• I want to publish a gluten free cookbook. I have no clue how it will happen. But I decided to finally put the word out into the universe. Meanwhile…..

    Intuitively, I’ve always known that there must be a formula for determining ingredients in recipes, in particular baked goods. But I never really tried or even knew that you could crack the code. That is until a few months ago when I read a book called Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. It changed forever how I think about baking. It gave me permission to enter the playground that is gluten free baking.

    And now my kitchen is constantly humming and buzzing and whirring with the sound of my stand mixer or my hand mixer or my food processor. Walk into my house almost any day and you’ll find me scribbling down notes as I create my own recipes or wearing an apron and making/baking yet something else for us to snack on and for me to blog about. Do I have a job, you ask? Yes, I have a job. My husband and I are fulltime children’s musicians. Thankfully, when we’re not recording music or touring, I’m happy to be at home playing in our kitchen.

    Weight, you ask? Have I gained weight? Nope. Frankly, I can’t believe how much my weight has stabilized since I began eating an almost completely vegan diet, even with the fairly regular addition of baked goods in my diet. And that my friends, is good news for the animals, for the planet, and for my health!

    So, let me share today’s creation. I woke up this morning with cranberries on my mind. And crystallized ginger. And muffins.

    Before I continue, please let me share with you a most amazing discovery. Do you remember chia pets? They were all the rage, oh, maybe back in the 70’s or 80’s. Those little clay animals with ridges all over their backs – you’d spill chia seeds on them and water them and they’d sprout grass.

    Well, guess what? Those chia seeds are back. But they’re not being used to water decorative pieces! They’re used in baking to replace eggs. And they are nutritional powerhouses. They’re very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more than flax seeds. And they are so full of antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for a very long time without becoming rancid. Nor do they need to be ground in order to make their nutrients available to the body. In fact, I tried grinding them in a mini food processor and it didn’t really work. Oh yes, and by the way, looking to add fiber to your diet and don’t want to drink that nasty orange stuff? Chia seeds provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. Are you convinced yet??!!

    So far I’ve used the chia seeds to make gluten free sandwich bread, chocolate chip cookies, and now these Cranberry Ginger Muffins. And it worked perfectly each time. I’m definitely sold.

    They’re a bit hard to find, though I think you can order them online. I bought my last bag at a small, local health store and I’ve seen them at Whole Foods. They do a similar job to flaxseeds when replacing eggs, but personally, I really like the way chia seeds perform.

    You might be intimidated by what appears to be a long list of flours and/or starches in my gluten free baked goods. Know this: my goal is twofold – I want to make delicious-tasting baked goods, but I don’t want to sacrifice nutrition. I was 50 years old when I was diagnosed with Celiac. I believe I had it for a VERY long time, maybe since childhood. For all those years that I was feeding myself but not absorbing nutrients, I feel that I have some making up to do. So, I try, when possible to use a blend of flours and starches, and I try to make sure that some of them are high in nutrition. I could go into a long, detailed explanation, but let it suffice to say that I aim for nutritious and delicious when I bake gluten free.

    Cranberry Ginger Muffins
    makes 12 muffins

    Dry Ingredients:
    1/2 cup teff flour
    1/2 cup potato starch
    1/4 cup sweet white rice flour
    1/4 cup sorghum flour
    1/4 cup millet flour
    1/4 cup light buckwheat flour
    2 tbsp tapioca starch
    2 tbsp arrowroot
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup white sugar
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp xanthan gum
    1/2 tsp guar gum

    Wet Ingredients:
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    3/4 cup milk (room temperature is best, I used hemp milk, but any alternative milk will do)
    1/4 cup canola or grapeseed or safflower oil

    Add in’s:
    1 cup fresh cranberries
    2 tbsp crystallized chopped ginger
    granulated sugar for sprinkling

    Egg replacement:
    1 tbsp chia seeds
    1/4 cup boiling water

    Thirty minutes before making the muffins, pour the 1/4 cup of boiling water over the chia seeds. Allow the mixture to sit and gel.

    Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend with a whisk. Set aside.

    Mix the wet ingredients in a measuring cup or a small bowl until well-combined. Add to the dry ingredients and blend. Add the chia seed mixture. Finally, add the cranberries and crystallized ginger. Blend well though be careful not to overmix the batter.

    Use a spoon or a small ice cream scoop (sprayed first with vegetable spray) to pour the batter into your muffin tin. Sprinkle the top of each muffin, before baking, with a small amount of granulated sugar. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. I would recommend that you let these rest in the muffin tin for about five minutes before taking them out and letting them rest further on a cooling rack. I find that many gluten free baked goods really need some time to set up AFTER they bake.

    By the way, though I haven’t tried it, I feel pretty confident that you can substitute the equivalent of two eggs using Energ-G Egg replacement and water. Check the box for instructions.

