It’s the Berries: Stevia-Sweetened, Gluten Free Blueberry-Lemon Muffins

gfbluelemmuftray

I know; who says things like, “It’s the berries” any more?

Okay, well, I admit that I do.  I also say “take umbrage” (and said it even before I knew the Harry Potter connection), “just chillaxin’” and, sometimes, “the cat’s pyjamas” (but only when I feel like teasing The Girls).

But honestly, this recent revision in my diet that now permits the occasional appearance of fruits like raspberries, black berries or blueberries is, indeed–well, the berries.

After my recent success with a stevia-sweetened upside down apple pancake, I decided to go one step further and aim for muffins.  Unlike the pancake, these babies are portable as a snack, or even breakfast (not that a holistic nutritionist such as I, who always spends enough time preparing and eating proper meals , ever has to eat on the run–say, in my car, for instance, as I drive to a dentist appointment because I’m so totally overscheduled and behind on work that I was up until 12:47 that very morning marking student assignments and then slept through the alarm and hit “snooze” twice before rushing out of bed and waking the HH while shrieking, “I’m going to be late for the DENTIST!” as I dashed into the shower, dressed at record speed and headed out like Bugs Bunny’s tasmanian devil on the hunt for prey, pausing just long enough at the kitchen counter to grab a muffin–no, no, goodness me, I never have to resort anything like that!). 

After I received my healthy baking kit this week, I got to thinking about baking muffins that I’d be allowed to eat.  These lemon-blueberry lovelies are light yet dense, providing a moist, airy crumb that’s just right as a backdrop for organic blueberries that have been scattered hither and thither (I also say things like “hither and thither, apparently).  I used dried blueberries (sweetened only with apple juice) and so felt they’d be acceptable as a treat on this phase of the ACD.  If you prefer, use fresh or frozen berries (but don’t thaw the latter before stirring into the batter).

I may have mentioned before that I regularly bake muffins or quick breads so the HH has something healthy at work alongside his coffee each morning (hmmm. . . . I wonder if the organic, whole foods ingredients in my goodies cancel out the hydrogenated fats and chemicals in the coffee whitener at the office?  Naw, didn’t think so).  Now, he long ago became accustomed to whole spelt flour and natural sweeteners instead of wheat and sugar, but how would he react to GF flours and stevia?  Only one way to find out. I went to work.  By the time the HH returned home from his day at the office, the house was infused with the heady aroma of lemon zest.

“HH, honey, how about a taste of a delicious, yummy, moist lemon-blueberry muffin?” I asked innocuously. He stopped to look at me.

“It’s one of those weird candida things, isn’t it?”

[Freeze frame on Ricki’s face.  The Dilemmadoes she lie and only later tell him what’s in the muffin, after he eats it?  Or does she tell him the truth, and risk his refusal to even try?]

“Candida things aren’t weird,” I said, and left it at that.

“Okay, I’ll take a taste. . . .”  I stared intently. He nibbled on the muffin’s domed top.  This was followed by another nibble, then a fuIl bite, which was followed by a second, and a third. . . before I knew it, the muffin was gone!

“Hmm.  Lemony.  And the blueberries taste pretty sweet. ”  He began to rummage around for another.  Sweet Success! 

Even if you haven’t worked with stevia before, I bet you will enjoy these as a light, not-too-sweet breakfast treat or snack.  Seriously, they’re far out. A gas. Just swell.  And the berries. 

And Happy Hannukah (or, if you prefer, Chanukah) to everyone who celebrates!

gfbluelemmufopen

Last Year at this Time: Flash in the Pan: Blended Hot Cereal

Two Years Ago: Mostly Raw Chocolate Truffles

© 2009 Ricki Heller

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Comments

  1. I can’t believe how high those rose! And gluten free to boot? Sign me up! I’ll have to keep these in mind for next time I bake muffins… :)

  2. What a lovely shade of golden they are! And they sound fabulous. Delicious way to experiment with those ingredients and get a feel for how they behave!

  3. Ricki,

    They look fabulous! I would make these this afternoon if I had the coconut flour. I have been craving a muffin.

    Alicia

  4. This is great! Hey Ricki, I have a question – what do you think of these new name brand stevia blends, like Purevia? They seem to combine stevia with a sugar alcohol like xylitol. It sketches me out. Thoughts?

