Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free: Indigenous Food Gluten-Free Acorn Muffin Recipe

November 7th, 2008 yum Posted in Acorn starch flour, Baked Goods, Go Ahead Honey, Go Ahead Honey Event, Indigenous ingredients, Muffin, Vegetarian 11 Comments »

This month when I read about the exciting “indigenous foods” event that Vittoria at Deliciously Gluten Free had proposed with “Go Ahead Honey… It’s Gluten Free,” I was excited to participate. I even had an idea what I wanted to make- artichokes! After all, California is the national capital of artichokes, with more grown in Castroville than anywhere else in the United States. Imagine my dismay some time later, when I found out that artichokes are not native to California at all. In fact, they are believed to be “a native of the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands.” The California attempt at cultivating artichokes began in 1922, when “Andrew Molera, a landowner in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County, California, just south of San Francisco, decided to lease his land to Italian farmers that he encouraged to try growing the “new” vegetable.” (source: What’s Cooking America). So much for my idea to make artichokes as an “indigenous food.” What next? I turned to the internet to find out what actually qualified as an indigenous, gluten-free, and vegetarian ingredient. I almost immediately found that besides nuts and berries, acorn was one of the most important vegetarian and gluten-free ingredient for many Californian Native Americans.

According to my friend Wikipedia:
“Acorns were a traditional food of many indigenous peoples of North America, but served an especially important role in California, where the ranges of several species of oaks overlap, increasing the reliability of the resource. Acorns, unlike many other plant foods, do not need to be eaten or processed right away, but may be stored for long time periods, as squirrels do. In years that oaks produced many acorns, Native Americans sometimes collected enough acorns to store for two years as insurance against poor acorn production years. After drying them in the sun to discourage mold and germination, Native American women took acorns back to their villages and cached them in hollow trees or structures on poles, to keep acorns safe from mice and squirrels. These acorns could be used as needed.”

For my first experiment, I wanted to test the flavor and texture of the new ingredient, so I didn’t want to make something JUST made of that ingredient, but something in which it would play a subtle role as a flavor and texture enhancer. I found inspiration from this list of acorn recipes and then branched off from the Acorn cornbread recipe to create the following yummy muffins. Note to the wise: I used acorn starch, not acorn flour as the latter was not available to me, but it worked beautifully. My resulting muffins were fluffy, light and delicate, with a pleasing brown bread appearance and flavor. I did notice that when I baked them lightly, they were prone to sticking to the bottom of the muffin tin. This might be a perfect recipe for paper muffin liners. These are absolutely lovely muffins for fall…. and I’ll definitely be making them again. *Edited: By the way, they are perfect the first day, and after that I like to zap them in the microwave for 20 seconds and enjoy them with butter or margarine. Delicious! They should last 4-5 days if stored properly*

What else can you do with Acorn Starch? Try this…
Korean Acorn Jelly Recipe

Find a Korean supermarket in the United States

Although the price is high, you can buy acorn starch online at Hmart. However, I found it in my store for almost half the listed price here, so I really recommend finding a market or having a friend find a local market and mail the flour to you. *For the Hmart site, click the English button in the upper right of the page, unless of course you read Korean. :) *

Acorn Muffin Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup acorn starch flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup white GF flour blend (such as Bette Hagman’s gourmet blend)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
Directions
Prepare a muffin tin by spraying with nonstick cooking oil. Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then combine wet ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until combined. Then make a well in the center of your mixed dry ingredients and pour in your wet ingredients, mixing until smooth.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until muffins are brown and cooked through.

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Valentine’s Day Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Coconut Muffin Heart Shortcake Recipe

February 4th, 2008 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Dessert, Muffin, coconut, fruit 16 Comments »

heart2.jpgheart5.jpgThe last time I ordered gluten-free flours from Bob’s Red Mill, I noticed that they sold GF coconut flour. I had been hearing rumors about the wonder of low-carb, high-fiber coconut flour and couldn’t resist adding yet another flour to my collection. South Beach or other low-carb dieters use coconut flour straight in their baking, but this kind of baking demands a lot of eggs, and I’m not that crazy about eggs. So, I decided to try the coconut flour as a supplement to my favorite gluten-free blend in a recipe. For some reason, I kept thinking about vanilla muffins, thinking that the coconut flour would add complimentary dessert-like notes, so I took a (non GF) recipe from Recipezaar as my inspiration and came up with the coconut flavored, vanilla muffin recipe below. I sneaked off to the kitchen to make them one night, leaving DH unaware at his computer. As you know, I have a serious crush on mini-muffin-tins, so I baked some of the batter in those tins, some in my mini bundt cake tins, and some in these wonderful heart shaped baking cups that I’d found in a local store. As the smell of the coconut flour and vanilla wafted through the house, DH looked up from his computer and said “Hey, are those cookies I smell?” I hated to break it to him that they were actually muffins- but he enjoyed them anyway. The coconut flour gave them a wonderful spongy texture not unlike that of bean flour, and was the perfect compliment to the copious amounts of vanilla in the recipe. However, it was the early Valentine’s Day Shortcake recipe that I came up with a day or two later that earned the rave review in our house.

