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Gluten-free Dairy-free Berry Muffins

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These muffins are my dream come true!!!!

I used to get so jealous of folks that posted photos of those 2 minute mug muffins.  They looked so light, fluffy, moist and quick!  A few years ago I didn't eat eggs, switched from whey to vegan plant based protein powders, and I've never touched milk, so those recipes were out for me.

Here is a bit of science - rice based vegan protein powders, like the Sun Warrior Classic that I love, generally lack casein or lecithin and therefore don't easily form emulsions with liquids. You'll notice that plant based protein powders are often quite clumpy and require high speed blenders and a little almond butter or nut milk for that smooth mouth feel.  Some plant based proteins have xanthan gum as the emulsifying agent, which helps when baking flourless treats, but you'll need applesauce, banana, chia seeds, ground flax meal, eggs, agar, or starch to help further emulsify the batter, and give support and fluff, for the best textures.

I've worked tirelessly on perfecting my own morning muffin recipe, and I knew I had to keep them protein-packed, low-sugar, and gluten-free.  They needed to be as delicious as Trader Joe's Bran muffins, but on the level of Questbar's Blueberry Muffin macronutrient ratio. I know, my taste and dietary preferences are insufferable!

I use a whopping 4 scoop serving of Sun Warrior classic vanilla, for a substantial serving of protein, for every 7 large muffins. The rice based powder acts as my flour substitute, and I just use gluten-free oat bran to balance out the carbs and fiber. A pinch of Himalayan pink crystal salt provides strength to the dough, but also a nice dose of minerals.  I've tried this recipe with a combo of gluten-free Hain brand baking powder and baking soda, but I find the baking soda alters the taste of the muffin so I've omitted it altogether.

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I had run out of olive oil, and was too lazy to go downstairs (there is literally a Whole Foods a few hundred meters away) to buy more, so I melted a bit of Earth Balance plant based spread in its place. I love the purity and richness of extra virgin olive oil, but the Earth Balance provided a buttery taste that I had to share. Unsweetened almond milk, 1 whole egg from Vital Farms pasture raised hens, and unsweetened apple sauce (to help replace the missing oil and sugar from this recipe) round out the list of wet ingredients. Make sure to whisk the egg well into the other wet ingredients so each muffin is uniform in texture. I added the softened earth balance after mixing the wet and cold ingredients, as I know coconut oil can tend to firm up in cold temperatures and the egg and almond milk had just come out of the fridge.

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I always have frozen organic berries on hand, for smoothies, and compotes. When I use them in my baked recipes, I rinse them with warm water in a strainer and will either let them air dry (blueberries) or thaw out in warm water (larger berries like strawberries and blackberries) while I'm mixing up the batter.  Once the wet and dry have been mixed thoroughly I add the berries, stir, and ready the liners in the muffin tin.

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I like my muffins large and in charge, and since these lack flour a little batter does not go a long way. I fill my muffin liner nearly to the top so they cook up slightly and form muffin tops!  I let these cook at 350 for 25 minutes or more to really firm up.  I have never tried the toothpick test on these muffins, but I do make sure the top doesn't have any moist or soft spots.  Let them cool for about 5-10 minutes and they are good to go. I use a spoon and scrape the muffin liner clean because even the crumbs are too tasty to throw away!


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Gluten-free Mixed Berry Muffins
serves 2

1 cup gluten free OAT BRAN
1 tsp baking powder
5 packets (or teaspoons) organic stevia powder
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 whole egg
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
2 tsp softened Earth Balance butter
1/2 cup blackberries (organic frozen, run under water/strain/dry)


Preheat oven to 350. Put first 5 ingredients in medium bowl, mix well. Whisk egg, milk, and applesauce in a small bowl. Add dry to wet ingredients, and mix well. Melt butter and add to batter. Mix berries and butter into batter. Place muffin liners in muffin tin, and using a spoon fill with batter until about 1/8" from top rim. Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool and enjoy!