While I personally do not know anyone who has a problem with gluten in their diets, I wanted to experiment with a couple of gluten free recipes in case I am called to bake for someone who cannot tolerate this particular protein. It has previously never occurred to me that some people cannot enjoy regular grains like wheat, rye or barley and it was not until medical school that I learnt about celiac disease and how difficult it is for such patients to go about their daily grocery shopping and cooking.  We now have a reasonable wide range of gluten-free products in supermarkets and specialty stores but most of these unfortunately do not come cheap.

Coconut flour is one which can be safely consumed by anyone on a gluten-free diet without having to break the bank. Easily available in your local store [I found mine at Shoprite Tamarin under Lemcke Brand from South Africa], coconut flour, while being healthier that your refined wheat flour derivatives, will not give the same ‘lift’ during baking such that your cakes and muffins will lack the expected light and fluffy texture. If it is your first time, you will be surprised [like me!] to discover that this recipe, from King Arthur Flour, calls for less flour [as little as ¼ cup for a dozen muffins] and typically twice the number of eggs. This is because coconut flour readily absorbs moisture from the batter, so I think it does help to have a few fresh berries in there.

COCONUT FLOUR BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 large eggs, room temperature

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease six wells of a standard muffin pan.

  • Line the pan with greased muffin papers. Sift coconut flour and baking powder.

  • Mix it until well blended. Stir together the eggs, butter, honey, salt, and extracts.

  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there are no visible lumps.

  • Gently fold the fresh blueberries into the batter till they are evenly incorporated.

  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup to about half full.

  • Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

  • Cool for about 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a rack to cool. Makes 6 muffins.

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins