Bread, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Feeding Babies, Snack, Summer

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

gluten free zucchini muffins

Loves! I posted about this zucchini loaf/muffins I've been working on over on Instagram and you were like hungry little wolves insisting that I post the recipe asap. So, here we are, a few weeks later, which is as asap as it'll get around here. 

Because most of the cooking I do is simple assembly and layering basics rather than advanced skills and technique, the dishes I write for work *usually* turn out by the second time I test them. I can often run this success rate with baking by just tinkering with other recipes and changing the flavor profile. However, I have made about 8-10 rounds of zucchini carrot muffins, all edible, but certainly not eligible to post on the internet with my name on them. I tried to make them maple sweetened (too much moisture), all almond flour (too heavy, also wet),  I squeezed the moisture out of the veg and still, resembling a frittata more so than a muffin, and so on. I mentioned in this peanut butter oatmeal entry a couple weeks ago that my kids are all about baked goods, so I will not rest until I can pack vegetables in them!

I'm not going to say what we have here is perfect but I am happy with where they are and I need the tweaking to just be done. I have a painter friend who says sometimes she just needs to call the piece finished. Lacquer it, take a picture, and move on, even when she knows she *could* keep working on it, because she can end up ruining it instead. I listen to podcasts of entrepreneurs who suggest to put things out there; let people see them and use them and respond, instead of keeping your project quiet, hoping you get closer to perfect. So, if you do make these, tell me what you did or what you would change. I love chatting about food in this space with ya'll, so if you have tips, share them with others in the comments.  

gluten free zucchini muffins - shredded zucchini

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

Makes 10

I have used super fine brown rice flour in a baking before and many of you noted that it is a bit tricky to stock. I buy it here, but there are alternatives. If you do not need these gluten free, simply use unbleached all purpose flour in its place. I would still suggest using the almond flour or meal in combination, as it keeps the muffins more tender. These are on the low end of the sweet scale, if you want them more of a treat, add a few more tablespoons of sugar. 

The timing is written for 10 muffins, and I find their delicate nature is best in that format. You can bake the batter in a greased loaf for closer to 45 minutes, sticking a toothpick in the center to make sure it isn't too wet.
This muffin tin is my favorite forever and ever.

Ingredients

2 eggs
1/3 cup avocado or coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup superfine rice flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup grated zucchini, about 1 medium/large
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks

turbinado sugar, to finish, optional

Instructions

Start by grating the zucchini (I do a blend of small holes and large holes on a box grater because I can't decide). Preheat the oven to 360' and grease a muffin tin. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, vanilla, vinegar and buttermilk or yogurt, until well combined. Add the almond flour, rice flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar and stir until combined. Add the zucchini and chocolate and fold it in.

Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full (they don't rise much) and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top, if using. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes, or until golden around the edge and a little tap on the center bounces back at you. 

Remove to cool completely. Keep covered at room temperature for 2 days, or in the fridge any longer than that.

A split and toasted muffin is the best muffin, but straight out of the hand is delicious too. 

gluten free zucchini muffin
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INTRODUCING : SK COOKING CLUB

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Before you roll your eyes at one more blogger/influencer person selling you something. Hear me out. Most of you don't know me personally enough to hold your trust, but I can say with utmost confidence, that I believe this product can help people.

Some time last year, I started working on a third cookbook. When I got about 40% of the way through, I tried to sell the idea to my publisher. I was working on this project diligently, madly in love with many of the recipes, having them tested, we'd shot about half, and then I got turned down. The cookbook world continues to be a super over saturated market, and with all the different diets these days, it is only becoming more so. They didn't think my book would sell without a strong hook, and I couldn't come up with one that felt true to the way that I cook and eat. We eat a moderate, healthy-ish diet. Sometimes I feed tables full of friends and other nights I attend to picky toddlers. I'm all in with the coconut yogurt and the gluten free baked goods, but I will also sit and watch Queer Eye with a pint of McConnells Peppermint Stick if the spirit leads. I shoot down the middle with these circumstances, and apparently, that doesn't sell. I do not take that personally. That doesn't mean never, but it does mean not right now. I was surprised and disappointed, because that was the trajectory my life had been going the last six years. I blogged, I wrote cookbooks, and honestly have NO clue what my career pivot is from here. So more cookbooks, right? Apparently not.

