mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

Earlier this week, our pillow talk included a how-long-can-you-hold-you-breath contest. I lost, Hugh capable of cutting off oxygen about twice as long as I could. I likely could have gone longer but I was afraid of passing out. This has less to do with my lung capacity, more to do with fear of pain, but that's another issue. This tumbled into looking into the world record for breath holding. You guys. TWENTY TWO MINUTES. I can do a lot of things in twenty two minutes, surviving under water is not one of them. What is so fascinating is that this Dutchman's method for dropping his resting heart rate is meditation by recalling childhood memories and imprinted mental imagery. Stig! You breath-holding genius. So I played the game myself, except I included breathing, as I tried to fall asleep. This is usually a process for me, falling asleep that is - going to the bathroom a dozen times, tossing and smushing my pillow for optimum head elevation and trying not to think about my list for tomorrow.  I also gave it a go as I was having a cavity filled. Novocaine shots! They make my hands clammy. I need major calming and to mentally go to a happy place.

I got thinking about past family vacations from when we were kids. We never did anything extravagant, but they are some of the most vivid memories I have of childhood. We had yearly trips with other families to San Clemente (yes, 15 minutes south) for beach camping. I remember my dad cursing every time while putting up the tent, orchestrating those long poles in a mangled X over the top, dirt sticking everywhere, we came of age when he offered to pay the teenage boys in the group to do it for him. The kids made the rounds on bikes as the parents unloaded for the weekend. It was here that I timidly rollerbladed, not completely grasping how to use the brake on the heal. Never the athletic one. Always cautious. The Costco size bag of powdered donuts we chipped away at for breakfast, the ones with so much powdered sugar they made your mouth dry or the tuna salad with Ritz crackers my sister and I ate under the bridge that the Amtrak train went over. Us and our favorite girlfriends put our backs up against the wall to feel the heavy vibration of the train rumble through our bodies as it went right over our heads. It was at this campground that we all sat around a campfire with the radio playing through a car stereo the evening Princess Diana died, and where I learned to shave my legs in those public showers that cost a quarter for five minutes of warm water. None of these memories euphoric in nature, but I can see them, like pictures, in my memory, and they are calming for the mere fact that these moments existed. Days, weeks, they're always in motion, but I can think back and time stands still. Maybe that is what is so peaceful about good childhood memories. They never include a hustle, weighty emotions pushed to the periphery of our memory, but they can be recalled as fine, almost delicate snapshots of our own story. 

We have no camping plans coming up, but if I were to replace those powdered donuts today, I would bring along these muffins. They're barely adapted from Rebecca Katz' cookbook. It's a naturally gluten and dairy free recipe, which most of her book is composed of. What I love most is all the great nutritional information in the beginning and how she promotes eating to enhance life, longevity and good health.  I swapped out blueberries for some roasted strawberries, but any small pieces of fruit will do here. Maybe a peach with cinnamon? With mini muffs, you want to be certain the pieces of fruit are small or they take up too much space in the muffin, not leaving enough room for the batter that holds it all together. Take that and run with it, the base recipe is just lovely and simple. The season of the super sweet, gorgeous strawberries is fading, so I roasted some down to stir into the almondy batter. Even if you do use another fruit, promise me you'll roast some strawberries before the summer is over just so you can soak in that smell. Sweet heavens, that smell is going on the list of my happy places next time I get a shot. "I know when to add chocolate chips to a backed good. Always." Thank you, chez Hugh. The chocolate takes them into the perfect afternoon snack category when you need a little something special. Glad to have these in the rotation.

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen


Recipe adapted from The Longevity Kitchen by Rebecca Katz

The original recipe calls for two cups almond meal. I subbed in a bit of cornmeal because I love how it pairs with berries, the occasional bit of crunch, and wanted to see if I could just barely pull the flavor through. Either way should work. I am new to playing with coconut sugar and really love the sandy texture and almost smoky, caramely smell. It turns the end result a bit more murky brown but I'm not too concerned with that. A maple sugar, muscavado or natural cane sugar would work fine here as well. 

If using a standard muffin tin, I am guessing you'll want to add about 5-7 minutes to the baking time. Haven't tried it yet, so just keep an eye on them. 

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup roasted strawberries*
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips, optional

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 375'. Prepare a mini muffin tin with paper liners, or coat the pan generously with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, cornmeal, baking soda, coconut sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, olive oil, honey, almond and vanilla extracts together. Whisk it up real well until fully combined and even in color. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir to mix. The batter will be fairly thick. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips. Fill the muffin liners to the top, they don't poof too much.

Bake on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Turn the muffins on their sides in the pan, or remove to a wire rack to cool. 

