Sticky Gingerbread Paleo Muffins

IMG_8433.JPG

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.

img_8361img_8368img_8371

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.

img_8434

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

img_8357img_8354

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.

img_8358img_8435img_8429

Spinach Sweet Potato and Pea Seasonal Supergreen Soup

image

I had the perfect excuse to make my favourite soup today, as my organic veg box this week contained leeks, sweet potatoes and spinach.  It’s quite worrying how happy this made me. Anyway, I have to pay homage to baby food guru Annabel Karmel for this recipe, as this in fact started off life as one of her baby food purees. See Annabel Karmel for more inspiration.

This was yet another failed attempt to get The Boy With The Sweet Tooth to eat something nutritious. Predictably, small boy wanted nothing to do with this purée, but it smelt amazing, so I added some seasoning and found I had a pretty life-changing soup on my hands. Thank god one of us liked it!  I can’t say I have ever tried a baby purée before (OK, well, apart from the ones I use to make my Paleo Porridge, obvs)  I find there is something a bit repulsive about blended food, I’m a bit squeamish about anything coming out of a nutribullet, even.  So, I promise you, this had to be something special to get me to try it.

I’ve played around with the original recipe, and as with most of of my recipes it’s all very free and easy so just adjust to how many leeks you need to use up or how many peas are at the bottom of the bag lurking in your freezer. This cries out for thickly buttered fresh brown bread to be dunked into it, but is equally nice as a virtuous snack on its own, or bulked up with some protein on the side. If I have a batch in the fridge I tend to have it as a mid-afternoon snack to keep the 4pm slump away. I always feel wonderfully wholesome after I have eaten this.  And ready to tackle the mayhem of kids teatime and witching hour. Well, maybe…

image

RECIPE (serves about 4)

2 large sweet potatoes

large bag of spinach

3 leeks

about 200g frozen peas

water, stock or bone broth (about 200ml depending on how thick you like your soup)

1 tbsp butter or coconut oil

 

METHOD

1. Warm the oil or butter in a heavy based pan with a well fitting lid. Wash leeks well, chop and sweat on a low heat with the lid on for about 4-5 minutes.

2. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into roughly 1 inch chunks. Add to pan and sauté for a further minute or two.

3. Add approx 200ml bone broth/water or stock, I always add less as I like thick soup, and you can always top it up if it needs more when you blend it.  Season well and simmer for 10 mins or until potatoes are lovely and soft.

4. Wash spinach and gently squeeze out excess water, add to pan along with peas and simmer for a further 3 minutes or so.

5. Blend to desired consistency and tuck in!

imageimage

This is will keep well in the fridge for about 3 days and also freezes beautifully. You could always even try and give it to your baby (minus the salt), you may have better luck than me!