I tell my kids to problem solve. I may have a tendency to do things for them because it's quicker, but in a good parenting head space, my job is to guide them into figuring out how to solve problems on their own. So I took my own advice. Problem solve, Sara. Par it down. Why am I doing this? I like taking care of people. Food is the most natural creative expression in how I can live out that care taking. I want to sit around a table and listen and laugh and cry. There are studies that say the happiest people ever are is around a table, enjoying food with people. How can I push people towards that happy place? I pursue good health in a number of ways, but the community I have nurtured here, is by way of feeding our bodies wholesome foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, foods cooked from scratch, and making things taste good because eating is for pleasure as well as for sustenance. I'm sharing recipes because I want to encourage people to cook and eat with people. I can do that, perhaps even more acutely and intimately, by way of the program we're creating in Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club.

If your interest is perked, head to this page to read more about what it is. If you're ready to go, you can sign up here. Per request, there will also be a gifting option, which will be available in the shop, so you can purchase the program for a friend or sibling who may enjoy cooking along with you. This is not designed for the super competent cook, these will be simple, straight forward meals intended to spice up and simplify the dinner process. I know we all have different tastes and preferences, but I am hoping this will be a really neat community where we can share ideas about what we changed or did with the leftover dressing, etc.

One way or another, it is worth expressing my gratitude to you all, who have been fans and supporters of Sprouted Kitchen in all its forms, and given me the confidence that I have something valuable to share. There is nothing that humbles me more than your kind notes or seeing your pictures of my food in your kitchens. 

Sign up! Let's make dinner together. 
 

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Breakfast, Feeding Babies, Gluten Free

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA OATMEAL CUPS

oatmeal cups with peanut butter and banana

I do love breakfast. I enjoy the ritual of warm coffee with a glug of coconut creamer, first thing. The first hot sip, just creamy enough; two hands wrapped around my mug. It's not the caffeine, I like decaf just the same, it's just the ritual. I appreciate that there are less choices food wise, a narrower expectation, so when I make avocado toast with everything bagel seasoning, an over easy egg and fresh tomato for a month straight, I don't tire of it. Nothing else sounds better, so I'll take the usual.

 The kids don't feel quite as romantic about morning rituals. How do they come out the gate so raring to go? Curran can start the toast while I cut some fruit, and get an egg going for each of them.  We'll do loaded green protein shakes if we're on the go, breakfast sandwiches if the avocados need to be used, homemade waffles and pancakes with goat yogurt, honey and seeds on the weekends, and they inhale chicken breakfast sausages like they may not have a chance to eat for the rest of the day. The littlest isn't keen on a bowl of oats, but if they come in muffin format, it qualifies as a pastry and it is met with enthusiasm. Because some mornings I just can't with the buffet. Especially with school mornings coming up next week, it will be nice to have something easy. 

I started with this baked oatmeal ratio and changed a few things to make them more portable. I added some chocolate protein powder and peanut butter so the little pucks taste like a treat... relatively speaking. I can see these going so many directions - stick with the berry profile, you could add pureed pumpkin or sweet potato for more vitamins and fiber, or chocolate chips! Because who doesn't love a breakfast with a wee bit of chocolate? So while I thought these were just going to be for the kids, they're perfect to grab en route to the gym, or for anyone getting out the door quick in the morning. Anyway, hope these are helpful! 

peanut butter banana oatmeal cups

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA OATMEAL CUPS

Makes 12

Someone will ask if you can use muffin liners, and I think so, though I haven't tried. I use this muffin tin and with a little coconut oil, things pop out no problem. I find that liners, with a semi wet batter, just steam and stick together. I used just one egg here so they are tender and delicate, ours still stayed together well enough to eat like a muffin. They could take a second egg if you want them to be more solid. Also, if you want more of a porridge texture, warm one up with almond milk and mix to combine. Add berries, fruit etc. from there. 
Protein powders we like: Ora Organics, Amazing Grass, and if you don't care if it's plant based, Lean Pro Matrix. 

INGREDIENTS

2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, warmed
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp. sea salt, adjust based on your peanut butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups unsweetened nut or regular milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (optional)
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 scant teaspoon baking powder
1 Tbsp. flax meal, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350' and grease a muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine the mashed banana, egg, oil, maple and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the peanut butter, salt, cinnamon, nut milk, vanilla and protein powder. Stir in the oats, baking powder and flaxmeal and let it all sit a few minutes. 

Distribute the mixture between the tins, should leave you with 12, about 2/3 full (they don't rise). Bake for 20 minutes or until you press on the center and it is tender, but not squishy wet. They will continue to set as they cool. They are fine at room temperature for a day, then keep cups stored in the fridge for up to a week. 
 

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