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

Food trucks roll into Johns Creek for ‘Wheelin Wednesdays’
Food trucks roll into Johns Creek for ‘Wheelin Wednesdays’

Hump Day for folks in north Fulton County will get a little bit better on May 3. That’s when “Wheelin’ Wednesdays” returns to Johns Creek. The event will have five dates, happening once a month through October. It’s a food truck smorgasbord perfect for the mid-week lunch break. For the May 3 kickoff date, food trucks...
The secret to reheating leftovers so you’ll actually want to eat them
The secret to reheating leftovers so you’ll actually want to eat them

There’s nothing like eating a freshly cooked meal. That’s why we go out to restaurants (oh, and cook on occasion), right? But meal prep is a different story. You have to pack up the goods and stash them in your fridge or freezer until you’re ready to chow down. And sometimes heating up meal-prepped food is a massive fail. There&rsquo...
Best Bites: Triscuit Fig & Honey crackers
Best Bites: Triscuit Fig & Honey crackers

Some crackers are meant for snacking, some are meant for cheese. Some, like the original Triscuit, are great for both. One of Triscuit’s newest flavors, Fig & Honey, is meant for cheese. Lightly sweet, and with an even lighter hint of fig, these crackers would be superb with creamy cheeses (I had them with brie) or cheese with fruit, such as...
Better diet, better skin
Better diet, better skin

Can what you eat help reduce the sign of aging? Apparently so. New research finds that certain foods can help reduce the signs of aging skin, including wrinkles and dryness, according to Environmental Nutrition newsletter. Try adding these foods for a better complexion.  --Green tea: the polyphenols in green tea may help your skin by offering...
Bordeaux vintage 2016: The Medoc

This is the third and final installment of my series of columns on the exceptional 2016 vintage in Bordeaux. I saved the best for last. The Medoc, the area northwest of the city of Bordeaux toward the Atlantic Ocean, is the sweet spot of vintage 2016. Nowhere else in the vast Bordeaux region was the quality of the vintage as consistent across the board...
More Stories