Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Bran" Muffins - Gluten free, Sugar free, Dairy free

I was really enjoying my oatmeal raisin cookies today. I have never actually like them but my recipe is so divine they have become my new favorite. However the ginger snaps are so delicious I may have eaten all of them already lol. I cannot believe how delicious they are. I cannot wait to get invited somewhere so I can bring some fantastic cookies yum!
So I really wanted a muffin today. I opened the fridge to sneak one of my cranberry muffins and low and behold I was already beaten to them. I was briefly sad, as I love the idea of having to make some more. 
I was down to my last bag of frozen cranberries. We went crazy and bought them all after Christmas and just froze them. I get about 2 batches of muffins out of one bag so they have lasted a long time. I am hoping to make it until Easter so they will have lots of Cranberries out again and I can pick them up right after the holiday for a bargain. 
Soo.. I was thinking about muffins. One of my most favorite muffins has always been the bran muffin. It`s soft and tender, chewy and moist. 
Alas, I had to stop eating them once I discovered that they were about 285 calories for 1!!!!!!!
So.... I have probably gone bran muffinless for  about 2 years. Now of course, I can never eat a bran muffin again due to all of the glutenous products that make up those lovely dense bundles of joy. 
But if I am able to make ginger snaps out of pumpkin puree, and chocolate cake out of beans then why the heck can I not make muffins that taste like bran muffins?
So of course I was so excited to think of a new muffin recipe.
I am very proud to say this recipe took me only one shot, one try no adjusting whatsoever. Perfectly done and all of the measurements were divine. I am so proud of myself! 
I think back to just October when I was so depressed that I could never eat anything if I couldn't have wheat. No buns, no bread, no french toast, no pancakes, no waffles, no chocolate cake, no cookies. HAHA I have completely conquered that notion and I will never go back!
Back in October I had tried a few recipes but I was really ignorant of all of the alternative flours out there and where to get them. Also, I had no idea how to make anything. So I would search and search for a recipe and try it and be so sad when it tasted like crap and was dumbfounded as where to go from there. Never thought I would be standing here with a blog and a pile of recipes that not just me, but lots of people are enjoying. 
I have read a ton of books, I follow a TON of blogs and I have watched a crap load of videos and have come along way with my knowledge. Without it, I would still be standing here crying that I will never eat a hot dog again... or a bran muffin :)
So I did some searching for "Grain Free Bran Muffins". Of course I knew the first few recipes I would stumble upon would be made from almond flour. Low and behold I did not go disappointed. Every recipe was 3 Cups of almond flour. YIKES. 
I love almond flour don't get me wrong, but 3 C of it will give you about 12 muffins if you are lucky. PLUS, the calories will be quite high though the health benefits of the flour will be very great and low in carbs, it's not worth it for me. 
I have tried muffins with coconut flour. They are not bad, but they don't taste muffin like to me, they are more cupcake like. I wanted a hearty, chewy bran muffin. 
Now I know that I used oat meal in these, but it's a low amount and anything under a 1/2 C is insignificant on the Glycemic index. Since one muffin will not contain 1/2 C it's good to go the way they are. This is one of the only grains that I still consume from time to time. I will have to list my delicious breakfast cereal and granola for you to try soon. I find after I eat potatos or rice per say I feel sluggish and slow and very full for hours. Oatmeal doesn't do that to me so I am pleased to keep it in my diet. I don't buy the Kosher Gluten Free Oats because contaminated foods have never bothered me. If you want to you can double up on the almond flour or on anything else you feel like throwing in if you would rather not eat it. I think it's the perfect texture and taste for a bran muffin.
So I whipped out my food processor and this is what I came up with:

"Bran" Muffins - Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free

In a mixing bowl or food processor combine:
1 1/2 C ground flax meal
1/2 C gluten free oat bran/quick oats
1/2 C ground almonds**/walnuts/blanched almond flour
1 1/2 t aluminum free baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 C sucralose/palm sugar
2 T cinnamon

In a glass measuring cup mix together:
1 T organic apple cider vinegar/real lemon juice
1/4 C unsweetened apple sauce
3 eggs plus 2 T egg whites
1 T sugar free breakfast syrup/maple syrup**
1/4 C warm water
1 T real vanilla extract 
1/4 C grapeseed oil/coconut oil/melted butter

Mix dry ingredients until well combined. Slowly pour in wet ingredients as mixer is turning. 

Add 1/2 C sultana raisins/chopped apple slices/chopped pitted dates

Gently pulse until raisins are just folded in. It will be very thick and firm. That is what you want, if the batter is too watery it won't set up.
Scoop into a well greased muffin tin with grapeseed oil. Fill the cups only half way as the batter will double in the oven. Sprinkle 3-4 raisins on top of each cup and sprinkle with palm sugar. MMM... Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min. Let cool completely before removing from the pan in order to keep them intact.

**I used ground raw natural almonds. You can substitute with blanched almond flour but I like to save on costs wherever possible. You will however get the same result. I used sugar free pancake syrup unflavored. It just gives them a flavor that they would be lacking otherwise, If you omit this you may want to sweeten with some stevia as they will be bland. **

These looked so fantastic in the oven. I always check a new recipe at about 6 min into bake time. If the batter hasn't puffed up by that time, there is something wrong with the mix. I was very happy to say they were golden brown and puffy. My favorite part was the delicious crunchy raisins on top. I may have eaten all of the loose ones off. lol  The muffins will bake exactly shaped as they go in the oven so if your batter looks all bumpy and crazy you will have very interesting looking muffins. But I don't care.

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