Celiac.com 01/18/2009 - This recipe was born of my new year's desire to experiment with new grains and flavors to achieve more nutritious results in my baking.

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.*

Ingredients:
  • 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)
Directions:
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!

Multi-Grain Confetti Gluten-Free Muffins
Finished Multi-Grain Confetti Gluten-Free Muffins


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