Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Grain-free apple muffins

We have some exciting news around here. Next school year it has been decided that my step-son, who will be 11 next month, will be going to school here in Monticello and living with us! He now lives about 3 hours west of us and we get him on weekends and summers/holidays. I think it'll be a nice change and move for everybody. He seems to do much better here with us, and the kids adore him. I am stoked about joining the PTA and packing school lunches. 

My step-son has ADHD, and this gives me the opportunity to try and control it with diet and lifestyle changes. My first move is going to be to cut out all gluten and food additives from his diet (including colorings as I do for my children). I've done lots of reading about gluten intolerance being related to ADHD and in the long run, I'd really like to get him off all of his medications and see if we can get a hold of things naturally. He is a great eater and will try anything I put in front of him, so I'm not too worried about pleasing his pallet. 

Plus there are so many new recipes out there that are gluten free. I have been using almond flour a LOT lately. Not because I have any issue with gluten, but just because it is more nutrient dense than flour. If I'm going to give my kids cookies, muffins, etc. I want them to be packed with as much nutrition I can get into them. I've been playing around with some recipes this week, including paleo/gluten free graham crackers and herb crackers. They both came out really yummy and even my kids like them. I think that I have a lot to chose from on this challenge!

So I'll be doing a lot more gluten-free cooking on this blog. Like I said, I have no issue with gluten and whole wheat will still be a part of me, my husband's, and my kid's diet. We eat it about as often as any other grain, I'd say, because variety is the key to health in my opinion and the more variety, the better. However, for health reasons all around, we'll be using a lot more almond, coconut, and bean flours!

These muffins are a cinch to make and came out pretty tasty. My toddler wasn't crazy about the texture, but everybody else likes them (not at all uncommon around here). I kind of think it is absolutely necessary to top these with butter before eating them. Then again, I top everything with butter. 

When I use almond flour, I like to weigh it. Whether I grind my own almonds or buy the store-bought kind, it always seems to pack differently. By using my food scale and weights, I can ensure I'm putting the right amount in. 

I ground my own almond flour for this recipe, but will use the variety from Bobs Red Mill next time. I think it'll make for a better muffin. 

I grated my apples, but any sort of dicing into small pieces will do.

I lined my muffin tin, but next time will grease them with butter and forget the liners. Too much of the muffin stuck to the liners.

Somebody was excited to try them

Grain-free Apple Muffins

200 grams (about 2 cups) almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 large apple, grated or finely diced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 eggs
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. butter, very soft or melted, plus extra for greasing muffin tins (or use non-stick spray)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine almond flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl
In a smaller bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, eggs, butter, and honey.
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry, and fill greased muffin tins about 3/4 full. I got 9 muffins out of this batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with butter!

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