  5. Wow! Groovy! These look A-OK. Might have to rustle-up a few! :) Too bad I didn’t bring the coconut flour to Seattle, but I’ve been meaning to get some because I love the stuff.

  6. I love your response to the HH about the muffins…very diplomatic of you :-) I wouldn’t have said anything, but I am mean like that!

    These look fabulous–thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I don’t have coconut flour, but do you think that maybe subbing a bit more of one of the other flours would work?

    Thanks!
    Courtney

  7. Gee Whiz, I want a muffin!! I was thinking of trying to make some cranberry muffins this weekend, but we’ll see. Muffins are great to have for grabbing as you go out the door :) They are a perfect portable snack!

  8. Eve,
    They’re great if you’re looking for something that’s not too sweet. . . perfect with almond butter. :)

    Josiane,
    Yes, if you haven’t worked with these types of ingredients before, I’d say these are a good start. :)

    Alicia,
    Hmmm. . . I need to think about what you might use instead of the coconut flour!

    Michelle,
    I prefer not to use blends like that. I think our philosophy is similar in that I prefer to use ingredients that are as close as possible to the natural state. . . and xylitol, which has to be made in a lab (or factory) isn’t my idea of “natural.” Then again, I suppose one could say the same for chocolate flavored stevia–but at least the different parts are naturally derived!

    Andrea,
    Groovy, indeed! I use that, too. ;)

    Courtney,
    Well, I suppose that technically, I misled him. . . but hey, he expects that from me with ACD-friendly foods! ;) I do think you could use more of one of the other flours, but coconut flour absorbs A LOT of liquid, so you might do better to decrease the milk a bit instead. Would love to know how they work out!

    Kimberly,
    Wish I could give you one (I’ve got lots!) ;) And yes, I have discovered–a perfect portable snack/meal!

  9. Beautiful muffins! And hooray for the return of the berries!

  10. Those muffins look wonderful! I haven’t baked with stevia before, I am just beginning to expiriment with it, so these are a great way to jump in. Thanks!

  11. Thanks, Ricki! I will let you know how it works when I try them :-)

    Courtney

  12. These look great! I’ve been looking for a way to use amaranth flour with it’s complete amino acid profile. The intense lemon flavor and blueberries just might do it. Baking for famiy prevails right now but these will be my next-in-line gluten-free treats!

  13. i can’t say I know the phrase it’s the berries but love the sound of these and it sounds like you are making good progress in your diet to be able to have such baking – and am glad the HH appreciates it too – hope there is some festive baking coming up

  14. well, recipe looks very good, and besides the flours I have everything in hand!. Just need to stat hunting all those flours and will give your recipe a try,I’m bookmarking it!

  15. Ricki,
    I just saw your lovely muffins on Tastespotting – kudos! Normally I would see that many ingredients and pass, but I have them all on hand and they are exactly what I like to bake with. I have been playing around with Stevia and find it can be tricky to get the right balance, but will try these muffins for sure! And I’m with you and Michelle on the chemical mixes – no, thank you.

  16. that;s just too funny that your spouse was hesitant at first, because dan does the same thing when i ask him to taste gluten-free goodies. he says “do these have that gum stuff in them?!” cracks me up! your lemony-blueberry muffins look super swell & absolutely delightful, Ricki. i’m not too sure if i have frozen blueberries, but i fo ‘sho know i have some frozen blackberries i can use (that i picked over the summer). i have yet to bake with stevia and i can’t wait to give it a whirl. thanks!

  17. Pretty cool muffins my friend.

  18. um…YUM!!!

  19. I’ve still never used stevia to bake with, but now I’m dying to try it… These muffins sure do look amazing!

  20. Wow, the muffins baked up so nicely! I’ve been experimenting with stevia too. Only mine is powdered. Any idea what an equivalent powdered stevia would be in this recipe?

    • I wonder that too – I only have powdered Stevia.

      • I find that around 20 drops is roughly 1/4 tsp (1 ml), so I’d go with 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) of powdered if I were making these with powder. I haven’t tried it yet myself, though–please let me know if you do try them that way! :)

  21. Jes,
    I agree–yay for berries! :)

    Janet,
    I think these are a good first muffin w/ stevia (or try the upside down apple pancake–also good!)

