Multi-Grain Confetti Gluten-Free Muffins
Atop each of Jules Shepard’s free weekly recipe newsletters is her mantra: “Perfecting Gluten-Free Baking, Together.” From her easy-to-read cookbook (“Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten Free Eating”) to her highly rated reference for making the transition to living gluten free easier (“The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free”), Jules is tireless in the kitchen, at the keyboard and in person in helping people eating gluten free do it with ease, with style and with no compromises.
In the kitchen, she creates recipes for beautiful, tasty gluten-free foods that most people could never tell are gluten free. As a writer, she produces a steady stream of baking tips, living advice, encouragement and insights through magazine articles, her web site (JulesGlutenFree.com), newsletter, e-books and on sites like http://celiac.com and others. Jules also maintains a busy schedule of speaking at celiac and gluten-free gatherings, appearing on TV and radio shows, baking industry conventions, as well as teaching classes on the ease and freedom of baking at home.
Her patent-pending all-purpose flour literally has changed lives for families who thought going gluten free meant going without. Thousands read her weekly newsletter, follow her on Twitter and interact with her on FaceBook.Â Her third book, "Free for All Cooking," will be available November, 2010.
I was speaking to a support group last Friday night and one of the audience questions was about this very topic: the concern that gluten-free baking often produces less healthy results. I completely agree.
Now, much of my gluten-free baking and recipes are already on the low-sugar and low-fat end of the spectrum - something I feel very strongly about in my own diet. Take that statement with a grain of Southern sugar though, because this Southern girl knows that sweets still have their place! As I said in my discussion Friday night, chocolate chip cookies were never meant to be good for you!
However, wherever possible, I try to reduce the sugar, bake with fruits to reduce the fats, and use alternatives for low glycemic values (like using agave nectar). I also substitute so that most all of my baking now is dairy-free, or I at least offer dairy-free options that are just as good. So many of us celiacs really cannot do the dairy anymore anyway, and gluten-free casein-free diets are finding their way into more and more of our homes as well.
Enjoy these muffins in good health!
Multi-Grain Confetti Gluten-Free Muffins
These muffins are aptly named, as they include a host of alternative gluten-free grains and flours, and when broken open, look like a big new year's party! A beautiful, aromatic and healthy muffin - what a great way to start the year off right! If you don't happen to have any of these other grains on hand, simply use the same measurement of my Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour.*
- 2 cup chai tea: add your favorite chai mix to 1/2 cup hot water (according to package portion directions) OR steep 3 chai tea bags in 1/2 cup lowfat milk (dairy or soy, rice or almond)
- ½ cup gluten-free oats (I used Gifts of Nature brand)
- 4 Tbs. butter or Earth Balance Shortening or Buttery Sticks
- 1/3 cup granulated cane sugar (or granulated Splenda)
- 2 Tbs. agave nectar or 3 Tbs. honey
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup natural applesauce, apple butter or pumpkin butter
- 1 cup Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour™
- ½ cup almond meal or brown rice flour
- 2 Tbs. (1/8 cup) flaxseed meal
- 2 Tbs. (1/8 cup) mesquite flour
- 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- (½ tsp. vanilla + 1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice if not using flavored chai mix)
- 1 ½ cups chopped berries (cranberries, blueberries, etc.)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Coat muffin tins with cooking oil or line with muffin papers. Preheat oven to 325 F convection (preferred) or 350 static.
In a small glass bowl (for microwave) or a small saucepan (for stovetop), combine the prepared chai tea with the oats and boil for 2 minutes, stir, cover and set aside.
Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the agave nectar or honey, applesauce, eggs and finally, the cooked oat mixture. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Lastly, fold in the chopped berries and walnuts, if using.
Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full and bake until they are light brown: approximately 15 minutes for mini muffins or 22 minutes for regular muffins. Remove from oven, let cool in the pan.
*This recipe calls for my Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour. You can find the recipe for this flour in my cookbook, Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating or in various media links on my website, nearlynormalcooking.com, where you can also by this mix ready-made. It produces amazing results in all your gluten-free baking!
Finished Multi-Grain Confetti Gluten-Free Muffins
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