Sticky Gingerbread Paleo Muffins

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All week I have been craving gingerbread.  It must be the time of year, all those posters for gingerbread lattes.  I had a hunt around for some healthy/gluten-free gingerbread muffin recipes but nothing looked too exciting, or healthy, so I made this up as I went along.  Not to be too smug or anything, but these are INCREDIBLE!! The whole house smelt amazing and so festive whilst I was baking them, too.  These little beauties are free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugar, and full of nourishment and protein.  Which mean you can eat all 6, obvs.

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These muffins are really light and fluffy and not at all dense like a lot of paleo or gluten free cakes. The molasses/treacle also makes them gloriously sticky and sweet. I have tried baking with coconut flour before but had some serious disasters. Less is definitely more as it’s quite binding.  Secondly, the whisked egg whites make all the difference to the texture. I try to avoid recipes which require whisking egg whites separately as I’m essentially far too lazy, but I’ve begrudgingly come to the conclusion it is more than worth the effort and the extra washing up.    Don’t hold back on the spices when you make these, you want them to be full of flavour.

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RECIPE (makes 6 muffins)

2 large eggs

2 1/2 tbsps coconut flour

1/2 cup (50g) ground almonds

2 tsps ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsps coconut oil

2 tbsps dark treacle/molasses

2 tbsps maple syrup

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METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 160C fan and line a muffin tray with cases.  Melt coconut oil, treacle and maple syrup gently over a low heat until combined and syrupy.

2. Separate eggs.  In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the whites until soft peaks form.

3. In a second large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Add egg yolks, vanilla essence and slightly cooled oil/syrup mixture.  It smells amazing when you mix it all together.

4. Stir through 1 tbsp egg white to loosen the mixture, and then fold through the remaining egg white.

5. Divide between cases and bake in middle of oven for approx 20 minutes until they feel lovely and springy and a skewer comes out clean.

6. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

These will keep for several days in an airtight tin. But they probably won’t last that long.

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Too many questions, too little sleep

I’m feeling particularly intolerant today. Husband and I had an all-too-rare night out last night. On a Tuesday, I know! It was a proper night out, too, I got the train into London and everything. We live less than half an hour away from London by train so it is ridiculous that I don’t do this more often. In fact, it is going to be my New Year’s resolution to do it far more often. So anyway, we had a lovely dinner with friends and got home a little worse for wear at about midnight.

Obviously, the kids decided this would be the perfect night to both be total pains in the arse.  At 4am, daughter came into our bed.  We both assumed it must be morning so let her snuggle in, have a chat and a monumental fidget while we tried to catch a few more minutes of hungover sleep.  I then heard husband, “Aaaarghh! It’s 4am! Get back in your own bed!” We then tried to get back to sleep. At 4.45am, as if pre-planned, small boy starts kicking off.  He has only one speed, fast, and one volume, loud. It is impossible to ignore.  I tried anyway. Husband cracked first, he’s a far lighter sleeper than me (result!) and off he went to try and settle him. I knew it wouldn’t work, hence my masterplan of ignoring him for as long as possible instead.  Poor husband then ended up having breakfast at 5 am with little boy 😬

Daughter awoke some time later, particularly bright-eyed and bushy tailed. FFS. She bombarded me with a million questions. The highlights of which are as follows:

“Mummy, do you think you have chicken pox? They are really big spots on your face”

“Really though, could it be chicken pox?”

“If Jesus was alive, how old would he be?”

“How long has there been Christmas for? When was the first ever Christmas? How old is Father Christmas?”

“Which do you like best, poo or wee?”

“You know the elves left me a note telling me to be good? And to be kind to my brother and not hit him…..? Do you think really they didn’t mean it and they meant to tell him to be good….? Yes, I know I hit him, but still… I don’t think that note was really for me…. Yes, I know it had my name on…. But really, they didn’t mean me, did they?”

She is like a dog with a bone. She doesn’t even listen to my answers, she just carries on firing questions. And, even worse, if she doesn’t like my answer, “YES the bloody sodding note was for you, quite clearly!!!!” She will just keep going and going until I eventually break, “ok, ok, maybe it wasn’t for you!!!!” She even carried on asking me questions whilst brushing her teeth, literally mouth full of toothbrush and toothpaste, “Mummy…”

Me:”Why don’t you brush your teeth, then ask me… Brush your teeth… I’m not listening until you’ve finished brushing your teeth!”

Its going to be a long old day. And the children will most definitely be getting pizza for dinner. And will watch too much TV whilst I feel sorry for myself and brace myself for further questions.