Cranberry Blueberry Muffin Treats

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Oh nuts, we are out of muffins….again.  That’s no good! I didn’t go far from my favorite recipes to make these, possibly my favorite muffins of all time. This is a riff on my fall of 2014 take on a muffin recipe out of Annalise Robert’s cookbook; Gluten-Free Baking Classics; her blueberry muffins but with a special topping. If you are looking for a great source recipe book this is it: her gf quick breads are particularly delicious, all my gluten loving friends and family enjoy them.  I made her brownies this past weekend; always perfection and rapidly devoured.

I have a confession to make: I have never been a big fan of cranberries.  Until this winter! I decided to experiment with them and found that they play very well with a variety of fruits for muffins, tarts, pies and crisps.  The cranberries brighten the flavor and add a lovely rosy color.  Do look beyond your prejudices to their sharp flavor and give them a second try.  I am so glad I did.

These muffins did not disappoint: delicate texture yet slightly crunchy outside with a great fruity flavor and just enough sugar for me.  To measure I poured about ½ cup of blueberries and added the rest of the measure out of the bag of cranberries. I used frozen fruit; easy to get in the winter, don’t defrost them before adding. The streusel topping insures that they look straight from a gluten free bakery.

There are walnuts in there so you get some really great nutrients from the fruit and nuts.  Not much guilt in eating one of these treats! You can swap the white sugar for coconut palm sugar which is very low as far as raising blood sugar.  I am out of it so I had to go with what was in my pantry.

I like to test eat a muffin from the batch while they are still warm out of the oven, at the moment of perfection.  This version is perhaps my favorite of every single muffin recipe I have tried.

It is smart to freeze any you won’t eat in two days time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.

Here are the pictures I took while making these muffins. From the outside they look somewhat plain so I took one shot of a cross section so you could see the baked fruit inside this yummy breakfast treat.

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Cranberry Blueberry Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ tsp. salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries and blueberries

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 large eggs

½ cup milk, 1 or 2 percent

½ cup canola oil

Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, make sure the butter is in tiny pebbles; use your fingertips to blend.

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

1½ tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. cinnamon

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Directions: Heat your oven to 375 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-16 muffins.  I got 16 when I made them.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl Add fruits and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix.  Combine milk and oil.  Beat in eggs, add vanilla.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir just until blended.  It is a very thick batter.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with the topping. Press it in a bit so it won’t flake off after baking. Bake 21-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack.  They freeze well for a few weeks, if they last that long.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) or an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix 

(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s blend)
2 c brown rice flour (must be finely ground: I spin mine a while in the blender cup by cup to improve its texture.)

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Fruity Nutty Yummy Healthy….All in One Muffin!

No muffins in the freezer, and I was a tiny bit tired of all my flavors: it was time for a new kind of muffins. This is a riff on a recipe out of Annalise Robert’s cookbook; Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  It is very similar to her blueberry muffins. If I had to have just one GF cookbook hers would be the one: her quick breads are delicious!  I saw the topping on a blog (Swirls and Spice) and modified it just a touch.

These muffins did not disappoint: delicate texture yet crunchy outside with a great blueberry cinnamon flavor.  The pomegranate seeds add color and a touch of flavor.  Fall is the season for pomegranates so toss them in and surprise your family.  I suppose you could leave them out; add another ¼ cup of blueberries.  I used frozen blueberries; easy to get in the winter, don’t defrost them before adding. There are walnuts in there to so you get some really great nutrients from the fruit and nuts.  No guilt in eating one of these treats!

It must be mentioned that I used a different sugar; organic coconut palm sugar from Frey’s Better Foods.  It looks like soft brown sugar, can be used 1-1; same amount as granulated sugar and tastes great.  Best of all, it is low on the glycemic scale so you don’t get that sugar rush/crash nearly as much as most sugars.  I found that to be so; no sugar reaction like I often get when eating sweet baked treats.  I think it tastes slightly like brown sugar and it does darken the baked good slightly.  As a pre-diabetic I love that this sugar is low glycemic; much better for my body.  But use granulated sugar if that is what you prefer.

I always eat a muffin from the batch while they are still warm out of the oven, just perfection.  The streusel topping makes them look like they came from a bakery.

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It is smart to freeze any you won’t eat in two days time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.  These muffins are delicate; if you take them on a hike or trip, put them in a plastic bin – rigid sides will keep them safe from crushing.

Blueberry Pomegranate Cinnamon Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ tsp. salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup pomegranate seeds (ariels)

2 large eggs beaten

½ cup milk, 1 or 2 percent

½ cup canola oil

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, make sure the butter is in tiny pebbles; use your fingertips to blend.

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

1½ tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. cinnamon

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Directions: Heat your oven to 375 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-16 muffins.  I got 16 when I made them yesterday.

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Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl Add fruits and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix.  Combine milk and oil.  Beat in eggs, add vanilla.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir just until blended.  It is a very thick batter.

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Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with the topping. Gently press the streusel into the muffin batter just a bit so it doesn’t fall off after they are done. Bake 21-24 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  I let them cool 3-4 minutes before I removed them from the pans to cool on a rack.

