I've had fabulous response to my blueberry and cranberry orange muffin recipes. Both of these muffins, like all of my baking, are gluten-free, sugar-free and low-carb. A combination of almond flour and golden flaxseed meal replaces the traditional enriched bleached flour found in most muffins, in these two recipes. The base of these recipes are identical and I've had great luck using it to make many muffin variations.
However, a few of my readers have asked about replacing the almond flour with coconut flour due to nut allergies and my response has been…..”it's not that easy”. Almond flour and coconut flour are very different beasts when it comes to baking. Coconut flour can be tricky to use, as it is very absorbent and requires more moisture, which can be eggs, oil, nut milk or even water. Almond flour on the other hand is more dense and less absorbent, it also lends a different texture to baked goods.
By request, I have been playing with different combinations and variations of muffins made with coconut flour instead of almond flour. Although you can certainly make muffins with coconut flour alone, I have found I prefer the flavor and texture when coconut flour is combined with flaxseed meal.
I have come up with a base recipe that can be modified with different fruit purees, like banana, apple and pumpkin, to give you a variety of yummy muffins that are wonderfully moist and very “muffin-like”. There is also an option to skip the fruit purée in order to add berries like blueberries or cranberries.
Before moving along to the recipe, let's take a step back for those of you who are new to my site, new to this whole grain-free, gluten-free lifestyle or haven't yet ventured in healthy baking. Whether it's low-carb, paleo, primal or somewhere between, if you are eating a diet void of processed foods and rich in “real” foods, alternative flours will make their way into your kitchen. If you want to do any baking that resembles your old unhealthy treats, getting familiar with things like almond flour and coconut flour is a must. I've talked about almond flour plenty and even shared my technique in making it in my kitchen. Almond flour is pretty basic, it's just finely ground up almonds. Blanched almond flour is made from almonds with the skins removed and unblanched the skin is left on. So what about coconut flour?
Coconut Flour is a gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb flour that is also a good source of fiber. It has a “graham cracker” like smell and a slight sweet taste on its own. Coconut flour is purported to aid in lipid oxidation (burn fat), digestion and help balance blood sugar due to its high fiber content. Coconut flour is made from the meat of the coconut. Most of the fat and moisture is removed and the meat is then dried. With coconut flour increasing in popularity, you may be able to find it at your local grocery store. Bob's Red Mill is one brand of coconut flour I have used with success. This brand seems to be on most grocery store shelves these days, in fact I even spotted a display at the little local grocery store, way up north, in Ely, MN. I also like Coconut Secret coconut flour, I buy it at our local food co-op and at Whole Foods.
1/4 c. coconut flour is equal to 1c. white flour
Let's compare, shall we?
Coconut Flour 103 cals, 3g fat, 18g carbs, 12g fiber, 7g protein
White Flour 435 cals, 1g fat, 95g carbs, 3g fiber, 13g protein
Ok, now we are ready to make some muffins! I use the aluminum foil muffin liners, lightly sprayed with non-stick spray, to make all my muffins. You can use paper liners, however, even with spray, there is still some “stickage”. It is my preference to let coconut/flax muffins cool completely before eating. For whatever reason, they develop a little more flavor once cool and are especially good slathered with ghee and a few sprinkles of Celtic sea salt. You'll find that the muffin batter is very thick, don't worry your muffins will still be moist. To evenly distribute the batter, a trick I picked up somewhere on the interwebs, is to put the batter in a Ziploc bag, clip the corner and “pipe” the batter in the tin like frosting. Works like a charm!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 6 muffins
Base – Dry Ingredients
- 1/4 c. Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Flour
- 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal
- 1 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
- 1/8 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
- 1/8 tsp. NuNaturals Pure White Stevia Extract Powder
- Spice (see options)
Base – Wet Ingredients
- 2 Large Organic Cage-Free Eggs
- 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, Butter or Ghee, Melted
- 1 tsp. Extract (see options)
- 1/3 c. Water, Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
- 1/4 c. Fruit Puree (see options)
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
- Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients, eliminating all clumps.
- Divide batter evenly between six muffin tins lined and lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Bake at 350 for 23 minutes.
- Cool, serve & enjoy!
Banana Muffins: 1/2 – 1 tsp. cinnamon, vanilla extract, mashed banana
Apple Spice Muffins: 1/2 tsp, cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. allspice, pinch of nutmeg, maple or vanilla extract, unsweetened applesauce
Pumpkin Muffins: 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, vanilla extract, pumpkin purée
Blueberry Muffins: Use 3 eggs instead of 2, NO fruit purée, 1 tsp. lemon extract, 1/2 c. wild blueberries
Cranberry Orange Muffins: Use 3 eggs instead of 2, NO fruit purée, 1 tsp. orange extract, 1/2 c. frozen cranberries, chopped