Guilt-free, Grain-free Almond Blueberry Muffins

Guilt-Free, Grain-Free Almond Blueberry  Muffins by

Last week, I embarked on a baking project to come up with a yummy grain-less muffin. I’m not crazy about baking, but the cost of specialized baked goods forced my hand to pick up the whisk. Figuratively speaking anyway. I used a processor for this, which means it was totally easy to make. 😀

If you’ve been here before, you know that I wasn’t blessed with the strongest (digestive) constitution. Dairy is a no-go. Neither is gluten. When I get a craving, I can’t just run to the bakery around the corner. So when I found a restaurant that specialized in gluten and grain-free baked goods, I was ecstatic. But the prices? Not so much. $4-5 for a tiny muffin or a brownie square. I admit I indulged in their goodies for a few months despite the ridiculous prices, because I’ve been so busy. But when I had some downtime last week, I decided to come up with a recipe (and save some $$ along the way).

I usually bake with brown rice flour, but I decided to try almond flour for the muffins. Let me tell you, almond “flour” doesn’t act like flour. It doesn’t absorb nearly as much moisture as regular flour, and it doesn’t rise the same way as flour. If you add even a little too much liquid, the outside will look beautiful (yay!) but the inside will still be wet (ugh). If you add even a little too much baking soda/powder, it rises (yay!) then it falls (plop, ugh). Needless to say, I had some mishaps. But we had fun eating through our mishaps. The texture was funky, but the flavor was great.

If you look at the recipe below, you’ll see that it makes 7-8 muffins. Weird number right? Well, I started out wanting to make 6 muffins. But I soon realized that filling up the cups to capacity made the muffins too crumbly (not easy to eat!). AND it took too long to bake. So I decided to make smaller muffins. They were pretty awesome.

If you are doing a cleanse or a detox, these muffins would be perfect! These are not only grain-free and dairy-free, it’s egg-free and has no added sugar except for the dried dates that were added for sweetness. But if you don’t mind a little bit of added sugar, dark chocolate chips can be substituted – in part, or whole – for the blueberries. Either way, they are so good!

Guilt-Free, Grain-Free Almond Blueberry Muffins by

Guilt-free, Grain-Free Blueberry Muffins Recipe
Makes 7-8 muffins
1 1/4 cup almond flour (used Bob’s Red Mill)
8-9 dried dates (used Deglet Noor)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 TB coconut butter/oil or applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TB + 2 tsp finely-ground flax seeds
1/4 cup almond milk
1 TB lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup (generous) blueberries
sliced almonds for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups.
  2. Beat together ground flax seeds and almond milk using a fork until well combined. Set it aside until a egg-like consistency is reached.
  3. Stir together the dry ingredients: almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside.
  4. Loosely chop the dates. Add the chopped dates, coconut butter, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and flax seed mixture from step one to a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the lemon zest. Then add dry ingredients to the processor in 2 – 3 batches. Pulse until the mixture comes together. Gently stir in the blueberries. Scoop out the mixture into the muffin cups. Don’t overfill the cups; fill only about 1/2. Sprinkle with sliced almonds if using. Tap the muffin tin on the aside to flatten out the batter and to get rid of air bubbles.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until the outside is golden brown and the inside is no longer wet. Cool the muffins for about 10 minutes in the tin. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

Cook’s Note*

The final batter will look almost too thick to be a muffin batter. That’s OK. If it looked like a regular muffin batter, the inside will be wet and inedible. The batter should look like a fluffy, whipped cookie batter. It, however, will be a whole lot softer and airier than a cookie batter.

I don’t know if you’ve done a lot of gluten-free baking, but there isn’t too much uniformity when it comes to GF flours. Some brands grind their flour finer than others and absorb more liquid. This lack of uniformity is pretty pronounced in almond flour. So the amount of liquid required may vary a tiny bit depending on the brand of flour used.

I used Bob’s Red Mill. Their almond “flour” was pretty coarse. That’s one of the reasons for using a processor for this recipe – to break down the “flour” a little further. Don’t overdo it tho. It will turn into almond butter!


