Friday, February 21, 2014

Gluten-Free Oatmeal & Sweet Potato Breakfast Muffins

Okay, so it's been forever since I posted a new recipe. I honestly don't know where the time has gone, but here I am with one of my most recent creations: a gluten-free and nutritious oatmeal & sweet potato muffin. 

As most of us know, it's really hard to get the right texture from gluten-free baked goods; glu(e)ten is basically the "glue" that holds it all together. So, the other day I was making old-fashioned oatmeal, noticed the sticky texture, and wondered how oat flour would work in this recipe I'd been dreaming up... Turns out, really well! 

Oats have a unique composition of fiber and other nutrients that make them a particularly powerful tool for lowering cholesterol, reducing risk of heart disease, stabilizing blood sugar, and even enhancing our immune response to bacterial infection (1). You often see oats on the list of stuff you can't eat if you're going gluten-free, but this is because they're often processed in the same facility as wheat or other grains and have become cross-contaminated. Oats themselves do not have gluten, so all you have to do is buy a certified GF brand

This recipe calls for both whole oats as well as oat flour. But don't worry about buying a bag of oat flour because it's super easy to make your own. For 1 cup of flour, simply place 1 1/3 cups of oats in your food processor/Vitamix and pulse/blend until it's the consistency of flour. It takes less than 2 minutes! 

Another ingredient in these muffins that I've been really into lately is ghee, or "liquid gold" as they call it in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic doctors say it will do everything from improve memory and digestion to loosen tight hamstrings. So what the heck is this magical ingredient? Well, it's clarified butter, or butter that has been melted down and had milk solids removed. Ghee is also lactose and casein free - lactose intolerants of the world rejoice! That being said, unfortunately if you have a severe dairy allergy (which is different than an intolerance), you'll most likely still react to ghee. If that applies to you, try coconut oil in this recipe instead.

The sweet potatoes themselves add a good amount of sweetness to this recipe, but to bump it up an extra notch I added some maple syrup. First of all, maple syrup and sweet potato are a delicious flavor combination. Second of all, maple syrup has greater nutritional value than cane sugar - it's a rich source of minerals such as manganese and zinc, and vitamins such as A, niacin and folic acid (2). I recommend buying Grade B maple syrup because it's darker, thicker and richer in flavor.

Click on the following links to read articles I've written on some of the other ingredients in these muffins: sweet potato, almond milk, and chia seeds

Ingredients
Makes 12 muffins 
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
1 cup gluten-free oat flour (or 1 1/3 cups of oats ground in the vitamix or food processor)
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup 
1/4 cup organic ghee (or coconut oil)
1/2 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 organic egg 
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp sea salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups. 

Cut two small, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Scoop out the insides and discard the skin. Place in a blender and blend with the ghee. 

In a medium bowl, beat the egg lightly. Add maple syrup, whisk until combined. Add almond milk, sweet potato mixture, chia seeds and vanilla, whisk until combined.

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together except for the walnuts.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stir in walnuts. 

Distribute batter evenly between your muffin cups.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Enjoy!



(1) Whfoods
(2) Livestrong

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