After a recent disaster with home sprouted and ground flour (I let it sprout for too long and in turn, ended up malting the grain instead of sprouting it) I decided to contemplate some different alternatives for last-minute flour options. Because we soak or sprout all of our flour and grain, sometimes that quick baking can prove difficult.
I often avoid making sweet baked goods for a few reasons:
1. If we have them around, I eat too many. I lack self-control.
2. They are expensive – grass-fed butter and natural sweeteners such as maple syrup should be savored!
3. Even healthy baked goods are still a treat. They should eaten as just that…a treat! Not for an everyday affair, my friends.
That being said, I'm sure you've noticed the trend among foodies (especially those of Paleo and Primal influences) to utilize various gluten-free flours for baked goods. Now, I'm blessed that no one in my family has a problem with gluten. In fact, we love it. Wheat has been a constant companion in my kitchen and I plan on keeping it there.
All that being said, I recently placed an order for some sprouted flour (find it here) so that I can have some sprouted wheat flour on hand for baked goods, like these ugly biscuits. At least until I can get a new home sprouted batch made.
I also ordered some coconut (find it here) and almond flour for cookies and muffins. I've made these cookies before, which utilize finely ground almonds (aka: almond flour) and I love how they pack a nutty, protein punch. They're so delicious.
So when my Mom told me that she too had recently picked up a small bag of almond flour, I figured it'd be a great time to bake up some delicious muffins. I did have a few sweet little munckins to feed, after all.
As always, I semi-followed and semi-made-up a recipe for these muffins, and praise God, they turned out wonderfully. I won't make or eat them everyday (almond flour ain't cheap, my friends) but they're so, so, so much better than store-bought muffins. For a special occasion or pick-me-up, they totally fit the bill.
Sweet Carrot Muffins with Cinnamon & Coconut
You will need:
– 2 1/2 cups of almond flour or sprouted wheat flour (see sources)
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
– 2 teaspoons baking soda
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 cup shredded coconut
– 2 cups grated carrots
– 1 peeled, cored, and grated apple (or 1 ripe banana, squished)
– 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
– 3 pastured eggs
– 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup organic chocolate chips (or 1/2 cup raisins)
– 1/2 cup ripe banana, cut into small pieces
Step One: Combine the almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and shredded coconut together in a large bowl. Then, mix in the shredded carrot and apple until combined.
Step Two: In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Step Three: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently combine.
Step Four: Mix in the chocolate chips and banana pieces. The batter will be very thick.
Step Five: Pour the muffin mixture into a generously buttered muffin tin. This recipe will make 12 large muffins. 11 for you and 1 for somebody else. At this point, I sprinkled the top of each muffin with a generous pinch of whole cane sugar. Just for fun.
Step Six: Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Aren't those pretty? And they tasted so delicious. They weren't too sweet, which I really like. I'm not a huge fan of super-sweet-sweets. I'm more of a semi-sweet-sweets kinda gal.
I'm eager to try them with coconut flour and wheat flour. I think both would lend a great flavor to the muffin.
Don't be afraid to play around. I'm sure it'd be wonderful if you added in some chia seeds, sunflower seeds, cranberries, lemon zest, or toasted walnuts.
One must not be afraid in the kitchen. Even if one makes a complete idiot of themselves.
Trust me, I've done it.
But experimenting is half of the fun!
The other half of the fun is totally nailing a recipe and having your husband ask for seconds, and thirds, and then proclaiming his love for you and your cooking.
Which he did with these muffins. Just for the record.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.