Dig In: Black Forest and strawberry-banana muffins are healthy treats (recipe)
I love being able to say “yes” to my kids. There are so many things that I must say “no” to for safety and sanity’s sake that it’s a delight to say “yes” to their more benign requests. So it pains me when I can’t give my daughter something I’ve baked because she is allergic to almonds. Yes, almonds. The most common ingredient in Paleo baking is the one thing that she can’t have, so I’m always on the lookout for almond-free recipes that can be an easy “yes.” The other great irony, of course, is that she never wants to try them. She senses my eagerness and immediately turns up her nose. Luckily, I have plenty of more willing taste testers.
Here are two terrific muffin recipes for early summer fruit. Don’t feel like baking? Both muffins will be available all summer long at the Bun in the Oven High Nutrient Bakery booth at the weekly farmers markets in Dillon, Breckenridge, Keystone, Idaho Springs, Avon and Minturn.
Black Forest muffins
Grain-free, dairy-free and almond-free. Makes 12 muffins.
1 pound raw, organic pecan pieces (about 4 cups)
4 pasture-raised eggs
2/3 cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup soy-free chocolate chunks (I love Enjoy Life brand)
1 cup local, organic cherries, pitted (about 40 cherries)
Soak and dehydrate the pecans (optional). Soaking eliminates the toxic phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors lurking in most nuts. But it’s sort of a pain. It won’t make a difference in this recipe, but it’s a great idea for health reasons. For more about soaking nuts, see Sally Fallon’s cookbook, “Nourishing Traditions.”
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using a food processor, grind the pecans into a smooth butter. This takes a few minutes. Just when you’ve given up hope, it will come together. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, maple syrup, sea salt, vanilla and baking soda to the food processor, and puree into a uniform mixture. Add the chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup cherries, and puree for about 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and puree again for just a couple of seconds. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cherries, and scoop the batter evenly into a lined muffin tin (try using an ice cream scoop). Bake for about 30 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
Grain-free, dairy-free and nut-free. Makes 12 muffins.
3 ounces local organic strawberries (fresh or frozen)
¾ cup honey
6 pasture-raised eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces coconut flour
3.3 ounces tapioca flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 medium banana, overripe
¾ cup coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Add the honey, eggs and vanilla, and puree until combined. Combine the dry ingredients and the banana in a bowl, and stir in the wet ingredients. The stirring will mash the banana. I like to leave a few bigger chunks.
Finally, stir in the coconut oil. If you add the coconut oil at the same time as a very cold ingredient (such as eggs straight out of the refrigerator or frozen strawberries), it will clump up and harden.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
Strawberry season dashes in and out of Colorado in the blink of an eye, so buy as many as you can as quickly as you can, and get them in the freezer. A strawberry huller is a neat tool that will make that job a lot easier.
Striving to grow made-from-scratch kids in a machine-made world, Julia Landon is the chef-owner of Bun in the Oven High Nutrient Bakery. Landon can be contacted at email@example.com. Find more inspiration and additional paleo ice pop recipes at http://www.bun intheovenfrisco.com or on Instagram or Twitter @BITOFrisco.