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Too me nothing is better than simplicity when you’re busy elsewhere outside of the kitchen. These little lemon poppy seed muffins fit my parameters when a quick smack can take the edge of hunger when there is still much to be done.

 

I must say that there have been dozens made over the past few weeks. A few for breakfast, some while taking a short break from the gardening and others intermittently throughout the day. Can I get enough?

 

I even like the hint of coconut flavor and the use of butternut squash purée. The squash gives these muffins a nice lemony color and helps to make muffins a little healthier.

 

I made some with and without the lemon syrup glaze. Both are very nice. Sometimes just a simple muffin works for me. The finishing syrup is a personal choice if you want that punch of added lemon.

 

In the meantime, I will leave you with a few pics of what has been baking away at home and getting back into the garden. There is much to do, perhaps a small basket full of these muffins will be just the thing to bring with.

Lemon Poppy Seed & Butternut Squash Muffins [makes 8 muffins]

½ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup white rice flour

¼ cup amaranth flour

2 Tablespoons tapioca flour

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

¼ cup squash purée [instructions below]

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk [from a carton]

1 large egg

1/3 cup cane sugar

1 teaspoon natural lemon extract

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Line eight mini muffins [standard cupcake pan] wells with paper liners and spray with coconut oil.

1. Mix the flours, poppy seeds, baking powder, sea salt and xanthan gum together. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, combine the remaing ingredients until sugar is incorporated.

3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk to combine.

4. Evenly scoop batter into muffin cups.

5. Sprinkle with more poppy seeds.

6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until centers test out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.

If you are going for the lemon glaze, brush onto the muffins while they are still warm. Recipe follows.

 

Lemon Syrup

½ cup fresh lemon juice

6 Tablespoons cane sugar

1. Simmer lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan until reduced by half and has a syrup like consistency.

2. Brush over muffins while they are still warm from the oven.

Butternut Squash Purée: Halve a small squash and remove seeds. Place on a lightly sprayed sheet pan and roast in a 350°F until easily pierced with a knife. Cool squash and scoop out flesh. Purée in a food processor.

To deal with excess moisture squash tends to have, place purée in a cheese cloth lined sieve and set to drain for a few hours and you are ready to go. Freeze any extra purée or make lots of these muffins!

I look forward to the one day J. and I can sit down for breakfast. I am usually up early, running around while sleepy sounds are heard far from the kitchen. What will it be this morning? Coffee and croissants? Eggs with braised lentils and vegetables?

Perhaps something on the sweeter side…

 

 

I feel great excitement during the summer when I can make my way out to the herb garden and pluck a few fresh herbs to work into breakfast. Fresh thyme or rosemary for the scones or a mixture of sweet herbs for the scrambled eggs.

Such decisions… so early in the morning…

 

 

After the clanking, mixing and cracking of eggs, we can sit down to enjoy breakfast for some unhurried conversation before the day takes off. Since I rarely sleep in on the weekend, this quick pace early in the morning energizes me after a long restful night and sets the mood for a good day to come.

 

 

As with most recipes that have gluten in them, the conversion is pretty simple for gluten-free. Sometimes there are ones that need a little tweaking to have them turn out properly. Various gluten-free flours all have different reactions, but can easily be overcome if any issues arise.  I like to think the gluten-free mix I make at home will work every time, but there are recipes I use this mix for poorly resemble the real thing. But not to worry, a few alterations and were back on track.

 

For these good morning muffins, I added just a bit more mix to have them looking and tasting like traditional muffins.

 

“Delicious,” J. replied as the final test muffins were inhaled.

Bingo! Mission accomplished.

 

 

If you are not going gluten free, I encourage you to give these muffins a try. I thank all of the wonderful creative gluten-free bakers out there who have paved the way for us to enjoy a better gluten free life!

Enjoy!

 

Coconut Apple Carrot Muffin Recipe [makes 12 small muffins]

 

1 ½ cups gluten-free baking mix*

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

½ cup dark brown sugar

2 large whole eggs

 

½ cup buttermilk

6 Tablespoons sunflower oil

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 

1/3 cup flaked coconut

1/3 cup apples, diced

1/3 cup carrots, peeled & diced

1/3 cup currants

 

½ cup flaked coconut [optional topping]

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

1. Whisk g/f mix, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt together. Set aside.

2. Mix together buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract together and set aside.

3. Whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and airy.

4. Mix wet ingredients and sugar mixture into the dry ingredient just until smooth.

5. Fold in coconut flakes, apples, carrots and currants.

6. Place one #20 scoop of batter in each baking cup.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until centers are done when tested with a toothpick.

*note: You can sprinkle the optional flaked coconut on the batter before baking or sprinkle a little sugar for a nice sugar crust.

 

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