*Roasted Strawberries: Oven to 350'. Toss 4 cups quartered strawberries with a pinch of salt and 2 tsp. melted coconut oil (or olive oil works too). This will do for ripe, juicy berries. If yours are dry or lacking flavor, add a splash of maple or honey to sweeten. Spread them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until juicy and reduced in size. Set aside to cool. This may yield more than you need for the recipe. Mix the extras in plain yogurt or in your morning oatmeal. 

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

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Reader Comments (63)

These look like perfect little morsels! I just bought a batch of strawberries, some of which were just a bit bland. This will be perfect for them! Thanks!

July 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane @ Vintage Zest

Gosh, how I love your writing. I needed to read this today. We can be our own sanctuaries even in the most difficult times. The mind is powerful.

Something is that's powerful is the delicious smell of roasted strawberries in the oven. These muffins sound great! Can't wait to try 'em :)

July 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

I too have such fond memories of family vacations... Though I must admit a lot of the details have disappeared and all I can recall is the joyous feeling I had. That's ok, though... I'll take it.

I'm loving the textures in this muffin recipe. I'm such a fan of the grittiness cornmeal provides.

Looking forward to trying this, and especially to roasting some strawberries. Love that you included that second set of photos that is oh so Dexter-esque. :)

July 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristina

22 MINUTES!!? What the!? That is really incredible. I never went camping as a kid even though both my parents went practically every weekend during the summer with their families during their childhood. I'm guessing it's the same reason my mother refuses to eat spaghetti: she had it so much growing up that she just can't fathom wanting it ever again.

I will definitely be making these muffins this weekend...

July 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJade Sheldon-Burnsed

The breath holding competition, and then looking it up on the internet so sounds like my husband and I. We do that sort of thing all the time. As for the record, I can't believe someone can hold their breath for 22 minutes. Amazing!

These muffins are just gorgeous. I love the roasted strawberries.

July 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer @ Delicieux

Roasted strawberries muffins!? Sounds too perfect! I think I have all of these ingredients.... Looks like I know what's for breakfast tomorrow!

loved these delicate snapshots, my friend! I also love that you had a breath-holding contest whilst pillow talking. (: I agree with the extreme goodness of childhood memories - there's not much better! you're right, too, about the peacefulness of those memories, and I'd never thought of it quite that way... though I know I've wished, while recalling similar memories, that I could get the peaceful sense back in my life today. thanks, as always, for the good words and delicious recipe! xo

July 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

These look wonderful, perfect little bites with gorgeous juicy strawberries and chocolate.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Stig is indeed on to something. And so are you with these beauts. Happy dreams, lady!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertara

Roasted strawberries are my very favourite thing at the moment. I will throw them in anything I can right now; they're wonderful purple jewels. Excited to try these muffins.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

Mmm these sound so freaking good!

Wow! Looks like a lovely set of healthy muffins. :) They're the perfect snack for the health-conscious and for people who love strawberries like me. When you mentioned how hard it was for you to hold your breath underwater for about 20 minutes, I can totally relate because I have the same problem. My fear of drowning always takes over me as I had a drowning accident when I was 9 years old and was rescued by a stranger, thankfully. It is an amazing technique to think about childhood memories and meditate to be able to hold your breath longer underwater, but that would be challenging for me. Still I will try it maybe it will work. Thanks for sharing the recipe of your berry muffins, will try making them during the weekend.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKyie Claud

I haven't ever used coconut sugar before - is it like regular sugar? Have been looking for gluten free muffin recipes and this looks like a great one. The texture of almond flour with soft cooked fruit is always lovely.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura @ PassTheKnife

Ummmm!!! Looks jummy and healthy. I have never think on roasting strawberries before adding them to muffins.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiria

I just spent the day developing an almond meal and strawberry recipe. Great minds! I'll have to give this one a shot. Looks amazing!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea

Strawberry meal muffins!! A perfect combination!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannes Uys

I noticed that you often use olive oil in your cooking, even when cooking over high heat. I have heard a lot about the negative effects of heating olive oil to a high temperature. I think I have heard that at a certain temperature, it releases carcinogens. Just curious... is there a reason why you cook with olive oil and not an oil with a higher heat capacity? I'm still unsure myself about what oil to use when cooking. I try to use coconut oil as much as possible.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Oh my gosh, these look so so amazing. I seriously wish I had some almond flour right now so I could make these. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ Tasty Yummies

@Megan - these muffins were a recipe from another cookbook and I try to stay fairly close to the original. I think coconut oil would work great here and swap it in for baking often, works great (except cookies, a bit more temperamental there). Maybe it's habit for me? Maybe because Hugh doesn't care for the smell/taste of coconut oil? I don't have a good reason :) I try not to use it in a super hot sauté, but it does fine it's way in a number of my recipes here. I hope readers take that liberty. You are always welcome to change the oil to your preference! Thanks for the note, I'll stay more aware of it.