    Click here for printable recipe

    Enjoy! Hey, and if you are yearning for a particular baked good and need to find a gluten free recipe for it, let me know. I love a good challenge!
    • Ali

      I'd be interested in your cookbook if you did one!

    • G-B

      Thank you so much for the muffin recipe! I can't wait to try it!

      I was thinking earlier today about holiday baking. There are a lot of Christmas cookies that I can do without. One of my favorite memories, however, is making pizzelles with my mom. I haven't searched yet, but thought I'd ask you—have you come across a gluten free pizzelle recipe?

    • Lauren

      Mmm, those look so good =D. Good luck with the cookbook!

    • Tasty Eats At Home

      I like when you wake up craving such things! These look tasty!

    • Mother Rimmy

      I love cranberry and ginger. Your muffins sound delicious.

    • Kim and Megan

      Good luck with the cookbook! Believe it and it will happen! It took us a long time to make it happen! These would be a great addition to your cookbook 😉

    • Alisa – Frugal Foodie

      Those muffins look incredible, you are amazing!

      Glad to hear of your cookbook ambitions, awesome!

    • the-gluten-free-diet.com

      Maybe we can share recipes, I am looking for some for my web site http://www.the-gluten-free-diet.com
      The gluten free diet changed my whole life! I went from 206 pounds feeling tired all of the time to a energetic 130 pounds that I have kept off for over three years now!

    • Christy

      These look good. I've been gluten free for a short time, but have not done much baking – mostly just cutting out gluten and wheat products. Do you ever mix your flours ahead of time so that you have a baking mix already put together?

      Also wondering – do you use other types of sugar in your baking? Not fake sugars, but natural ones like honey or maple syrup?

    • Anonymous

      I want to share this great recipe with you. It's made from gluten free flour called Chia Flour. This product it's good to Autism, Veganism and Celiac Disease. Info. http://www.nuchiafoods.com

      Gluten Free Quick Chia Flour Muffins

      A basic recipe


      1 cup Nuchia Original Chia Seed Flour
      2 ½ tsp Baking Power
      1 Tbsp of sugar or other sweeter
      1 egg
      ½ Tsp salt
      ½ cup water

      Directions: Mix all ingredients together, and then spoon equal amounts into muffin pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 35 min. or until brown.

      Option 1: Add nut or berries, and additional sweeter t taste
      Option 2: Top with butter and cinnamon

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Ali – you'll be one of the first to know!

      G-B – I recently ran across a GF pizzelle recipe – when I put my hands on it, I'll be sure to post it.

      Lauren – thanks!

      Tasty Eats At Home – yes, and those cravings are hard to ignore, aren't they???

      MOther Rimmy – you are right! It's a great combo!

      the-gluten-free-diet – when I have some time, I will definitely explore your website. Meanwhile, thank you for stopping by!

      Christy – I don't mix my flours ahead of time, though I'm so fond of this particular combo of flours that I might do that very thing. I don't tend to use other sugars like agave or honey or anything like that, but only because I'm not familiar enough with their properties. There are definitely other bloggers out there who do.

      Anonymous – I've been experimenting with chia seeds, but haven't yet seen chia flour. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Heidi

      I would buy your cookbook! :-)


    • Rebecca

      I think there's a big market for gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free baked goods recipes. (Ok, well as "big" as any allergen market!)

      Egg-free, gluten-free baking is really hard to do. I'm fascinated with these chia seeds. Must obtain some and experiment.

    • gfe–gluten free easily

      Putting your cookbook goal out to the universe and believing will definitely make it happen! I never thought you had any problems creating great recipes before (and you'll have lots of folks who'll want your cookbook!), but that book sounds very interesting. I know I could benefit from that type of knowledge. And, finally, these muffins look delicious!


    • Linda

      Those muffins sound great. I'll have to look for Ratio. It sounds interesting. Good luck on your cook book!

    • Allison

      Hi Ellen!

      If you made a cookbook, I would buy it! And I would make my friends who are GF buy it too! 😀 Everything you make works out so well (although lately the waffles have started sticking to the cast iron waffle maker, which makes a huge mess, inevitably winds me in tears of frustration and we end up with ultra dense, tiny pancakes instead). I think the waffle thing is our problem, because they used to work! Anyways. :) I have to find some teff flour, I have yet to see it in the stores up here, but it may be that I don't frequent Whole Foods very often… And now I'm dying to try this chia seed!!!!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Heidi and Rebecca and Shirley and Linda and Allison – thank you SO much for your vote of support! It means the world to me!

    • AJ Ponder

      Wow! I'm so impressed!!! It's always the egg I find so difficult to replace!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      AJ Ponder – yes, I agree. Until I started experimenting, it was really challenging to replace the egg in baking. But now, it's become second nature. Thanks for stopping by!


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