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Freezes well for a few weeks.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) or an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days.

Post script: I froze 2/3 of my batch and six days later I have just two left. These muffins are addictive and I love how they don’t raise my blood sugar noticeably yet they taste so wonderful; bursts of blueberry/pomegranate flavor and the crunch of the nuts. I promise that you will be thrilled with these muffins even if you skip the pomegranates!

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Smoothie Time!

This is September 1, Labor Day, the start of fall. But it is hot, humid, and just plain sticky.  Sure, you are going to celebrate with a bbq or party. But while you get everything ready you will likely get a tad warm. This is a great day for a refreshing smoothie; go back to my July 11th post and whip up a blender full to quench your thirst and keep you going strong!

Here is the post: smoothiehttps://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/pineapple-banana-smoothie-let-me-count-the-ways-i-love-you/

Change it up; instead of bananas; put peaches or nectarines in there, throw in some strawberries or blueberries. Cold, thirst quenching and healthy for sure.  Go for it!

Blueberry Peach Crumb Pie…Delectable!

It is the peak of both peach and blueberry season so this was a perfect pairing for adaptation to a gluten free pie recipe.   The resulting pie was juicy and flavorful down to the last slice.

blueberry peach pie slice

This is an easy pie to create.  Slice and dump together the filling, crumb topping made in mixer bowl you used for bottom crust. You can store any leftover crumb mixture in a sealed container in the fridge; it keeps a few weeks.  This GF crumb topping is perfect for most any fruit pie.  If you prefer a solid crust just double the crust part and top your pie with it.  Be sure to cut some slits for steam escape! I think a lattice crust would be fantastic if a bit more time consuming to construct.

Please make every effort to use local fruit; you can get peaches at most farm stands like Bechdolt’s located below Hellertown on Rt 412, Saucon Valley Fruit Stand on Seidersville Road or at Lehigh Valley Produce on Main Street in Hellertown.  This pie really showcases the blueberries more than the peaches. But store peaches can be poor in quality due to chilled storage of fruit so I strongly suggest you get locally grown, sweet, ripe peaches to make your pie.

To peel; heat 3 inches of plain water, drop the peaches gently in and cook them 1-2 minutes.  Allow to cool somewhat before peeling.  I like to do that over a bowl to catch the juices as I slice each peach.

Bake and enjoy early summer in a pie in just a few minutes of work.  Don’t eat it piping hot; it should be cooled to room temperature or even chilled.  You could certainly serve this with vanilla ice cream.  And this pie works perfectly with fresh nectarines or apricots.  Bonus: no peeling required!

Angie’s GF Blueberry Peach Crumb Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions:

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

crust

Filling:

2 cups sliced fresh peaches, peeled and cut in thick slices

3 cups fresh blueberries – place in medium bowl

Mix with:

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup quick tapioca

Add and stir in

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

blueberry peach pie filling

Let the filling stand while you prepare the crust, important for the tapioca so it does its job optimally.

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with fruit mixture.

blueberry peach pie unbaked

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Directions:

Sprinkle the top of the pie with crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I like about a heaping cup of the mixture.  Up to your personal taste… It sinks partially into the fruit mixture and adds lots of sweetness and eye appeal.

blueberry peach pie, done

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until bubbly and the crumb crust is light brown.  I put a piece of aluminum foil on top for the last ten minutes.  Cool at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.  I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 10 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crumbs will get soggy if too much time passes.

Note: if you find your bottom crust is not browning enough bake it empty at 375 degrees for ten minutes before filling it with the fruit.  I have a bottom heat pizza oven which gives me perfect pie crust so I don’t ever have pale pie crust.

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Blueberry Sheet Cake for a Picnic

This summery cake is very easy and totally delish.  It is blueberry season, this cake give you the best of all worlds, sweet berries and tender bites of cakey goodness.

blueberry sheet cake

This was the second time I made it. I have used two different flour blends, both worked. One is Better Batter and the other one is the brown rice mix I often use; see at the end of this recipe. Either works but I have to say I prefer the Better Batter for this recipe a little more than the brown rice.

As to the fruit, I bet you could use frozen blueberries or replace the blueberries with raspberries or blackberries.  Enjoy this summer treat with some friends or your family, it makes about 8 generous square servings or ten small ones.  I served it at a family picnic this past week, I was the only GF person there and everyone clamored for seconds!

Gluten-free Blueberry Sheet Cake

Ingredients; For the Cake:

  • 2 cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose, gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (only if your flour blend doesn’t already have this!)
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup of blueberries

For the Topping:
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or gluten-free cooking spray.

  1. Mix 2 cups of flour, baking powder, sea salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl with a whisk and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
  3. Beat in half of the flour mixture until smooth, add the milk and almond extract and the rest of the flour and beat until evenly incorporated.
  4. Toss 2/3 cup of the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour and gently fold into the batter. Spread into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Mix the topping ingredients together and distribute evenly over the top of the batter. I like to press the berries in a bit so they are not just resting on top of the dough.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool at least 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

8 servings

Brown Rice Flour Mix  – mix them all in a big jar or bag
1 c. brown rice flour

1/3 c potato starch

3 tbsp.  tapioca flour