Almond Chia Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are bursting with blueberries and packed full of delicious nutrition! A new take on an old favorite- without the gluten, refined sugar, and disease-causing trans fats that can be found in most commercially prepared muffins.  Not only do these hearty treats omit the nasty stuff, they include some of the most potent superfoods in existence. Make your own muffins for better taste, and better health!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup almond flour/meal

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, preferably sprouted (sprouted flour is sometimes available at the organic food coop)

1/2 cup dried shredded coconut or coconut flour

1 cup fresh blueberries, wild if possible, as they have a greater range of nutrition

1/4 cup chia seeds, dry

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup homemade almond milk, or rice milk

1/2 cup maple syrup, or coconut palm sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil (melt gently)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C / Gas Mark 4.

chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which we need!

First prepare chia “eggs” by whisking the chia seeds in the almond or rice milk, and allow the mixture to set while you prepare the other ingredients. You may want to whisk it with a fork a couple of times to ensure it is well mixed. The result is a thick gel.

To make your own almond flour, use a nut mill or strong food processor with the “S” blade to grind the nuts into a fine flour. In a large bowl combine the nut flour with brown rice flour, dried coconut, baking powder, salt, and coconut sugar if you are using it.

If you are using maple syrup, combine it in a separate bowl with the other wet ingredients- vanilla, coconut milk, coconut oil, and chia “eggs.” Whisk all wet ingredients together well, and combine with the dry ingredients. Stir well to make a thick batter.

Next, gently fold in blueberries with a spatula, so that they are evenly distributed.

Lightly grease a muffin tin with a touch of coconut oil. Alternatively, you can use pre-made baking cups (environmentally-friendly ones, of course! recycled and bleach-free).

Spoon batter into the muffin tins, without overfilling, as the muffins will rise slightly.

Bake at 350 F / Gas Mark 4/ 180 C for 20-25 minutes, so that the muffin tops are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then upend the muffin tin and gently tap out the muffins.

Enjoy! Try these muffins with some warm coconut butter spread, for an extra-luscious treat.

Makes about 12-14 muffins.

Zucchini Noodles with Macadamia Raw Alfredo

Here’s a rich raw vegan version of a dish that’s typically full of gluten and animal fats. Yes, yes, I know that many people claim that saturated animal fats are necessary and good for you- some even claim that butter and cream are not fattening.  Sure.

The nuts used to make this dish are high in a different sort of fat, that is, raw monounsaturated fatty acids, typically known as “good fats.”  Because the fats are raw, their molecules are not deranged, as those of cooked fats often are. Macadamia nuts are high in magnesium and trace minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, and selenium. While this dish is not exactly what you’d find in a pasteria in Italy, it is interesting, nutritious, and extremely tasty nonetheless!

The first step is to make the noodles. You can make “fettuccine” by peeling long slices of zucchini with your ordinary vegetable peeler- just keep peeling the whole courgette into long, thin, flat strips. In these photos, I used a spiralizer to make noodles that are similar to spaghetti. Spiralizers are easy to find at your local kitchenware shop, or online. They are an inexpensive but invaluable tool to the raw-foodist, and can be used to cut thin noodles or thick ribbons of firm vegetables or fruits such as carrot, beet, cucumber, radish, or apple.

Zucchini is very low calorie, and a great source of vitamin A, carotene, folate, and manganese. It’s subtle flavor pairs well with the rich alfredo sauce. Choose baby zucchini for better flavor and denser texture.  Avoid larger squashes that will be too watery.

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NUT ALFREDO:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1/4 cup pinenuts

1 tsp cold-pressed hempseed oil

1 tsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed and minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/2 tsp dried tarragon, and/or 1/4 tsp yellow mustard powder

tiny pinch of ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

cracked black pepper to taste

water to blend, about 1/3 cup

TO PREPARE:

Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender, adding the water slowly to so there’s enough to blend until creamy, but still keeping the sauce thick. Blend well until smooth.

THE FINAL DISH:

Lightly toss the noodles with the sauce, top with fresh halved cherry tomatoes or chopped oil-soaked sundried tomatoes, a sprinkle of fresh parsely, and a healthy dash of cracked black pepper. Enjoy!