I promised more gluten-free recipes when we thought Ella might be gluten-intolerant. It turns out she’s not, shellfish was the culprit, but I am well-stocked with alternative flours, so I’m keeping my promise. Besides, just because we aren’t cutting it out entirely doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat less of it.
An anti-inflammatory diet is more important than ever to keep our immune systems functioning at optimal levels, reduce pesky brain fog, and keep our joints moving freely. That last one, especially, is a challenge for me with my notoriously bad knees. Also, I’m noticing increased deformity in my fingers that reminds me way too much of my late grandmother’s gnarled hands. Gluten is a common trigger for inflammation, as are dairy and refined sugar, so coming up with treats with less sugar, dairy, and wheat flour is essential. Because I’m not giving up my treats!
The classic coconut lime flavor combination was lovely. I have a hard time coming up with recipes to use my supply of coconut flour, and this was perfect. It added a little extra coconut flavor, as did the canned coconut milk. The lime zest is key along with the juice, so the flavor doesn’t get lost in the baking.
*If you need to substitute a different flour, you should know that coconut flour is highly absorbent and is not swapped out equally to all-purpose wheat or gluten-free flour. For example, in this recipe, I would use 1 cup of all-purpose flour (or increase the oat flour to 1 1/2 cups, total) to replace the 1/4 cup of coconut flour. I would also reduce the number of eggs from 2 to 1.
Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)
*1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup ground flax meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of one lime (about 1/4 teaspoon, packed)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
toasted shredded coconut (optional)
turbinado sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Whisk together the coconut flour, oat flour, flax meal, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size bowl.
Zest (just the green part!) one lime. Then juice one or two limes to yield 3 tablespoons of juice. Place the zest and juice in a large mixing bowl.
Stir in the coconut sugar and coconut milk.
Add *oil and eggs and stir until well combined.
*I like this La Tourangelle blend. It doesn’t have a strong flavor so I use it as an all-purpose cooking oil. If you are using regular organic coconut oil, you will need to melt it to liquid form before adding it – just make sure it’s room temp, not hot!
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, then add the vanilla and shredded coconut.
Fill the muffin tin with batter; each should be about three-quarters of the way full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 -25 minutes. The muffins should be starting to crack on top and spring back a bit when lightly pushed.
For best results, allow the muffins to cool completely before serving. They are fine warm, but I find most gluten-free baked goods are best served cooled, unlike many of their gluten-filled counterparts. These muffins kept well for a few days without drying out or losing their flavor.
Optional: Before the muffins cool completely, sprinkle some Turbinado sugar and/or some toasted coconut to enhance the flavor and texture of the muffins. It also helps out their appearance quite a bit. I tried baking them with the turbinado sugar on top like I would a cookie, but the texture was lost in the baking process.
Until then, relax and find joy in everything you can.
“No good sittin’ worryin’ abou’ it. What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does” -Hagrid” J. K. Rowling