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup sorghum flour–millet would work well too–and 1/2 cup tapioca starch. Couldn’t even tell it was gluten free!)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 melted coconut oil (or butter)
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (I buy this brand) + TB lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • Zest 1 Lemon, plus the juice
  • powdered sugar (enough to make a glaze, about 1 cup)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients (including the lemon zest) together until well blended. In another, smaller bowl, whisk together egg, melted oil (make sure it’s not too hot) and coconut milk plus the TB lemon juice. Add the wet into the dry and mix well. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter among the muffin tins (makes 10-12 muffins). Make sure they are well greased or use paper liners. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until tops begin to brown slightly and a toothpick comes out clean. (Keep in mind that gf baked goods don’t often brown as much as wheat.)

Carefully remove the muffins to a cooling rack after they’ve baked. Juice your lemon into a small bowl and whisk in enough powdered sugar to get a thick, but pour-able glaze. Once the muffins have cooled completely, drizzle with the glaze. Allow the glaze to harden up a bit before serving–but I have to confess I didn’t posses the self control to wait that long!

So, yeah, I ended up baking anyway. Which no one was really all that shocked about. And now we will enjoy these muffins repeatedly while the fresh blueberries are in season. And I promise I’ll try to be a little nicer :). 

 

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Maple Vanilla Crunch Granola (gluten, dairy free)

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We LOVE cereal. A little too much. Especially as an evening snack. But the extruded, sugar loaded, cardboard packaged stuff isn’t really that great for you. So to pacify the cereal monster in all of us, I make homemade granola. It’s really easy and after just a few minutes, you’ll have fast breakfasts (or snacks) for a few days. We especially love it on yogurt!

(I’ve linked some of these ingredients to sources I typically order from. They’re affiliate links, so I’ll receive a small commission if you place an order. But you still get the same great price! Thanks!)

Maple Vanilla Crunch Granola


The Dry:

  • 4 cups rolled oats (look for certified gluten free if you’re really sensitive)
  • 2 cups puffed rice or millet cereal
  • 1 cup chopped or slivered almonds (or nut of choice)
  • ½ cup flax meal
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup flour (wheat, buckwheat or rice will work)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup total of raisins and chopped dates (or dried fruit of choice)

The liquids:

  • ½ cup coconut oil (If you’re not dairy free, you can use melted butter. But the coconut oil adds a little extra sweetness, so you may want to up the sweetener just a bit.)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (Grade B will give you the most maple-y flavor!)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 TB vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except the dried fruit. (It will be added as a very last step.)

In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining wet ingredients.

Pour the wet over the dry and mix THOROUGHLY until all the liquids are distributed and the dry is uniformly wet. Spread the granola onto two large sheet pans lined with parchment or a silicon mat. Use a rubber spatula to spread it out evenly and pat down a bit. This will help produce crunchy clusters of different sizes.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. You’ll probably want to rotate the pans a couple times to ensure even baking/browning. Turn the oven off and allow to sit in the oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to continue crisping up the granola. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. This is the point where you add the dried fruit.  I just sprinkle it on top of the pans.

Store in an airtight container. Sometimes, if the oatmeal canister is empty, I just put the granola in there. Try not to break it up too much when you transfer it so you won’t lose some of those larger clusters.

Options and Notes

 Add-ins: Feel free to switch up the add-ins to your heart’s content. Don’t like coconut? Leave it out. Prefer pumpkin seeds or pecans in your granola? Switch out the almonds. Same goes for the dried fruit.

Why flax meal? Well, it has some great health benefits like omega 3 fatty acids. But honestly, I added the flax in for its stickiness. When the flax mixes with the liquids, it gets a little gelatinous and sticky, which helps make those crunch clusters we all love so much. But that said, if you don’t have flax meal on hand, the granola will still taste great without it.

Puffed rice and millet? The addition of the puffed cereal gives a certain kind of crunch that you’ll find in most boxed granola. But if you prefer to avoid that, you could definitely use all oatmeal instead—6 cups in that case. But if you’d like to give the puffed cereal a try, I really like Arrowhead Mills. It’s fairly inexpensive and doesn’t have any other added weird ingredients.

This granola is great on yogurt, with milk, as an add in to your homemade trail mix and straight out of the container! Plus you get a TON more than you do buying those expensive little cardboard boxes.

Enjoy!


Real Food Time Savers–Make Breakfast After Dinner

We all know that our families need a healthy, balanced breakfast. As a homeschooling mom, I see this all too easily. When my kids get a healthy breakfast with a good balance of carbs, fat and protein, our mornings run much more smoothly. If, however, they only eat a bowl of cereal or slice of toast–I can bet on a 10:00 am crash and burn.

But let’s face it, few of us really feel like getting up in the dark and cooking up a 5 course breakfast. So what are we going to do? Most of the time, I choose to start making breakfast after dinner.

It goes something like this…After dinner is cleaned up I might mix up the dry ingredients for a batch of muffins and measure out the milk and honey. Or I’ll put a pot of oatmeal or pancake batter out to soak overnight (speeds cooking in the case of the oatmeal and improves the digestion of all grains). If I’m fortunate enough to have muffins or scones in the freezer, I’ll pull some out to thaw. At the very least, even if we decide to have smoothies and scrambled eggs, I’ve planned it so I’m not trying to figure it out in my morning fog.

Measuring out any baking project the night before is a must for me. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve botched just because I was trying to read and measure out ingredients before I’ve had enough coffee to get the old brain running.

Why not give some of these recipes a try…
*  Gluten Free Baked Oatmeal (with soaked option)
*  Gluten Free Multi Grain Waffles
*  Easy Tender Biscuits
*  Cinnamon Bun muffins (from Comfybelly)
*  Grain Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins (Chocolate for breakfast! You’ll win        Mom of the Year!)
* Our favorite buckwheat pancakes (from Nourishing Days)
 

How do you get a good breakfast on the table for your family?


Breakfast Out of the Box

Once, Mythbusters tested the myth that the cardboard box the cereal comes in has more nutrition than the cereal itself.  I believe they busted that one, but still.

We have a box of cereal in our cabinet right now. But it generally only makes an appearance as a late night snack for my husband. Cereal just doesn’t fill my kids up.  An hour and a half later, my oldest has a blood sugar crash that derails school and ends in entirely too much drama.  So–we tend to stick with breakfasts higher in protein.

Today’s example–one of my favorites.  Yogurt and granola.  yogurt granolaHomemade yogurt sweetened with stevia and homemade granola sweetened with honey and vanilla.  Both of which we made yesterday.  It doesn’t get anymore out of the box than this. And lest you think me some kind of crazy kitchen chemist, let me assure you, IT’S EASY. Not to mention incredibly cheap.  I can make a quart of plain, whole milk yogurt for $.75. I haven’t figured out the total cost of the granola yet, but I know I’m getting about 8 cups for less than $3.

While I’d love to share the recipes here, they’re not mine. Katie at Kitchen Stewardship is a genius.  I have two of her e-books and have not been disappointed.  While there are many different methods for making yogurt, her’s is simple and forgiving. Check out the in-depth tutorial here. (If you have questions, though, feel free to drop me a note.) And for the granola, I make her recipe here. But really, there are a thousand easy variations of granola out there too. Just give one a try–and DITCH THE BOX.

* For more out of the box breakfast ideas, check out the recipe page at the top of my blog. While I haven’t finished all of them yet, there are already quite a few breakfast recipes linked up for you. Many with gluten free variations.

What are your family’s favorite out of the box breakfasts?