    Courtney,
    Looking forward to getting the verdict! ;)

    Mom,
    It must be the protein that confers that distinct flavor–a bit much for me, so I combined w/ other flours and LOTS of lemon flavor. ;)

    Johanna,
    Yes, some festive baking–though not necessarily ACD-friendly, unfortunately. (Sadly, you just can’t reproduce certain things on the ACD).

    heidileon,
    Great, thanks so much! Let me know what you think if you do give it a try. :)

    Karen,
    Thanks so much! Yes, GF recipes do tend to have a lot of ingredients, more so when they’re vegan. But you gotta do what you gotta do. . . ;)

    Jessy,
    So funny about Dan and the HH!! And I think blackberries would be stellar in these, actually.

    veggie wedgie,
    Thanks so much! :)

    Cheryl,
    Thanks! :)

    Hannah,
    Thanks so much. You really should give it a whirl!

    Diann,
    I think volumes are considered the same–ie, 1/4 tsp liquid has the same sweetening power of 1/4 tsp powder. I have found that the powder has more of a bitter aftertaste, so I prefer the liquid–but you can use either. :)

  22. glad this was a winner for HH as well ;) i need to try stevia… *fingers crossed*

  23. Oh, wow. I want these NOW!!!

    I’m collecting recipes and ideas to bring with me to my mom’s, which is where we’re heading for Christmas. She’s understandably a little freaked out about the ACD, so I’m going to try to cook for her. This is definitely ON THE LIST!!! I love blueberry muffins.

  24. Yum! These look wonderful! Isn’t it wonderful when skeptics turn into love, or at least like =D.

  25. Hi Ricki,

    I love the sound of these muffins and am going to try making them this morning. On another note, do you have a simple formula for subbing flax and/or chia for eggs? Is there a basic rule of thumb to follow? Do you have to change the formula based on whether you’re making quickbreads/muffins or bagels or sandwich bread or cakes, etc.? I would so appreciate your feedback. Thanks. Please feel free to email me at birdwoman5151@yahoo.com. Much continued success! I hope the book is doing fabulous!

    Ellen

  26. Ooo dried blueberries sweetened with apple juice! I’ve never seen such a thing but they sound awesome. Haha glad your husband liked them – they look delicious!

  27. I have gluten allergy since childhood. I am always on a Gluten Free diet and i use guar gum in some of may baked foods.

  28. The muffins look really great! I’ve been trying to find a muffin or other recipes using Stevia since I’m a diabetic. And it is great that it is gluten-free too so that I can make it for my son who is allergic to wheat. What brand of Stevia do you use? Do you use the concentrated liquid or the clear liquid one? I will probably try it this weekend. Thanks again for sharing the recipe

  29. Jeanne Barnum says:

    Ricki – Wanted to let you know that I made these, subbing pumpkin for the applesauce. I used cashew milk (homemade), 1/4 cup amaranth flour and 1/4 cup millet flour, and added 1/4 cup coconut sugar. I love the lemon with the pumpkin and blueberries (although I actually used my yummy mountain huckleberries instead of blueberries).

    They came out very nice. Lovely texture, not crumbly at all. They did sink a little in the middle when I rotated the pan at 15 minutes – but not a major impact.

  30. What are chia seeds? And can I make it without them?? Also, can I use coconut milk instead of soy or almond?

    • Chia seeds are very small, white-gray seeds that are high in Omega 3s and protein. The chia is an egg replacer, so you can use 1 Tbsp ground flax meal per teaspoon (5ml) of chia instead. If you’re talking about the coconut milk in the carton (not the can), it should work instead. Otherwise, I’d water down the canned coconut milk so it’s about the same consistency as the almond/soy. I can’t guarantee results as this changes the recipe considerably, but it’s worth a try!

  31. Hi, I recently found your blog and today tried the muffin recipe. They came out well and I like them, despite not having any lemon extract on hand (I used lemon juice instead but it’s definitely not lemony enough). Hubby did not like them at all, but my 6 yr old son ate one without complaint. I’ve not long been on the ACD so am very grateful for your recipe. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Bridget! The lemon extract does make a big difference, as the gluten-free flours in this recipe have a fairly robust flavor on their own. Glad both you and your little one liked them. :)

  32. What would you sub for the rice flour, me and grains don’t do well…

    • I don’t really know what to sub, as I’ve never made them any other way. I think you need some kind of grain flour to achieve the same texture here, sorry. You could try the grain-free coconut flour biscuits instead if you’re looking for grain-free.

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