Ah, a glorious Friday off.
We took a drive in the country for some awesome BBQ pork sandwiches.
Carolina-style, baby. After pigging out (pun intended), we took a 5 1/2 mile hike around a local lake.
It took us about 2 hours, I didn’t bring my Garmin, just wanted to soak it all in and have a fun day without any technology.
Some parts of the trail were along the lake.
Other parts were in the sunny open prairie.
The wooded sections of trail were my favorite.
We even crossed a dam.
The trail varied from packed dirt to mowed grass, and the temps hovered right around 60 degrees with abundant sunshine. All the fresh country air made us sleepy, so we stopped at Starbucks afterward for a round of iced Americanos. Refreshing.
The coffee tasted great with the Gluten-Free/Paleo Carrot Banana Muffins that I made last night.
Since I dropped the “p-word”, I want to explain, I am not doing the Paleo diet. I do want to eat more protein and more meat and vegetables because I am learning that I actually feel better doing so. As someone who ate a mostly vegetarian diet because I believed it made me feel better, I am learning that I actually feel better with meat and less carbs and less gluten! I don’t believe in any one sort of diet of eating-style, just balance. I’m not going Paleo, or gluten-free or any strict diet (although for those who do, I think that is great!) but I do want to eat less carbs, less sugar, less alcohol and more protein, vegetables and fruit. I’m not going to eliminate pasta or bread or a sugary dessert here and there, just changing the balance of foods and trying to cut back on those. And as always, clean eating is important. I don’t know a whole lot about the Paleo Diet, but I do find it amusing that these are labeled Paleo muffins since I doubt the “cavemen” ate baked carrot and banana muffins! ;-) Maybe I’m missing something.
In the end, it’s just a name.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a muffin by any other name would taste just as sweet.”
Back to the muffins, here are the ingredients:
Almond flour, carrots, bananas, dates, eggs, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. No sugar or flour!
The finished muffins.
Yes, I used Halloween paper liners. I don’t normally use liners at all, but I had these sitting in the baker’s cupboard for over 3 years now and figured I might as well use them.
These were really good! The only fault I found was that the cinnamon was a little strong, and they are a little too moist. I blended the bananas, dates, eggs, vinegar and coconut oil in the Vitamix and stirred that into the dry ingredients. It could be my method of blending in the high-powered Vitamix vs. a food processor, or the ratio of ingredients or the nature of gluten-free muffins. I’m not really sure as I don’t have a lot of experience baking gluten-free so I don’t know yet what to expect. They still tasted good, and I don’t mind the moistness, but they are definitely different from your typical muffins.
Here is the recipe for Carrot Banana Muffins, which seem to be basically the same recipe that is posted on Elana’s Pantry. There are only slight differences between the two. One thing I noticed is that Elana’s recipe calls for melted coconut oil. I did not do this step, just whipped it all up in the Vitamix in its solid state.
I love how they are sweetened naturally with dates, not sugar. I can feel good about eating these treats.
Call them Paleo, call them gluten-free, call them healthy, but just call them good!
What is your favorite gluten-free muffin recipe?