Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gluten Free Girl's Whole Grain Muffins

I really love Gluten Free Girl. To be honest, before I met her at IFBC 2010 I thought she was a bit of a food snob. One more reason I need to stop judging people before I meet them! :-) I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet her!  Shauna is a gem. She has an incredible hug and even more incredible heart for people. Her laughter --a joy to hear, her boots red, and her smile is warm & inviting.

I truly enjoy her writing & her blog. One thing I love about reading blogs is that you get to watch as the seasons change, as writers evolve, as their food changes.

Shauna has recently decided to stop using white sugar in their home. She's using more natural choices such as sucanat, date sugar, coconut/palm sugar, etc... She's also using more whole grains and she's cutting gums out of her baked goods.

I absolutely love all of these changes. They cater to my own natural & healthy food choices and I'm excited about the new possibilities in Shauna's baked goods. I'm eagerly awaiting her gluten free yeast bread that doesn't contain gums!

Last night I tried her whole grain muffins.

The muffins don't use xanthan gum or guar gum. The first thing I loved about them! Shauna also uses a 70% whole grains and 30% starches for this recipe. She tells you how to make your own personalized gluten free whole grain mix and then shares a basic recipe template. She wants you to play. She wants you to start thinking off the page.

Recipes are simply the outline, the basic idea of what you can make. It's up to you to make them unique. To use what you have available. To be creative and inspired.

The muffins we made last night used a combination of almond flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, quinoa flour (I love the taste of quinoa with cinnamon & raisins!), arrowroot starch, and ground flax seeds.  As Shauna stated, you'll probably never make the same muffins twice! That's certainly the case at our house. For the add in's we used about 1/4 of raisins (which cleaned out my stash of raisins) and a handful of sliced almonds. Apparently my chopped walnuts & pecans have hidden themselves in the freezer beyond my reach.

Since I'm watching my calorie intake I calculated that basically my overall recipe (including the amount of sugar & oil used in the original recipe) had 3693 calories. I was able to make 18 muffins from the batter, which means each muffin had about 205 calories. Overall, not bad! Plus, the health benefits of these whole grain muffins is substantial. I love that our version contained healthy proteins & fats with the almond flour + quinoa flour + ground flax seeds.

To reduce the calories in my next batch, I'll probably use a bit less sugar and replace half the oil with applesauce or pumpkin puree.

I was thrilled when I caught my husband (who generally isn't a huge fan of baked goods) packing 3 muffins in a plastic bag to take to work with him today. As I munched on my muffins for breakfast this morning, I was pleasantly surprised at how moist they were.

Do you enjoy muffins? What you would you include in your 70/30 gluten free whole grain mix? If you need some inspiration, here are a few of my favorite muffin recipes and most of them are whole grain:

*This post is linked to The Gluten Free Homemaker's Wednesday Carnival for 1/26/11

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  1. Those muffins were amazing! I made my whole grain mix with everything Shauna had listed minus the buckwheat flour. I subbed olive oil for the grapeseed and included fresh blueberries. They were simply amazing and I felt good after eating them, I see so many fun ways to play with that mix!

  2. I made my flour blend as follows: 100g teff flour, 300g brown rice flour, 300g sorghum flour, 150g white rice flour and 150g potato starch. I used a flax meal slurry in place of the eggs, and put dried cherries and toasted cashews in. they turned out fantastic! I love the flavor of the teff in baking. My only complaint was that they were a little too sweet for my taste, so I'll be cutting back the sugar the next time I make them. So tasty though!

  3. These look great, Carrie! I *just* wrote and tested my own recipe for muffins last week, then my computer took a dirt nap. I'm crossing my fingers that I can recover it from the hard drive, but if I can't, this recipe is a great place for me to start over.

  4. I really love muffins! The flour mixture that I use generally depends on what I'm making. If something is a bit more finicky, I will generally use a higher ratio of starch to flours compared to something like muffins where I will use more heavier flours.

  5. Awesomeness. Thanks for sharing these! I just recently tried to make muffins, but without a muffin pan (just the paper cups) and they turned out a lot less pretty than yours!

  6. Wow. You got those made in a hurry. I am so happy to see Shauna blazing a trail for GF baking without gums and reducing starches. Also happy to see you having success with the new recipe.

  7. Shauna is so darn amazing. She's a trailblazer, for sure! Can't wait to see how her gum-free adventures go! I'll have to try these. Your muffins sound delish!

  8. Carrie, I didn't know you thought I was a food snob! Ack. Glad to know you don't feel that way after meeting me. (I'm still smiling about IFBC and the chance we all had to meet each other.)

    We're so glad you love the muffins. I adore them. I know that some folks want cups and spoons because they are more familiar, but baking by weight means that all of you can make your muffins instead of mine. Love it!

    I want a bite of that muffin right now.

  9. Lol - Shauna, sweet girl, please don't take it personally! I'm still learning!! You are definitely NOT a food snob! I learned that quickly!! You're wonderful and I'm so thankful for all your kitchen experiments!!

  10. These are great! I have read a bit about Shauna's experimentation with baking without gums, but I haven't tried anything she's posted.

  11. can you give me a feel for the starches? Why the starches? do they lighten up the heaviness of the gluten free flours? They have no nutritional value and although they make a nice texture for a pretzel, which I love, it seems like everything that's made solely with a starch is complemented by a high fat content--like my favorite glutino pretzels... . I've done some experimenting with the flours and have had some luck with cookies and sweet breads that you'd think were conventional... .I've added extra eggs or egg whites to recipes like breads and pancakes to lighten the density up a bit. It's definitely an experiment, that's for sure!