The Rare Recipe: Gluten-free Strawberry Muffins

I know that I normally use this space for something different, but I can rationalize that health, hair, and beauty go hand in hand. I have been baking the last couple of weeks in order to send my son to school with healthier snacks. I need a low-cost option that would allow me to toss something into his lunch box quickly and get out the house. I also wanted an option that would satisfy him until dinner time. I haven’t jumped on the gluten-free train. I have always liked to eat with some kind of balance and I want to cut back on wheat and vary our protein sources.

I came up with this recipe, starting with making banana muffins. This week I tweaked the recipe a bit using strawberry and gluten-free flours; I (my son, actually) am very happy with the results.

Apparently, because I have used brown rice and chick pea flours, the muffins count as a complete protein and they should be more satisfying to my son for a longer period of time.

Before jumping into making the muffins, take about a pound of strawberries (or fruit of choice), chop them up, throw in a bowl with a few tablespoons of sugar (based on desired sweetness), toss together and allow to sit. Every so often stir and mash. This step can be done ahead of time and put in the freezer. It’s a good way to be less wasteful when fruit is a little past it’s “pretty” phase. (Think of those brown bananas a week after purchase.)

These muffins will bake up best between 350 and 375 F. Preheat and load up the muffin pan with baking cups.

In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup chick pea flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt.

In another bowl, mix two eggs, 1/2 stick butter, 1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream (yogurt or sour cream can replace the butter altogether, but I haven’t tried it myself except for with cookies and cakes), 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. I have heard of people adding spices to muffins, that is up to you. Nutmeg, cinnamon, or cardamom tend to lift flavors of some fruits.

It’s a workout, but slowly incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixture. If it starts to get tough, start adding the fruit. The batter should be thick, but still pourable. These are gluten-free flours so it is okay (and probably beneficial) to mix extensively. People who deal with brown rice flour tend to recommend allowing the batter to sit for 15-30 minutes in the fridge, but I didn’t do that. Pour into the muffin tin to just below the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. The muffin will be very brown due to the nature of the flours. I look for the muffin to be springy, not hard.

These turned out light and really moist with a touch of sweetness. My son was very happy with them.

If you want to make exchanges for different flours, I would do a little research first. Different flours retain moisture differently, are impacted by mixing differently, or have different textures and flavors.

I’m trying to get in the habit of eating breakfast on weekdays, and I totally see them as a grab-and-go option.