Wednesday, June 5, 2013

On the Menu: Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins

During a recent episode of Dr. Oz, I learned about three alternative flour options that are much more conducive to healthier cooking, and thereby, a healthier lifestyle. These alternatives were almond flour, flaxseed flour, and coconut flour. I was particularly interested in almond flour, which can be substituted for regular flour when baking. On Saturday mornings, my breakfast typically include some type of baked pastry. I am notorious for picking up the "just add milk" muffin mixes at the grocery store. Lately, however, I have felt a strong desire to become more intentional about my cooking habits. I am thoroughly convinced that a made-from-scratch muffin containing 4-5 basic ingredients has to be a healthier option for you than a made-from-the-bag muffin containing 12-15 ingredients (half of which I can't even pronounce).

Many of you don't realize this, but several years ago, we realized that I was lactose-intolerant. In an attempt to "enjoy" my food, while also catering to this restriction and eliminating dairy from my diet, I gradually navigated toward a vegan diet.

I have never felt better in my life.

Not only that, but I had fun cooking and tasting different types of recipes. At that time, I lived in Nashville, but when I moved back to Mississippi, it was increasingly difficult to keep up with my vegan-eating lifestyle. Over the past year, however, I have been very impressed with the health-food selections available in local grocery stores. I'm not sure whether I have learned how to look in the right places, or whether this selection has just improved over time; either way, I have been pleased to find some ingredients that I didn't think were so common without a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Market.

While I'm not determined to completely abide by a plant-based diet again, I do like to incorporate some vegan principles and staple ingredients into my daily cooking and eating. One of these is to cook more with less. By that, I mean cook more often, with fewer boxed-solutions or preservatives-enhanced recipes.

One of my new made-from-scratch obsessions is Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins. I originally found this recipe through DAMY, and it has been a marvelous component to our Saturday morning breakfasts.

I am including the recipe below, but you can also access the original recipe at DAMY Health.

Prep time: 5 Minutes – Cook time: 25 Minutes – Total time: 30 Minutes
Yield: Makes 12 Regular Muffins or 24 Mini Muffins
Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Almond Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Cup Agave (Honey, Maple Syrup or Stevia)
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Dash of Salt
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (or Other Healthy Oil)
  • 1 Cup Blueberries
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place all ingredients excluding blueberries into your food processor and blend until smooth.

3. Once completely mixed fold in blueberries.


4. Spray muffin tin (or mini muffin tin) with a healthy, non-stick cooking spray.
5. Evenly scoop batter into muffin tin.


6. Bake for 25 minutes.
      Note: Oven cook times many vary. These only took 18 minutes to bake in my oven!
7. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.


8. Enjoy!