Tag Archives: Peanut Free

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I really should of been a baker. Not a fancy sort with funky icing designs, or cake too pretty to eat sort of baker, but a practical, every day healthy food consumption kind of baker.  Stop at my little corner bakery on the way to work for your breakfast to-go.  I could do it.  Maybe I should do it…

Sixteen years ago when my son was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies (peanuts and tree nuts) I started paying attention to ingredients in food. Up until then I had the grab and shove in cart mentality.

That many years ago there wasn’t a large variety of peanut/nut free foods or even strict allergen listing requirements that is available today. So, if my child was to enjoy a cookie, or a muffin or at that point, bread, I had better get the baking ingredients out and get’er done.  Besides, I started to notice this food in EVERYTHING called ‘Soy’ and labeled in many different forms. Soy lecithin, soy flour, hydrolyzed soy, soy soy soy. After much research into the world of soy, we avoid all soy in this home and if you buy anything premade/boxed etc., you will more than likely find it in the ingredients list. Anyways, this post isn’t about the deteriorating ingredient list in foods, its about super refreshing delicious Lemon Blueberry Muffins.

When it comes to blueberries and baking, the type matters. The small wild blueberries, won’t give you the blue bleed. The taste of biting into a juicy blueberry isn’t as prominent in the small blueberries, so I recommend Blueberries. You can use wild blueberries, just not my fav when it comes to baking.

If you are lucky like us, you will have a Mennonite Blueberry Farm around the corner. I can pop in anytime of year and grab a bag of frozen big juicy blueberries.

Chances are you can buy blueberries in your local area in the late summer when it is in season. The good things about this farm is they don’t use pesticides or harmful treatments so you can just plop them in a freezer bag and have on hand all year around. No washing. (Fantastic for smoothies too).

I also got a wonderful gift recently from a friend who went to Mexico and brought back vanilla.  The good stuff!

Like most of my recipes they have happened by accident and the measurements are my critiquing over time. Ok, here we go.

Side Note: I never advocate for the use of margarine in my baking.  It has a different outcome and really, if you are using margarine, do yourself a favour and don’t.  Seriously, don’t believe all the crap the agencies tell you.  Hydrolyzed anything and soy is not for human consumption!

Ingredients

1/2 cup melted butter
2 large farm eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of organic cane sugar
2 cups of blueberries (frozen is best for the addition to baking)
Zest of 2 organic lemons (zest of anything should be organic to avoid crop sprays)
2 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of AP flour, plus more for blueberry dusting
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt

See that ingredient list?  Wonderful!  Okay, lets get ready to bake!

Preheat your oven to 375 – I use convention oven, but any oven will do.  Line your muffin tray with paper cups.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, add your melted butter (room temperature so you don’t scramble your eggs), vanilla, sugar, milk and mix until all incorporated.  Add in your lemon zest.jUNE 2017 058
(yup, those are pretty blue eggs from a friends farm)

Put the frozen blueberries into a bowl and cover them with flour and make sure they are all dusted.

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After your wet ingredients are all mixed well, add in your dry ingredients slowly with mixer on low.  Let it mix for 1 minute on medium speed.  If your batter looks too dry don’t be afraid to add a splash of milk to get the desired texture seen in the picture.  Some flours, especially depending on age, can be more dry than others.  A bit more milk never hurt anyone.

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Remove bowl from mixer stand.  Add your frozen flour dusted blueberries (not all the flour in the bottom of the bowl, just the blueberries) to your batter.  Fold the blueberries in gently.

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Once completely mixed, scoop into lined muffin tray.  Fill them up!

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Put the trays in your preheated oven.  Turn 1/2 way through cooking.  Watch your muffins as they can easily overcook in the matter of 2 mins.  Then you’ll have dry I need a drink of coffee kind of muffins.  Look for a bounce back when gently pushed in the middle to see if it is done.  Cook for 15-20 mins depending on your oven and elevation.

Remove from tray immediately and place on a bakers rack to cool.

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Bakers tip:  Baked foods always continue to cook for a few minutes while cooling.  So its OK to pull from the oven when JUST done, that extra minute you would wait in the oven, let it do it on the counter.

This is such a great ‘summer’ muffin that can be enjoyed at anytime of the year.  The lemon is fresh and the blueberries are juicy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lemon Blueberry Cranberry Muffins, Oh My!!

These muffins are a huge hit at home and everywhere I have taken them.  It’s a recipe I created from scratch and have critiqued over time.  I have a friend who just bought and moved into his new house and I’ll be visiting soon with these beauties as a house warming gift. Nothing like edible gifts!!

Some of the measurements like milk are easily added to, to make the muffin batter the right texture.  I usually just pour and mix and call it done when it looks right.  Today I measured (sort of) while I was making them so I could share this recipe.

As always, my recipes call for butter.  Don’t talk to me if you use margarine in my recipes and it tastes like shit.

