Sunday, June 2, 2013

Paleo Berry Zinger Muffins (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

Okay. So I have a confession to make.  I haven't always been this "crunchy" or health concious. When I was a kid, even in my 20's when I could seem to eat most anything and get away with it (oblivious that food was causing my slowly creeping health issues) I ate the occasional Hostess or Dolly Madison snack cake.  I wasn't really a big fan of them, other than the Raspberry Zingers and maybe the honey buns (talk about high fructose corn syrup and gluten). Mmmm.  The combination or berries and my love of coconut drew me to the Zingers. I never felt so great after scarfing one down, but they were good on my tastebuds!

Recently I was experimenting with Paleo muffin recipes, and wanted a muffin of sorts. I happened to have berries and coconut on hand; I made a version of these, and when I ate one, I noticed a familiar taste, but wasn't sure what it was just then. I realized a few days later that I had stumbled upon a muffin that tasted like raspberry zingers, but was much healthier. Awesome!  The only thing missing from these is a cream center.  I suppose you could make a cream filling of some sort and use an injector or spread on top like icing if you really felt it was needed, but I like them as they are.

I originally made these with a few tablespoons of butter and they were delicious, but I tend to have a slight intolerance to dairy.  So this time around I left the butter out and subbed for some coconut oil. You don't have to use either as they still turn out well as long as you use full fat coconut milk, depends on your preference.  I know many people who are dairy as well as gluten intolerant,  and if so this recipe can adapt to your needs.

Be prepared to want to eat 3 or 4 of these in one sitting! Especially when you are 6 months prego and your baby has a mind of its own ;-)

2 C Almond Flour
1/4 C Coconut Flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/8 t or "pinch" of salt
Honey or Stevia to taste (don't need much due to sweetness of berries and coconut)
1 t vanilla
2 T butter or coconut oil
3 large organic pastured eggs
1/2 C almond or full fat coconut milk
1/4 C unsweetened shredded coconut
1 C Trader Joe's Frozen Berry Medley (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries) or similar

Muffin tin, preferably non-stick or using silicone wrappers

Preheat oven to 350.

Thaw the frozen berries in a sieve or colander.  I like to cut mine up into smaller pieces (halves and quarters) to distribute the berries throughout the muffins. You can use fresh, too. It's cheaper to get a frozen medley than buy 3 different kinds of berry cartons.  Even in my home state of California fresh berries can be pricey.

Coconut - I like to buy a large bag of the coconut flakes, so I can use them for other recipes like coconut chocolate bark with coconut oil etc.  I take the large flakes and grind them down a bit in my mini food processor for these muffins.

Ready. Set. Go!

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients.

In another smaller bowl whisk the eggs, vanilla, and almond or coconut milk.

Add the wet to the dry along with the coconut and berries. Mix until incorporated. You can add a bit more milk if the batter seems thick or even some butter or coconut oil if you want them to be richer. The batter should be a consistency between cookie dough and pancake batter, but not too thin.

Spoon the muffin batter into a greased muffin pan (coconut, butter or other oil) or use silicone muffin wrappers.  It makes cleaning your muffin pan so much easier!

Tip: coconut flour tends to be moist, so if you use just the muffin tin, make sure it is a non-stick one.  If you use paper wrappers, I recommend letting these cool fully, otherwise they are hard to get out in one piece.  The silicone wrappers are no problem however.

Cook 20-30 minutes or until tops begin to brown and centers seem done.  You can always do the toothpick test.

Recipe makes 12 muffins