Paleo Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins with Raspberry Drizzle

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While I probably shouldn’t start this post off having you doubt my baking abilities as I tell you to bake something, I will say that I am REALLY surprised these came out, because  I cook. I usually only cook. Because I. Cannot. Bake. Well, I couldn’t, at least not until today. Chalk this up to a victory!

Sundays are a weekly tradition of cooking a huge meal and inviting everyone over. The Sunday crew folks are my guinea-pigs, which so far has worked out quite well. I usually experiment with some crazy flavors, and so far, no one has complained, thrown up or died… so we keep it going. The family pastry chef was en route back home from a fun weekend up at Penn State for Arts Fest, so I had to step in and whip something up. I don’t have a sweet tooth, so fruit it was. Lo and behold – these babies were born. I lucked out, they came out pretty good in the first batch… even added a little coconut to give them a summery flavor. Even still, I don’t have any aspirations to own a bakery…. So these will do for now. And they’re paleo, wahoo!

One fun addition to these is the salt I used in the muffins… I really love salt. I could’ve been a farm animal in another life, with their little salt blocks they have. Years ago, I can remember being too young to drive myself to the local saddlery, so my mom would take me to go get supplies for the horses; treats, supplements, a salt lick, etc. I was sitting in the front seat of my mom’s car holding one of the blocks, wondering if it really just tasted like salt.

For the record, yes, it does. Yes, my mom was horrified. And yes, I just admitted to licking a salt block for horses. Final thought: 7 out of 10, would do it again. But, I digress.

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This salt, by Gourmet Himalayan in California, is a mix of vanilla beans and Himalayan sea salt, which is a fun addition to baked goods, or maybe even some salted caramel chocolate? I sense another experiment coming up.

The best part about using raspberries in recipes like this is because they’re in season, it’s summer, and it makes SUCH an amazing color that these pictures don’t really do it justice. This time of year is such a great time to experiment with dinner and dessert. Everything is ripe, the colors are amazing and vibrant… there’s nothing like eating dinner outside on the deck, barefoot, listening to all the little birds as the sun goes down. If you’re ever feeling like you’re moving too fast, or don’t have enough time to slow down, just grab a muffin and go sit outside and stare at a freaking tree… instant calm.  Once you’re out there, it’s that much easier to see that there’s just so much to be thankful for.

Paleo Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins with Raspberry Drizzle

Prep time: 40 min

Cook time: 20 min

Note: fruit could probably be added to these, but also adds moisture. For about ¾-1 cup of fruit, I might add another tablespoon or two of almond flour to absorb. Riper Fruit = more watery.

For the muffins:

  • 1 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan vanilla salt
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup of raw honey
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (not the bottled stuff!), plus zest of 2 lemons. This required about 2-3 lemons with a really good juicer
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the sauce:

  • ¾ cup raspberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp arrowroot powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix honey, lemon juice, ¾ of the lemon zest (leave a little for the garnish), coconut milk, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla extract together in a bowl.
  3. Separately in another bowl, mix the flower, shredded coconut, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and poppy seeds.
  4. Combine the ingredients and let stand for a few minutes to let the dry ingredients soak everything in.
  5. In a greased muffin pan, fill the cups about 2/3 the way full. Paper liners stick to these, so I would recommend using just a regular muffin pan.
  6. Bake about 18-20 minutes. To test if they’re done, stick a toothpick of a knife in one; nothing should stick to it if they’re done baking.
  7. Meanwhile, as the muffins are baking, heat the raspberries, water and honey in a pan on medium low heat until it begins to bubble, about 2-3 minutes. Turn to low and let stew for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Once the berries soften, add to a mixer or blender and pulse until consistent texture… this didn’t take more than a few pulses, as there wasn’t a lot of berries and a Vitamix is super aggressive.
  9. Return mixture to pan on medium low heat, stirring in arrowroot powder slowly. Unlike corn starch, this doesn’t stay clumpy so you can usually add it right to what you’re cooking. However – it thickens VERY quickly when heated, so make sure you stir it in right away, and continue to stir until you use it!

The muffins should be done around the same time as this sauce, so once you have them out of the oven, drizzle the mixture over-top immediately. A little melting and dripping makes them pretty, so no need to let them cool before adding the drizzle.

Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest over them and serve. Enjoy!

-S

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