25. October 2013 by gomo
Categories: Baked Goods, Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Nuts/Seeds, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | 14 comments

Comments (14)

  1. Another fine creation…cheers! This is a perfect paleo option. My partner and I have been eating Paleo since December…for the most part. Will be making these over the weekend. Just in time for brunch!

    Do you happen to have any recipes in your collection for garlic chives? When I lived in North-Eastern China, these were in a lot of dishes. There was a lot of Korean influence to the food culture there. The 100% garlic chive potstickers are still a favorite. Any good ideas? Thanks! And as always, lovin’ your food!

    • Thanks Richard! How is that going? I’ve always been interested in the Paleo eating plan, but I’m much to attached to rice to give it a go. And I eat a lot of Paleo dishes, but I have them with rice!:)

      I just have my gluten-free chive (buchu) pancakes on the site, but that’s not Paleo. Next time I come across some buchu, I will be sure to get some and make some buchu kimchi. And funny you mention potstickers. My SIL is Chinese. Her father taught us how to make Chinese potstickers using buchu and pork. I will try and get those on the site too. I just need to come up with a good recipe for gluten-free wrappers for them. Hope you enjoy the muffins!

      • The muffins were fantastic!!! The flax seed/almond milk mixture was a curious technique. Egg replacement??? Anyway, we couldn’t stay out of them! Had the last two with breakfast this morning before work.

        I actually found a paleo site that does allow for white rice in moderation, especially with regular working out. One of those many paleo controversies, like cheese and yogurt. We did a 60-day pure paleo diet, but now are about 80-90% depending on what is in the fridge.

        Looking forward to your chive creations! YUM!

        • So happy you enjoyed them! Yes, the flax+almond milk (or water) combo makes a great egg replacement. Chia seeds work too. I made a batch here over the weekend. We finished them in one sitting! Good thing I didn’t make more than 8 muffins.:D

          Paleo diet that allows rice?! That might work for me! I don’t think I can cut out grains completely, but I can afford to cut some out. We eat a pretty carb-centric diet in our household.:) Thanks Richard!

  2. These look great! I’ve also been on a journey trying to make the perfect healthy-ish muffin, it’s hard! Gotta try this though, looks amazing!

    • Thanks Yvonne! I’m making these again this weekend. I will use dark chocolate chips this time tho. So good! Hope you give them a try. Happy Friday!

  3. I love the guilt-freeness of this. I can imagine how yummy these taste. You don’t like baking?! I actually really enjoy it..I think it’s mostly because of the smell….always smells so good when you are baking something in the oven. On the contrary, the one thing I really don’t like dealing with is FISH lol, for the same reason..the smell! hate getting all fishy. I like eating fish, especially sushi, but hate handling it and rarely ever do.

    I’ve never used almond flour before, but that sounds really interesting. Gotta try it some time.

    • I love the aroma of baking. I love the eating part too. I’m just not crazy about the preciseness of baking. Almond flour is great. You should give it a try. Thanks Miss Kim!

  4. Mrs K R swears by Honeyville almond flour – we have a bunch of it in our freezer at the moment. Anyway, super muffins! Lotta good flavor in these – thanks so much.

    • I actually looked for Honeyville almond flour locally but couldn’t find it. I was hesitant to buy a 5-lb bag online. Commitment issues I guess.:D But if Mrs K R swears by it, I should give it a try. Thanks John!

  5. It’s really amazing how much sweetness dates add to a recipe. With all of the normal ingredients you left out of these muffins, you should have called them “nothing but delicious!”. I’ve never worked with almond butter so thanks for the notes. Great recipe!

    • This is truly guilty-free! I rarely add sugar to my baked goods anymore. I love the caramel-y sweetness of dates. I just started baking with almond flour. And I love it. You should try it. Thanks MJ! Hope you had a lovely weekend!

  6. OMG!! I tried this recipe over the weekend, and OMG is all I can say. Even my husband who is not Paleo nor Gluten-Free REALLY enjoyed them. I did not have Flaxseed, and used hemp seed instead, and it still tasted lovely! I will certainly make these again and again, and will try it with flaxseed as well. Thank you so much!!

    • You’re so welcome! I’m so happy you and your husband enjoyed them. These are my family go-to (and favorite) muffins as of late. Thank you for letting me know how they turned out. I need to try using hemp seeds! Happy lunar new year to you and love ones! :))

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