Saturday, October 15, 2011

Banana Cranberry Muffins

It's been a while since I've posted. It's not that I haven't been baking; actually, I've been on a huge muffin-production kick lately, much to the Fast One's joy. It's just that I tend to rely so heavily on the already-excellent recipes by pros like the Gluten Free Girl and the Gluten Free Goddess that I don't feel I have much to add, even when I do riff a bit on the originals.
I have been loving the muffins though.

First I flipped for Shauna's recipe - template, really - for whole grain gluten-free muffins. It's terrific, and allows for a million variations. It's also gum-free, so it'd be a perfect starting recipe for the newly gf. I usually use 250g of some combination of teff, sorghum, millet and/or almond flour and 100g of starch (tapioca, arrowroot and/or sweet rice). Using her simple guidelines, though, you can create a whole-grain blend that works with what you have on hand.

In place of buttermilk, I use coconut milk with a bit of acid - a tablespoon or so of lemon juice or mild vinegar - to total 300g. This works spendidly to produce a moist and tender muffin. (I tried it with rice milk once, and it worked, but not as well.).

The first several batches were blueberry walnut, of course, since we'd splurged on the TEN POUND BOX of organic blueberries offered by our CSA every year. I also made a batch with a whole lemon's juice (as part of the coconut milk mixture) and zest, with blueberries and cashews - incredibly decadent.

But then summer gave way to Fall, which sparked an inexplicable craving to bake with pumpkin (looking around the blogosphere, this seems to be a common affliction...).

Enter Karina's Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins.

Oh, yeah, and there had to be cranberries. I can't tell you why, but with the chill of that first brisk Fall evening came the conviction that I needed pumpkin and cranberries, post-haste.

I initially didn't modify the recipe other than adding halved cranberries, but I did have to convert it to weighed measure. I just love baking by weight, and the idea of facing that army of measuring cups again gives me the heebie-jeebies. Today though, I saw a post by Kim at Affairs of Living for banana cranberry muffins. I happened to have bananas and cranberries waiting to be used... I opted to adapt Karina's pumpkin muffin recipe to be made with banana - heck, I'd already done the math to convert everything to grams! And because I'm not terribly wise, I also made the decision to try skipping the xanthan gum, adding some psyllium in its place (an ingredient I've never used before).

Well, it worked! So I thought I'd share my banana version, but if you're a weight-baker like me, you can easily convert these back to pumpkin - just see the asterisked note at the bottom.

Banana Cranberry Muffins
Approx. 18 muffins

Whisk together:
146 g sorghum flour*
37 g coconut flour
56 g almond flour
60 g tapioca or arrowroot starch
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Kosher salt (or .5 tsp table salt)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
dash nutmeg

Add in:
250 g brown sugar or palm sugar*
71 g oil (I use grapeseed & coconut)
2 eggs (or egg replacer)
1 Tbsp vanilla
245 g mashed banana (2-3)*
2 tsp Psyllium husk powder (ground flax or chia should work also)

Then add:
70 g coconut milk mixed with 1/2 tsp lemon juice (or vinegar)
(add up to 35g more as needed)

Scant 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved (you may want to shake the cut berries in a colander to remove some of the seeds, which can be bitter)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk dry ingredients, then add remaining ingredients as indicated. Fill paper-lined muffin cups to the top of the paper. Sprinkle with extra walnuts and/or granulated sugar if desired. Bake 22-25 minutes for regular-sized muffins, less for minis.

(*For pumpkin muffins, use 136g sorghum, 290g sugar and 246g pumpkin puree)

These freeze beautifully - I take one or two of them, wrap in a layer of Press & Seal, then overwrap pairs of them in foil. When I get to work, I unwrap the foil and use it to cover the toaster oven rack so i can warm them. Great way to start the workday!