Ingredients
3/4 cup of melted salted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of milk (I use skim)
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 cup of cane sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt

Rind of 2 lemons
Large fresh organic blueberries dusted with flour
Organic Cranberries

I didn’t give a quantity of cranberries or blueberries as I find it is usually a personal preference.  I used about 3/4 cup of large blueberries and a little bit less of cranberries.  Einstein doesn’t like it to be a berry explosion, he likes it all in moderation.

Directions
Prepare baking pan with muffin liners and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 (convect bake). Dust blueberries with flour and set aside. Cut cranberries in half and set aside. Grate off lemon rind from both lemons and set aside.

In medium bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a big bowl add eggs, milk, vanilla and sugar. Mix on medium for about 2 minutes. (I use a stand mixer, but hand held will be fine as well). Add melted butter slowly while mixer is continuing to mix. Put 1/2 cup of flour mixture at a time into your egg mixture, ensuring it is fully incorporated before adding the next 1/2 cup. When all the flour mixture is added, continue on medium speed mixing for one more minute.

Add in rind of the lemons and mix for another minute.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and drop in blueberries (minus left over flour) and cranberries and still just until incorporated. Careful to not over do it, or the berries could break and smear, however it’s not the end of the world if they do.

Scoop into lined muffin tray and place in oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes and remove from oven when done. Each oven is different so keep a watchful eye on them. See bakers tip for best results.

Bakers Tip: don’t cook muffins all the way until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once muffins or any bread based baking (exemption: true bread) is removed from the oven it will continue to cook, especially when left in the pan. It’s easy to over cook muffins making them dry and crumbly when waiting until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Instead when a little bit of muffin batt er is sticky on your toothpick, remove from oven and leave in pan for 10 minutes. I use muffin liners so the muffins don’t stick to the pan. If you don’t use muffin liners they will still continue to cook once out of the pan while cooling.

This batter is versitile and always willing to please. You can mix it up, by adding lemon rinds and fresh raspberries, orange rind with cranberry, or simply just add berries without a fruit rind.  Chunked apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, I try it a lot in this batter and it hasn’t failed me yet.  We are a nut free, peanut free home but I’m sure this recipe could definitely tolerate some nuts as well.

The lemon rind makes these muffins a step above the rest and when you bite into a blueberries or cranberry it’s just a little bit of simple heaven. Enjoy!

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a great moist loaf and its full of flavour. If you prefer more spice in your loafs you can add more or less to suit your taste.  If you’re a Nutter, I would imagine walnuts would taste pretty darn tootin good in this recipe, however we are a peanut nut free home.  Raisins it is!

As with all my recipes, butter.  Margarine is oil based (and absolute garbage) and not recommended by me for anything other than lubing your car door joints.

CARROT-ZUCCHINI BREAD WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 cup butter milk (or cream)
2 large organic eggs
1/2 cup organic sunflower oil
1/8 cup honey or agave
1 tsp. organic vanilla
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup shredded organic carrot
1 cup shredded organic zucchini
3/4 cup organic raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8×4″ loaf pans. In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. In large bowl, beat eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla, mixing well; then add brown sugar and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture into the egg mixture while beating on low, then add buttermilk, beat on low untill it is all mixed well. Stir carrot, zucchini, and raisins into the batter; mix until well combined. Pour batter into the greased loaf pans. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Let cool in pans about 5-7 minutes before removing; then completely cool the loaves before adding the frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. half & half (or any milk)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In medium bowl, beat softened butter and cream cheese with mixer until light and fluffy (well as fluffy and cream cheese and butter can be) add powdered sugar and beat well. Add in the half & half and vanilla, and beat all ingredients. Spread frosting liberally over the top of the carrot-zucchini bread. Keep refrigerated.

Versatile Chocolate Chip Muffins

I like this recipe for the simplicity and how good they taste. The batter is rich and creamy which allows for equal distribution of the chocolate chips. Other recipes I’ve tried the chips all fall to the bottom.

The good thing about this batter is you can mix it up. You could add more or less chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruits or blueberries cranberries etc. It’s pretty versatile, so give it a try. It won’t disappoint.

I have swapped out the milk for buttermilk when I use blueberries instead of the chocolate chips and it is delicious but for other variations of the recipes I usually stick with skim milk. I’m sure almond milk etc., would be fine. We can’t use nuts or peanuts in our home so if you use a milk alternative let me know how it is 🙂  When using butter milk, increase quantity to 1 cup.

I use ‘Enjoy Life’ mini chocolate chips.  Not only are they free of all top 8 allergens, their ingredient list is simple and they are NON-GMO verified.  Ingredients:  brown sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter.  That’s it that’s all.  it doesnt need to be more. There isn’t soy, artifical colour or flavours, or ‘natural’ flavours added.  No junk.  A regular size bag of the Mini’s costs approx. $4 but when they are on sale I buy more and freeze.

Recommendation for recipe: Butter only. No margarine or other oil based alternatives.

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS RECIPE

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Put muffin liners in muffin pan.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, beat with mixer on low, milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture.
Beat on medium low until mixed well.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Now bake for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.
Remove muffin tin to wire rack.
Cool for 5 minutes.
Remove from tins to finish cooling.
Serve warm or completely cool.