Hello Friends! Lovely day here in Michigan. It is partly cloudy, yes...but, the rain has been watering my beautiful garden and there are fresh strawberries to be eaten! My family and I got out of bed early (entirely because my son likes to wake before the sun), but we had a great outing to the bustling farmer's market this morning. There were a few new items: sweet peas, more fresh greens, and strawberries. If you are from Michigan, then you don't mind me bragging about our strawberries do you? Well, let me just say....perfection. These little sweet berries will win you over just with a whiff of them. Fresh, sweet juicy, gushingly red and fresh. A good way to start the day. Of course, these berries are a treat on their own. I could eat the whole quart in just one sitting, but I must control myself! They just have a way with you. They control you, and that is why with all this swooning I was inspired to make some fresh whole grain muffins. Yes, totally whipped by strawberries.
I have to be honest, earlier this week I was feeling a little down. Down on food, down on creativity, and down on myself. More than anything, I was just tired. Then, with a little extra sleep last night, and fresh strawberries today, I feel myself waking back up again. Waking up to beautiful color and scent of fresh berries. It's the little things, love. Beauty and rest (and beauty-rest) will restore a weary soul. Fresh foods and a touch of sweetness is the trick. Don't be down on yourself today...get up, go out and find something to celebrate and enjoy!
Why strawberry-lemon you ask? Well, with a touch of lemon- there is no better way to describe these babies. Sweet little cakes ready to be eaten. And, I do love a strawberry and lemon combo...
Strawberry Lemon Muffin Recipe (gluten, dairy and nut-free)
1 cup of fresh buckwheat flour (I grind my own out of groats)
1 cup of fresh millet flour (I grind my own out of millet seed)
1 cup of tapioca flour
1 TB of flaxmeal
2 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar or sucanat
1/3 cup of honey or agave nectar
1 ts. of pure vanilla
1/4 cup of light baking oil (olive, walnut or grape seed)
1/2 cup of non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Coconut milk)
2 farm fresh eggs (or flax eggs could replace here for vegan option)
zest of one lemon (about 1 heaping TB)
juice of one lemon (about 2 TB of juice)
1 cup of freshly washed, diced strawberries + 1/2 cup more for topping muffins
Mix all of the dry ingredients first with a whisk in a large mixing bowl. Then add the wet ingredients and mix well. Lastly add the fresh strawberry pieces and fold in softly. Pour batter into muffin tins or a greased and prepared muffin pan. Pour batter up to the rim of the tins and then top with a few more visible strawberries pieces for some beauty. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. This recipe will make 12 large muffins. Pull from oven, let cool and then enjoy warm!
Some baking/recipe tips:
* Fresh ground buckwheat and millet flour make this recipe. The flour that is freshly ground has a great texture of oils and powder freshness. I think it what makes this recipe good. I grind my whole groats and millet in a magic bullet 1 cup at a time and you can do this same thing in a high powered blender, vitamix, or even food processor.
*This recipe does not contain any gums, and for a GF recipe that is pretty good. Using gums in GF baking is a debatable topic and many choose to do without because of cost and even health concerns. I am happy this muffins turned out perfectly without it.
*The lemon zest and and lemon juice can be easily taken away if avoid citrus, and can be subbed with some more milk and even cinnamon or nutmeg.
This recipe was inspired by the strawberries :) but also some recent postings and recipes by one of my favorite GF bloggers, none other than Ms. Karina, the Gluten-Free Goddess. I couldn't agree more with her strawberry-love and wish I was more poetic and full of words of grace to describe this stepping stone into summer.
And for all of my non-baking friends, I swear this recipe is easy. It really is, and if you choose to just eat your fresh berries with some yummy vegan ice cream or smoothies, then you will certainly be lost in love with these berries too. But I must say, you may just be missing out on some strawberry goodness if you pass these muffins up. I personally love getting messy in the kitchen...elbow deep in flour and a heap of goodness. Today my little babe even helped by watching and talking to me on the floor by my feet. What a sweet babe he is! Too bad he still is too young to enjoy these lovely berries and muffins... I can't wait to share these with him some day (along with all of the excitement of summer!)
Now, I finish my muffin and enjoy the day. Maybe more weed-pulling and lemonade-drinking....I think so. Hope you have a relaxing weekend and find peace and grace in the simple joys if life.
Much love to you!