Friday, August 8, 2014

Gluten Free/Paleo Friday ~ Raspberry Dark Chocolate Muffins (& Summer Sanity)

Happy Friday!  I'm sitting here near a sunny window in a central Massachusetts Starbucks waiting for a beautiful young woman to meet me for coffee. It's sort of a halfway point for each of us, and I'm remembering several other mid-way coffee dates I've had here.  Life, walking with Christ, ministry....and boys (You know, the usual...) are on the agenda I think, and I'm always so impressed and encouraged when a 19 year old wants wisdom on these things.  Truly the Lord is at work in the lives of young people.  I see it all around me.

My body is so sore today, and not due to any long runs I've been on this week either.  Rather, my hands, legs, and back are aching because I spent the day cleaning, organizing, bagging, and boxing items for the Salvation Army yesterday.  I think I gave away about 200 books (really), a dozen coffee mugs (those things multiply!) and even 4 trash bags full of girls' clothing to a family with four daughters younger than Kayla.  It felt so good, but there's still so much to be done.

And it just feels so good to be at home for a day.  Summer is so chaotic and always means jumping hastily from one major activity to another with almost zero concentrated or consistent time at home.  Weddings, various youth camps, traveling, more weddings, teen activities, birthdays, out-of-town visitors, and more.  I was in complete denial when I planned to re-paint several of the rooms in my house, not to mention my basement staircase and floor for summer projects, because I KNOW that summer is like this.  I'm always anxious for the school year to arrive, because it brings a more predictable schedule ~ for everyone.

And even though there is so much housework to be done, baking something or cooking a complete meal always makes me feel like I've truly been at home accomplishing something.  So, though I desperately needed to re-arrange and downsize the sheets and towels in my linen closet (among MANY other things), I also NEEDED to bake something and then clean the kitchen from top to bottom.  So, that's what I did, and it was wonderful.
Raspberries were on sale here "buy one get two free," and so I was anxious to do something with at least one of the packages I bought instead of just gobble the whole thing down immediately.  I had also just stocked up on a week's worth of groceries (which hadn't been done all summer either) and had dark chocolate chunks on hand.  I looked at several recipes for muffins including those two ingredients, and finally came up with a version of my own.  And they're pretty good.  Not so-good-your-non-paleo-kids-will-eat-them-all-before-you-do, but still a great breakfast treat or afternoon coffee accompaniment for those who've given up carbs and sugar for good.

And I have to tell you (though I probably already have; I'm getting old) that Robert is more sold out in that decision than I am, and I'm pretty sold out! He can tell a HUGE difference in the way he feels after giving up breads and sweets, and I don't think there's any turning back as far as he's concerned.
Here's the recipe. I've had a Ziploc bag with a couple of these in my purse on several occasions this week as I've dashed out the door before eating breakfast.  They are very satisfying.  Hope you enjoy.

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Muffins

Makes 1 dozen

1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
dash sea salt
6 eggs
4 tbsp honey
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 - 1 cup raspberries, chopped (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I chopped mine to a finer grade)

**Save a few raspberries and chocolate to sprinkle on top of muffins before baking.**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk all liquid ingredients together~ eggs, honey, vanilla, coconut oil, and warm water. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together ~ coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt.  Add dry ingredients to liquid and mix thoroughly.  Coconut flour soaks up lots of liquid, so your batter will get pretty thick, but that is normal.

Fold in chopped raspberries and dark chocolate pieces, saving some of each to sprinkle on top.  Fill 12 greased muffin cups about halfway with batter and then sprinkle each with a few pieces of berries and chocolate.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.  Be careful, as the coconut flour bakes fairly quickly.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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