July 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterSara

Lovely writing here, Sara. That idea of childhood memories being calming even when they're not especially euphoric, if only because they existed and you can recall them, when you want to, at will? YES. That makes so much sense to me.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShanna

These are a perfect use for my leftover almond meal when I make milk. And they look delicious. :) Thank you!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKali Ramey Martin

I just bought a mini muffin pan to make potato nests, looking forward to trying this recipe with my new pan!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary

These look so good! I was just looking for a healthy muffin recipe to try out, and these are perfect. I think I'll have to try roasting blueberries instead of strawberries, since we have an extreme abundance of the former and none of the latter. Regardless, I can't wait to give these a try!



July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

Sara, your writing is off the charts good! I remember us sitting in my room in our Peach Street house and you saying you didn't know how you would ever put your English degree into use. Look at you now, lady! So proud!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercourtney leduc

Beautifully written, Sara. I recall summers that involved catching lightning bugs, running through the sprinkler, jumping on my banana seat bike with the rainbow spokes, making lemonade, and picking huge zucchinis from our garden. Thinking about these provides me peace and comfort. A time when I was present and in the moment - Perhaps that's why I remember them it well. These muffins look delicious - a perfect summer comfort. As always, thanks for the good words and eats :)

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen O.

I definitely consider you brave. I recently had 2 cavities filled and I had them put me out! So, go you!

Lovely recipe! I will totally have to get my hands on this cookbook.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Thanks so much for a grain-free muffin - I'm going to try the original 2 cups of almond flour! Love the roasted strawberry twist! Lovely!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleslie-anne

looks so yum! thanks for sharing!

XO, Stefanie
Life on the Squares

beautiful creation. I am loving balsamic roasted strawberries more than anything

Love the idea of roasted strawberries! Sounds delicious, especially as a bite-sized treat!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

These are absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! xx

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Sounds like what me and the hubby would do as well -- totally a relief that we aren't alone in the "holding the breath" contest ;)

Love roasted berries especially this time of the year!

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKiran @

These look so moist and delicious. It is really hard to come by a healthy muffin recipe. I have to make these!

July 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYohann

Looks delicious, I've never roasted strawberries before. Would this work are full-size muffins too? I have a feeling these bite size yummies might not be enough for me!

July 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

These muffins have jumped to the top of my to do list. Also just picked up your cookbook and am so addicted to it. Every recipe is calling out for me to make it. Great job you two, looking forward to more!!

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Sarah, these look totally amazing!

July 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterami@naivecookcooks

In the recipe it calls for 3/4 cup of strawberries, but later on says to roast 4 cups of strawberries. I was just wondering which quantity was the correct one. Thanks!

July 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

@Miranda - the 4 cups is for roasting the strawberries. Once you do that, THEN you use the 3/4 c. yield for the muffins. The berries shrink when roasting and yes, you may have more than you'll need but they're delicious.

July 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterSara

The muffins look amazing, can't wait to make them!! I am such a fan of your blog and have been following it and recommending it to others for quite some time now. It would be great to see other paleo like recipes! Thanks, Amelia x

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

Oh man, reading your account of camping with your family brought back good memories for me, too. Love love. And, a side note- I love how you blend life and food. Great work. :)

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShellina

Oh wow, these look so good. I'm a sucker for almond meal so these are definitely going on the to cook list!

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Oh my these look delightful! Can't wait to try! :)

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay Frélot

oh, how i love roasted strawberries....

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermolly

I can so relate to your vacations. My family didn't do anything that cost lots of money but I have such fond memories of them.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I roasted strawberries last night to put in my baked oatmeal.... they turned out great! I will forever roast strawberries now!

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKara

Thanks, Sara! I regret not reading that closely enough and so I roasted only 3/4 cup. Not enough strawberries! Otherwise they were great though, so I look forward to making them again with more strawberries!

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

i made these last night and they were delicious! i had to make adjustments based on what ingredients i had: i used dark muscavado (instead of the coconut sugar) and didn't quite have the 4 cups of strawberries but risked it anyway...and, ended up with 1/2 cups of roasted strawberries, which i used. i can't wait to make them again with more strawberries! yum! thank you sara for your beautiful website and some of my favorite dessert recipes!

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori G.

this looks SO GOOD

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlauren alysse

I made these today and they are so yummy! Not too sweet and the almond extract comes through just right. Even my 2 year old loved them. Thank you for yet another great recipe!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

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