Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rhubarb Banana Gluten-Free Muffins

Bubs is sure he wants the muffin in front.

I am in the throes of a full-fledged rhubarb obsession. I was so easy to dismiss this beautiful fruit? vegetable? stalk of deliciousness? when I was a teenager that now I feel like I need to seriously make up for my prior dismissive attitude. What gets me the most is that my mom has enough rhubarb to build a house out of it and I always turned my snooty little teenage nose up at it and now I live a couple of provinces away. Teenagers are such brats, but then again, if they weren't I'd have to share the world's rhubarb and I can be territorial.

No, no. He thinks he wants this one.

Another recent obsession of mine has been figuring out how to make a decent gluten-free crumble. I love(d) crumbles but since oats are off-limits, even though there are gluten-free oats in the world I'm still leery, so I'm left to figure it out myself. Lauren at Celiac Teen has something that I think is definitely coming close (good call on the tapioca pearls!) with a crumb mix which I've filed away in my little brain with all the other half-recipes I have floating around in there. My make-shift "crumb" is alright but I'm not completely satisfied with it. The reason why I'm adding it here is so that perhaps someone will have a suggestion and also because in this form it's still pretty yummy! Ideally I would add coconut flour and brown sugar to the amaranth and shredded coconut to really bring out that crumbly mix but unfortunately I did have any brown sugar. As for the coconut flour, I'm still a bit annoyed with coconut flour after the macarons fiasco and it's keeping it's tropical little butt out of here, i.e. I haven't bought any more.

This recipe yields about 6 giant muffins but I'm sure that I could have expanded on that if I had added a touch more liquid. I'm finding that gluten-free baking has completely ruined
re-worked my baking confidence and everything I thought I knew about baking. Mr. and I used to have a farmer's market based baking business and all that experience is kind of out the window. I'm getting there but it's a process. The properties I always took for granted when working with wheat flour have fled like the cat when Bubby is stomping around and pretending to be a monster.

Here I am, editing and finishing this post a few days after I started writing it. What that means is that the original recipe has been completely transformed and only good things have come with that time. This recipe is perfect for a morning batch of muffins because it is packed full of protein (that means energy!) without the fat but it still full of flavour. My whole family loved them, Bubby actually tried to con us into letting him eat two at breakfast yesterday! If you wanted to save time you could always throw together your dry ingredients the night before and just stick it in the fridge. If you do this, do not (I mean it!) mix your dry with wet: Baking powder has a lifespan of about 30 minutes once it comes in contact with moisture. You'll have very yummy pucks if you do this, how do I know this? Mr. and I tried to save time one week for the baking business by pre-mixing a bunch of the recipes. Come Friday morning (the day before market) we were out of ingredients and full of little disks. Not cool.

Secret deliciousness.
The Recipe

65 g white rice flour
45 g teff flour
45 g quinoa flour
45 g soy flour
20 g arrowroot flour
6 g guar gum*
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
100 g sugar
1/2 cup yogurt (I used a rich, plain goat yogurt.)
3 bananas
4 tbsp. soy milk/horchata
2 tsp. vanilla

reserve: rhubarb mint jam and quark - or another creamy, tangy cheese. I get my quark from Ranchers Acres, a goat farm in the Annapolis Valley. Their products are simply beautiful. If you do not have rhubarb jam you could aways stew a couple of stalks of rhubarb and use that, have fun with it!

1. In one bowl mix all your dry ingredients. I like to use a whisk it until it is very fine and you can't see where one flour begins and the other ends.

2. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, except the milk. This will be used later if you find the batter is too thick.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the mix of wet ingredients and stir.

4. If needed (I certainly did!) add the milk and until a smooth batter.

5. Ladle into greased muffin sheets. Only fill the cups halfway because this is where you add the secret delicious part. Spoon about a dessert spoon each of rhubarb jam and quark (you could use any soft, tangy cheese). Cover completely with more batter. Sprinkle the crumb mix on top.

6. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick in the centre comes out clear.

My muffin pans are quite large, if yours are not so big adjust the time down. The first time I made this recipe I set the time for 20 minutes and then judged from there, you should no doubt do the same thing if you are concerned about over-baking.

The Crumb Mix

Oh, this baby came about after great trial and error, and most of my amaranth. I also made about 8 million cups too many.

In a non-stick pan combine equal parts shredded coconut and amaranth. Toast on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. After it has started popping a bit (it really does sound like popcorn!), sprinkle approximately a tablespoon of white sugar on top. Toss a couple of times and remove from heat.

I store the extra in a tupperware container in the fridge. It keeps really well and it is a fantastic coating for chicken (thank you hubby!). It's pretty versatile so you can definitely keep it around for a bit.

I am not much of a breakfast person, though I do love my brunch! That being said written, I could definitely eat these muffins every morning! I always end up using soy flour, despite my reservations about soy ... does anyone have an alternative they like? I am still fairly new to gluten-free baking and I'm still testing all my options.


  1. these muffins look good -- i will try them without the jam. As for the streusel, have you tried quinoa flakes in place of the oats? look in the gf cereal section. You might also try just using finely chopped nuts for the oats.

  2. Anonymous: Thanks! I just found the quinoa flakes a few days ago, I had just been operating under the assumption that I wouldn't be able to find them. I'd try nuts but I prefer baked goods without nuts.