You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Healthy Cooking: When life makes you gluten-free, make muffins


I have railed against the gluten-free food fad for years, both loudly and in print. So when I developed a doctor-diagnosed, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, I blamed karma, who obviously wanted to keep all the Asiago bagels for herself.

I also grabbed a copy of “Easy Flourless Muffins, Bars & Cookies” by Amanda Drozdz (Page Street Publishing, $21.99), because I was not about to eschew baked goods. Side note: If you’re peachy keen with gluten, but limit other ingredients like oils, dairy or refined sugar, this book is for you, too.

I had been spending my weight on fancy artisanal flours (ahem, teff flour, I’m looking at you). Thanks to Drozdz, I learned how to channel my inner Laura Ingalls Wilder, and grind my own gluten-free flour from scratch using oats and a blender. You can use instant oats, but I prefer the less expensive, more fiber-happy gluten-free rolled oats from the bulk bin at the grocery store. Just pour a scoop of oats into the blender, and secure the lid. I mean, REALLY secure it, with your hand pressing the top so a cloud of oat dust doesn’t cover your kitchen counter and new dark jeans. Blend on high speed (aka puree) for three minutes.

Just like that, you’ve made fluffy, soft oat flour. It will keep in a sealed container for up to three months. Consider grinding a big batch so you’re prepared when the cookie-making mood strikes.

Armed with my new favorite flour, I decided to make a gluten-free banana muffin so I could sit and eat a healthy breakfast, even if I was sitting in the car. Why banana? My children won’t eat a banana that has a single brown spot on it, so we always have an abundance begging for good use. If you’re not a banana person, experiment with zucchini, pumpkin or even silken tofu.

It seemed counterintuitive to fill my healthy muffin with oil or butter, so I looked for a good fat substitute. Applesauce is a common heart-healthy replacement, and works if you need a vegan ingredient. I am always interested in boosting my protein intake, so I used nonfat Greek yogurt instead. The yogurt made the muffins plenty spongy, and not dry at all. I did add eggs, but if you’re vegan — or simply forgot to buy eggs — some of Drozdz’s recipes use ground flax seed as an egg substitute.

Sugar posed a conundrum for me. I used coconut palm sugar in my initial batch, because palm sugar is unrefined. (Plant-based folks, take note: It’s also vegan.) Palm sugar is very sweet, which means you can use less of it than granulated white sugar. It also has a strong molasses-like flavor, which works particularly well in things like pumpkin pie. But here, it overwhelmed the delicate banana flavor, so I relented and used refined brown sugar instead. If you are a fan of molasses, go ahead and try the palm sugar. Use a little less than the recipe calls for, and feel superior knowing that your muffins are slightly healthier than mine.

All of the oats and bananas made my muffins a little dense. To break up the texture, I added naturally sweet, fiber-rich raisins. Now, if you are categorically opposed to raisins, or if you just need more chocolate in your life (you know, for the antioxidants), you can substitute 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips instead. Unlike the heavier, regular-sized chocolate chips, the mini chips stay suspended in the batter.

Each of these muffins gives you an appetite-satisfying 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber for just more than 100 calories. And, unlike some packaged gluten-free baked goods from the grocery, they’re made from simple ingredients that you can pronounce, which, I think, is something even the gluten-eating gang can appreciate.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

You can make the best doughnuts you'll ever eat. Here's how.
You can make the best doughnuts you'll ever eat. Here's how.

It's easy to wax poetic about doughnuts. Whether they're light as air and melt in your mouth or caky and sugarcoated, ready to dunk, who can pass up a fresh one? The best are made by hand with wholesome ingredients. Even the ones that start with a mix - and those include your Krispy Kremes and Dunkin' Donuts - still taste pretty good, to be honest...
These warm-weather wines won't compete with the grill
These warm-weather wines won't compete with the grill

When the temperature soars, I often prefer red wines that have not been aged in oak or treated with wood in any way. Here are three examples of unoaked reds. Give them just a slight chill and enjoy them during your cookouts. For good measure, we also have a crisp sauvignon blanc and a floral rosé. - Dave McIntyre - - - GREAT VALUE 2.5 stars...
Novelist Mary Kay Andrews pens beachy-keen cookbook
Novelist Mary Kay Andrews pens beachy-keen cookbook

For Atlanta novelist Mary Kay Andrews , life’s a beach and then you … Well, then you wiggle out of that sticky wet swimsuit and dive into a nice cold bowl of Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad. Or you call some friends, ice down the beer, and fix Low Country Boil: a peel-and-eat mess of crab, shrimp, sausage, fresh...
5 myths about beer
5 myths about beer

Summer for Americans is a time of backyard barbecues, baseball and beer. Memorial Day weekend is a perfect chance to sit outside with the season's first sixer, and the varieties of beer you can pick up at the local grocer have multiplied. "This is a golden age for beer lovers," as the Washington Post reported in 2016. Yet the sheer number...
The ideal aperitif: Good vermouth, cool and fragrant
The ideal aperitif: Good vermouth, cool and fragrant

One summer evening a few years ago, I was standing in the Napa Valley kitchen of Steve Matthiasson, a farmer and winemaker, when he handed me a tumbler filled with amber liquid and a fat cube of ice. It was not what I was expecting from Matthiasson, who, with his wife, Jill Klein Matthiasson, makes a range of wonderfully pure and refreshing wines from...
More Stories