One of the things I love to do is bake, particularly when it’s dull, dreary and miserable outside. The problem is that I also like to eat what comes out of the oven! For the past month, my kitchen has been a revolving door of banned sweets – if I didn’t bake them, someone brought them. No matter where I’d hide them, I could hear their collective message of “resistance is futile” calling me like the Borg on Star Trek. Inevitably I would be assimilated, a morsel morphing into a banquet in no time.
I cook and bake like an artist painting a canvass: a squirt of this, a dash of that and shake of whatever. Each outcome is its own unique masterpiece (or not). While not unexpected, this month’s showpieces came with their assortment of known side effects. I ache all over, my jeans are tight and my brain has been in a fog for a week, much like the weather outside. I was so happy when I woke up today actually craving for healthy food and exercise.
A cause for my sore muscles is eating wheat beyond my tolerance level. My husband shares the same malady. One of our go-to substitutes are almond muffins that I bake weekly. These gluten free, diary free and sugar free nutritious bites are a satisfying snack any afternoon. Coffee in the morning with one of these muffins is my perfect ‘breakfast on the run’. We always pack some with us when we go away on vacation. And batches frequently travel over to my father-in-law who also loves them.
I baked two batches of happiness today. While my site is not about recipes, it is about wellbeing and encouraging healthy choices. Here is one you may like.
3 cups ground whole, natural almonds *
¼ cup light olive oil
½ cup of honey ** (I use 3 whopping tablespoons)
1 tsp baking soda
Around 2-3 tsp of lime or lemon juice (1/2 a squeezed lime, or a “squirt” of the bottled juice)
1 tsp of vanilla
¾ cup to 1 cup plumped up raisins
1. Line muffin tin with liners. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
2. Grind whole nuts in a blender. Measure out 3 cups of almond meal into a bowl. Add the baking soda.
3. In a separate bowl, blend the eggs and honey thoroughly. Add the oil, lemon/lime juice and vanilla and finish blending.
4. Add flour slowly to the egg mixture (or vice versa) and mix by hand. Add raisins and finish mixing.
Note: This muffin batter can be a bit thinner than regular muffin mix. Add a touch of water if the batter is too thick.
5. Spoon the batter into muffin tins. Bake at 375F for 20 to 25 minutes. The time will vary based on the oven. My gas oven takes 23
minutes on the nose.
• Almond ‘flour’ comes in two forms: almond meal which is courser and contains ground almonds that still have the skin on them. Almond flour is finely ground, blanched flour found in the grocery store. Almond meal works best for these muffins.
• My preference is to use our local Babe’s Wildflower Honey, derived from plants on the island. It’s thicker and darker than regular honey, with a delightfully rich taste that adds flavor to the muffins. Regular store bought honey works just as well.