Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blueberry Muffins Dusted with Cinnamon Sugar (nutrient-dense)

Up bright and early a few Saturdays ago, my husband and some friends spent a few hours doing the hard work of moving a very heavy shed from our old house to our new place.  I made these muffins as a nice treat for when their labors were over.  Everyone loved the muffins, and I've since been requested to make them again.

I used a combination of flours for these muffins: coconut flour, ground crispy nuts, and einkorn. Einkorn is an ancient variety of wheat that has never been hybridized; as such it is naturally lower in gluten and higher in protein than modern wheat.  The thing I have found the most surprising about Einkorn is that my daughter can eat it in moderate amounts with no issues (whereas even a small amount of modern wheat will lead her to have behavior problems).  Currently I'm using white Einkorn flour, since we have had some problems digesting whole grains. I think that, when consumed in moderation, white flours can be a healthy part of the diet. (Did you know that, in traditional cultures, much of the bran and germ was actually discarded after the whole grains were ground into flour?)

This recipe is bursting with flavor: moist blueberries, the bright flavor of lemon, and a sweet crispy top from the cinnamon sugar.  The combination of flours results in muffins with a wonderfully crispy yet chewy top.  Even people who aren't real foodies have raved over these muffins. 

Blueberry Muffins Dusted With Cinnamon Sugar
  1. Line a muffin tin with paper cups.  (I prefer If You Care Unbleached Baking Cups because the muffins do not stick to the sides of the cups.)
  2. Combine the einkorn, coconut flour, ground nuts, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Whisk it all together to break up any lumps.  
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Combine the butter, sucanat and sugar in a large bowl (a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer works great for this recipe). Cream together for a couple minutes until the mixture turns slightly lighter in color.
  5. In the meantime, combine the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract in a small bowl. (I find that a Pyrex glass measuring cup works great for this because the pour spout makes it easy to add these ingredients to the mixer while it is running.) Do NOT mix up the eggs at this point.
  6. Once the butter and sucanat/sugar have become well-mixed, mix in the eggs one-at-a-time.  With my stand-mixer, I can just pour in each egg while the mixer is still running.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to get everything incorporated well. (It is okay if the mixture looks a bit curdled during this step.)
  7. Add the sour cream to the wet mixture and mix it in well.
  8. Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time.  Because the Einkorn flour does contain gluten, make sure not to overmix or the muffins will be tough.  The batter will become rather thick, but don't worry about it.
  9. Stir or mix in the blueberries.
  10. Use a 3-Tb scoop or large spoon to scoop the batter into the muffin cups.
  11. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, sucanat, and sugar for the cinnamon-sugar dust. Use a spoon to sprinkle this mixture over the top of the muffins.
  12. Bake the muffins at 350 degrees F for 27-32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out dry.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving.
*Except during our local berry season, I find that frozen blueberries have far superior flavor to the fresh ones sold in grocery stores.

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Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite recipes. I just love the combination of flours and it sits well in my family's tummies. Actually, I've taken the base recipe and used it in many muffin forms. I reduce sugar, omit yogurt and almond extract, add cinnamon and nutmeg and 3 mashed bananas and voila, perfect banana muffins.
This morning I was craving some good old fashioned PANCAKES. I attempted to blend this base recipe to be like Nourishing Traditions pancakes and although they were good they weren't perfect. So... I'm requesting pancakes using these flour blends. ;) And better yet, I'm thinking a pancake "mix" with this flour blend would be amazing.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your experience!! I also use this flour combination as a general muffin base. The recipes that have been posted so far besides this one are Morning Glory Muffins and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. I've made many different types of muffins with this flour combination, but I only post the best ones. I've just finished developing a recipe for Chocolate, Orange, and Molasses Muffins which I will be posting to the blog soon!

I think the idea of developing a pancake batter with these flours is a great one; however, since my daughter doesn't tolerate gluten well I don't anticipate that I would be developing that very soon. I can pretty easily divert my daughter from the muffins I make with these flours (especially since I always have muffins or cookies on hand for her in the freezer), but I'm sure pancakes would be a lot harder because she loves those so much and we have them so infrequently. We have successfully used the batter from my gluten-free waffle recipe for pancakes and they were tasty. But I'll keep this suggestion on the backburner for sure and think about it in the future.

Anonymous said...

Okay we made your morning glory muffins. Divine! Your new chocolate, orange, and molasses combination sounds great. We enjoy freezing these and pulling them out on days we need a quick breakfast or snack, such as homeschool ski days.
Your freezer waffles are also a favorite here. Cooking up the batter for pancakes is a great idea that I'll try soon! Thank you for sharing so many wonderful recipes and helpful information in general. Your site is always helpful; informative, yet relaxed, and doesn't leave me feeling stressed out.

Sarah Smith said...

Glad you liked the muffins and the freezer waffles too! It is good to hear that my site is beneficial but doesn't make you feel stressed; that's exactly what I am aiming for!