Vegan Blueberry Corn Muffins

GF Guy is home, and I suddenly feel like baking again!

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It has been over a year since I last made muffins. His first morning home seemed like the perfect time to pull out the old muffin tin and give it a go. I went to my favorite GF recipe blog, The Gluten Free Goddess, where I found a delicious recipe for hearty, whole grain blueberry muffins.

I made a few changes based on the ingredients I had on hand, as I do. GF Guy and I both LOVED them! My changes are highlighted in red. Feel free to follow the link to view the original recipe, and to check out the Gluten Free Goddess’s other delicious recipes!

Blueberry Corn Muffins

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

A la Karina the Gluten Free Goddess

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup certified Gluten Free Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 1/4 Tapioca Starch
  • 1/4 cup Corn Starch
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 1/2 cup Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Light Olive Oil
  • 1 Tblsp Organic Honey
  • 2 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Flax Eggs (2 Tblsp Flax Meal combined with 6 Tblsp warm Water)
  • 1 cup Warm Water (3/4 cup for low altitude cooking)
  • 1 heaping cup fresh, Organic Blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. (350 degrees F for low altitude)
  2. Grease a muffin tin with dairy free buttery substitute, like Earth Balance.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
  4. Add wet ingredients and stir until evenly combined. Adjust liquid ratio as needed. Batter should be thick enough to scoop, but not stiff.
  5. Fold in fresh blueberries.
  6. Scoop batter into greased muffin tin, filling each cup 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 17-20 minutes, until done.
  8. Allow to cool 5-7 minutes in the muffin tin before turning onto a cooling rack.
  9. Enjoy warm with someone you love!
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Cacao Nib Meringues

Colorado is a notoriously difficult state for bakers.

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Recipes must be tweaked to include more liquid (or less flour, whichever you prefer), extra leavening agents, and increased oven temperatures. Baking in the high altitude and dry climate is enough to intimidate even the most seasoned of bakers, not to mention a gluten-free one, at that!

Before moving here from Florida, I did quite a bit of research on the changes that would need to be made to my recipes, and, thankfully, the transition hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I had imagined. In fact, Colorado has allowed me to bake something Florida would never have allowed, Meringues!!!!

Meringues are fluffy, pillows of whipped egg whites and sugar that require a rather dry climate in order to be baked. The inherent Florida humidity that wreaked havoc on my naturally curly hair would have also wreaked havoc on the meringues’ texture. Too much moisture in the air ruins any possibility of accomplishing the hollow, crumbly interior of a true meringue. Colorado, however, is practically Saharan in comparison, and the perfect climate for baking meringues.

My first attempt turned out to be a winner! I used the below recipe, courtesy of the incomparable Joy the Baker, substituting an ingredient or two here and there. Since I do not keep white sugar in the house, I used turbinado sugar, which gave my cookies a darker color than traditional meringues. The taste? Perfection!

Now separate those egg whites and “whip it! Whip it good!”

Cacao Nib Meringues

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

adapted from Joy the Baker – Vanilla Bean and Cacao Nib Meringues

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Ingredients:

  • 3 large Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 3 Tblsp Cacao Nibs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine turbinado sugar and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer, whip egg whites on medium speed until frothy.
  5. Add salt and cream of tartar and increase speed to medium-high. Beat until egg whites are at the soft peak stage. Egg whites will be very frothy with small bubbles.
  6. Slowly add the sugar/vanilla mixture to the egg whites, increase the mixer speed to high, and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form. Egg whites will be “spoonable”.
  7. Remove bowl from the stand mixer and gently fold in the cacao nibs.
  8. Spoon 2 heaping Tblsp of egg white mixture per cookie onto parchment lined baking sheet. Should equal about 12 cookies.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes until lightly browned and hollow sending when lightly flicked with a finger.
  10. Cool completely before removing from the parchment paper.

Vanilla Chia Oat Muffins

Do you ever wake up and know that you simply must bake something?

That happened to me this morning. I slept in (until 7:30…..) and awoke feeling refreshed, revitalized, and in the mood to play in the kitchen. I opened my pantry and perused the contents. While mentally taking note of the ingredients available, I found myself craving something simple and wholesome, something… well… for lack of a better word, “oaty”.

As I sipped my coffee, I combined a little of this and a little of that in my favorite mixing bowl (a hand-me-down from my mom with a hand-painted eggplant nestled in the bottom). In less than 10 minutes, breakfast was in the oven and the sweet aroma of vanilla wafted through the air. A little photo session in a beam of morning sunlight completed the picturesque milieu.

As I sat down to eat, I couldn’t help but to count my blessings. It’s idyllic mornings, such as this, that help you appreciate the little joys found in each day. A beam of sunlight, the scent of vanilla, the smell of autumn in the air…. they are all little reminders that God can be found in the details of each day.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Vanilla Chia Oat Muffins

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups certified Gluten-Free Quick Cooking Oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 3/4 cup Water (plus 1/4 cup if baking at high altitude)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia
  • 1 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (425 degrees if baking at a high altitude)
  2. Lightly grease a muffin tin with coconut oil.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until just combined. Allow to rest for 3-5 minutes. The batter will thicken as it sits due to the chia seeds.
  4. Scoop into the prepared muffin tin, about 2 heaping Tbsp per muffin.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, until set.
  6. Cool in pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

Mexican Chocolate Cake

…..I baked with real sugar…..

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*gasp*

I know! Shocking isn’t it?

Personally, I am not a huge sugar fan. My go-to sweeteners are honey, maple syrup, or stevia.  However, I fully acknowlege that I live in a world that loves sugar. So, when cooking for others, I will occaisionally use real sugar. That is what I did for this recipe, and it is darn good, too! 🙂

As a thank you for my friend who took me on a date to see Jersey Boys, I made this delicious chocolate cake. He is an unabashed choco-holic, who also happens to be lactose-intolerant. Ouch, right?

There was no time to stage a proper photo shoot of the cake. We were in a hurry to get to the theater. But, trust me, this is light, moist, and not even the least bit “gluten-free tasting”. The 2 secret ingredients are Coffee Extract and decadant Taza Chocolate.

 I think I may have created my new favorite cake recipe!

Mexican Chocolate Cake

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large Organic Eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, softened
  • 1 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Coffee Extract
  • 1 1/4 cups Unsweetened Original Almond Milk (1 1/2 cups if baking at a high altitude)
  • 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2.7 ounces Taza Cinnamon Chocolate Mexicano, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (375 degrees F if baking at a high altitude)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, coffee extract, Earth Balance, and almond milk until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthum, gum, and salt.
  4. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
  5. Fold in the chopped Taza Chocolate.
  6. Pour batter into an 8×8 square baking pan lightly greased with Earth Balance.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely before cutting.
  9. Top with a light dusting of powdered sugar to serve.

This post is linked to Allergy Free Wednesday and Gluten Free Wednesday.