A heart for your Valentine I had been thinking about Kochtopf’s Heart for my Valentine blog event. (Roundup is Here) I knew I wanted to use the heart shaped muffins as the base for my entry, but it wasn’t until I tasted the faintly sweet coconut and vanilla flavors of my creation that it occurred to me- it would be the perfect base for a strawberry shortcake! Trader Joe’s didn’t have fresh strawberries, but they did have lovely fresh blackberries and organic frozen strawberries, so I modified my initial vision. I wouldn’t just use them in strawberry shortcake, but rather, a shortcake topped with strawberry sorbet with hints of meyer lemon juice, macerated blackberries, and fresh cream (or cashew cream).

The result was one very happy Valentine (DH.) His rating? A nine out of ten, which from this picky libra boy is no small compliment. He raved that the muffins were not only as good as regular shortcake but actually better than regular shortcake. Not too shabby considering it was my first experiment with coconut flour! I’ll definitely be trying my coconut flour in other muffin recipes… and soon. I’ve already got mango cubes in the freezer, dried pineapple, and dried cranberries just crying out to be used in a tropical coconut or cranberry coconut recipe… And I can’t wait! Now, where’s that mini-muffin tin…

heart4.jpgNo coconut flour in the cupboard?
Try Lea’s Gluten-free shortcake biscuits
Elise’s Strawberry Shortcake with Gluten-Free Variation (scroll down)
Or Elise’s Marion Blackberry Shortcake with GF Variation (scroll down)

Looking for more Gluten-Free Treats for your Valentine? Try this low-carb agave-sweetened vegan brownie recipe

Looking for more Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Recipes using Coconut Flour? Try these:
BytheBay’s Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffin Recipe
Cindalou’s Cran-Blueberry Coconut Flour Muffin Recipe
Glutenagogo’s Coconut Gluten-Free Bread
GF Teff Coconut flour Pancake Recipe
Gluten-free Dessert’s Chocolate Coconut Cookies
Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour Recipes- Biscuits, Scones, and Almond Cake

Toys for making YOUR OWN yummy muffins in Fun Shapes. GF Mini-Baked-Coconut-donut anyone?



Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Vanilla Muffin Recipe
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup Bette Hagman GF mix (rice, potato starch, tapioca blend)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lg egg, beaten
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (or 1 cup plain yogurt with 1 tsp vanilla and confectioners sugar to taste) [DF option: use soy yogurt]
1/4 cup milk [DF option: use rice, almond, hemp or soy milk]
1 tbsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. butter, melted [DF option: use dairy free margarine, shortening, or oil]
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare mini muffin tins, muffin tins, mini bundt cake pans, or mini heart baking tins for a Valentines Day treat by spraying with butter flavored nonstick cooking spray.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix them together, quickly, combining ingredients thoroughly but not over mixing.

Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on size of tin, with mini muffin tins baking for 12-15 minutes and larger tins baking longer…)

Notes
Try subbing some applesauce for the butter next time!

After the first day or two, these are best heated briefly in the microwave. It’s best to slice them AFTER you heat them for the moistest muffin, or even to avoid slicing them.

IF YOU AREN’T GLUTEN FREE, JUST SUBSTITUTE YOUR FAVORITE FLOUR!

Valentine’s Day Heart Blackberry and Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
Ingredients
Gluten-free Vanilla Coconut Flour heart shaped muffins (1 or more per person)

Macerated Blackberries:
Fresh or frozen blackberries, defrosted
powdered sugar to taste

Strawberry Sorbet:
Frozen strawberries, half defrosted or still frozen
Sugar, to taste
lemon juice, to taste (I used meyer lemons)

Dairy or Dairy Free Whipped Cream:
For dairy, whip cream with powdered sugar and a glug of vanilla in your mixer.
For Dairy-free, try my cashew cream recipe

Directions
Macerated Blackberries:
Mash at least half of your blackberries with a potato masher or a fork. Add sugar and combine thoroughly. Let rest for 30 minutes or so.

Strawberry sorbet:
Combine ingredients in your food processor and blend until you have a lovely, icy mix. Taste and season to your preference. Sugar may not be necessary, especially if you don’t add much lemon juice.

Use slightly warmed muffins, either heated in microwave or fresh from the oven. If you like, you can cut them in half horizontally, or just leave them as is. (I like the second method.) Layer Strawberry sorbet, Macerated blackberries, and Cashew Cream OR Dairy Cream. Garnish with fresh berries and sprig of mint (optional).

Serve to your sweetie in exchange for lots of kisses!

Cashew Vanilla Cream
Ingredients
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Directions
Soak 1 cup of cashews in 2 cups of water. If you’re in a
very warm climate, soak them in your refrigerator. After 8-12 hours,
discard the soaking water and rinse the nuts. In a blender, place the
nuts and enough fresh water to allow the blender to operate. Blend,
gradually adding enough water to achieve a smooth consistency. Yields
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups.

Really lovely served with fresh fruit and chocolate fondue as a substitute for whipped cream, or collect an assortment of beautiful organic fruits from the farmers market and top with Cashew Vanilla Cream. You can even add edible flowers for garnish!

Notes
found at
http://www.living-foods.com/recipes/whippedcream.html
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