Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hearty Trail Muffins

This recipe is probably one of my first "created" recipes. It all started a few years ago when I was working at a whole wheat bakery. It was the real kind of whole wheat bakery that everything made was from scratch and with some of the best ingredients, and we even milled our own wheat berries into flour. I started working at this bread bakery at age 15 and all through high school and college. It was all about making the best whole grain breads, and really was a fun, energetic and creative place to work. I loved it. Good, right?! Well, yeah, until I found out that I had a problem with gluten. And now, I think working around the wheat really prompted me to realize I was even having food allergy issues in the first place. Working at a bakery is really my dream job and loved the many years I was able to work with some great people. (Someday I hope to have a gluten-free bakery of my own that is just as fun!)

When I found out I couldn't eat gluten and was surrounded by bread all day, now that was when I really learned about self-control. It seems impossible. Some of our customers would come in and ask what was my favorite bread...I would honestly tell them what was my favorite (since I knew all of them by heart anyways). After a while it started to become torture. So because I selfishly wanted to find a snack in the bakery I could eat (and sell), I started inventing this muffin. With the blessing from my boss, I created a granola minus the oats type of energy bar, which ended up turning into a muffin. So, this recipe comes from a place a few years back when I first starting creating gluten-free goodies for the special people like myself. Some of the ingredients have changed, but it is still the same idea. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever ingredients you have around... if you have only craisins, then use that instead of raisins... you can substitute for what you have available.

Hearty Trail Muffins Recipe

1 cup of shredded coconut flakes
1 cup of whole or sliced raw almonds
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of millet seeds
1/2 cup of whole flax seeds
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup of raw honey or agave
1 cup of sunflower or peanut butter
1 ts of cinnamon
1/2 ts. of cloves
1/2 ts. of nutmeg
Mix all of the raw ingredients in large mixing bowl. I like doing this part with my bare hands to really get everything mixed together well. It will be a sticky mess, but it is also kinda fun. Once you have it all mixed, you can wash your hands and get a clean start at rolling hand-sized balls to fit muffin paper cups. I used the smaller muffin cups and let them sit in a 9x13 tin pan, or you can 3/4 way fill a regular muffin tin. This recipe will make about 20-24 muffins depending on the size you create. You will needs to squeeze the balls together a bit to have all the pieces and wet ingredients stick together to form the mold of the muffin. I made these originally in the muffin tins so that I could confirm that they were not baking in a gluten-filled tin from the bakery. But now that I'm thinking about it, you could try and press this batter down in a 9x13 without the muffin cups and make bars after you press and cut them in the pan. I would cut them before you bake so that you have less crumbs in the end. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Until they are golden brown.
These are a crunchy hearty way to snack that's for sure. A good treat to bring with you camping, biking, or hiking. They are full of protein and fiber so they will sustain you for hours. I recommend them since they store so well. I have a friend that is going on a week long volunteer trip soon and she has no idea what kind of food is going to be available for a gluten-free person, so something like this would be easy to pack and have with you in case you needed to find some nourishment other than at fast food joints and gas stations.

I hope you have a good day and find time for peace and creativity!

Much love to you!


  1. Wow, I love these. They remind me of other gluten-free granola bars - and they sound hearty and yummy! I might make up some of these for breakfasts!

  2. Delicious ingredients, but the bars concept didn't work out so well. Now I have a yummy crumble/topping/granola though! Might it be because I subbed almond butter?

  3. Sarah- I have not used almond butter before. I think I haven't because I thought it might not bind as well. Peanut butter works the best, but sunflower butter I have tried as well. Also, I have not tried making the bars... I know the muffins work for sure in keeping it more together. Still a yummy protein filled topping though. :) Hope you enjoy!!!

  4. Where do you purchase your nuts and seeds? My daughter loves all sorts of nuts and seeds but I have a really hard time finding any that aren't processed on shared equipment with gluten containing items. Thank you

  5. I made these yesterday morning, and they worked pretty well. I don't know if I'd call them muffins though; instead, I started calling them birdseed balls, but my friends keep referring to them as hippie balls. Maybe I'll add hemp seeds next time for a true hippie ball experience. Also, I'll probably leave out the nutmeg. It's a little overpowering, but that's the nutmeg way.