Before I get into chatting about muffins, I wanted to take a minute to thank all of you for your amazing, inspiring and humbling comments on my two year blogiversary post. Besides hearing about how many of you read Tasty Yummies and have been inspired by it, reading all of your touching comments about what makes you happy, seriously moves me. I have read each and every comment and so many of them brought tears to my eyes. So, even though I haven’t responded to all of you, thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
The last week has been a really great one for me, between all the inspiring comments about happiness on my post, meeting a new friend and the wonderful week of yoga I had, I am seriously on cloud nine. I have managed to get to a ton of yoga classes this past week (6 in the last 7 days) and despite my injury a few weeks back, I seem to have found a really sweet spot in my yoga practice, at least it really feels that way to me. Every time I think I couldn’t possibly enjoy the practice of yoga and everything it brings, any more than I already do, I have a breakthrough week. This week that feeling came a few different ways, the first is that I got to spend some time with a fellow student that I have practiced alongside many times. Upon hearing the news that she would be moving back to Rochester tomorrow, after nearly a year of living in Buffalo, before heading off to Africa to teach yoga, we decided we had to get together before she left. We grabbed some food and had a couple drinks and just hung out and got to know each other better. I rarely meet people whom I feel that instant of a connection to, and it was yoga that brought us there. I know that although Lyndsey will be far away and I am relocating to California later this year, we both agreed we will stay in contact and who knows where that connection will take us. I feel there are people in this world that we are meant to meet and even though we wish the circumstances would be different or that they lived closer, etc, it is incredible how powerful it can be that we find one another despite all that. Life is pretty amazing. Besides all of the amazing teachers at East Meets West Yoga that I have gotten to know and love, there are so many other great people that are there, like me, to practice, that I have shared such meaningful conversations with, or even just a warm hello! I feel like I have never ever felt that sense of community anywhere else in my life.
The other thing that made this week of yoga a special one is that I was able to get into three different arm balances that I hadn’t quite been able to master before. I had gotten close on all three in the past at different times, and maybe popped up into them once or twice (likely in happenstance), but it was like I hit a light switch this week and found something that I hadn’t found before. It felt amazing! That is what I love most about yoga, it is ever changing and ever growing. I can’t believe there was ever a time I told myself that I would never be “better” then where I was at that point and that I just couldn’t get into certain poses. Once I let go of that frustration and fear, it not only became so much more enjoyable, but I also found myself doing things I never thought I could. I can honestly say that yoga has changed me both on the mat and off and I will be forever grateful for that.
OK, let’s talk muffins! Strawberry basil is one of my absolute favorite flavor combos! I discovered it a few summers back when I was obsessed with mojitos. I started playing with basil instead of mint and adding in strawberries instead of lime. It makes for a great adult drink if you add rum, or a refreshing non-alcoholic drink if you just muddle the two together and top it off with a little sparkling water. They are so perfect together, the tart and subtle sweetness from the strawberries paired with the sweet, almost peppery flavor from the basil. If you aren’t a fan of basil, you can add in fresh mint to these muffins, or just skip it altogether. But I highly recommend trying the two together if you haven’t yet, it is a wonderful surprise for your palette.
These muffins are bursting with flavor and are also quite healthy for you. They are not only gluten-free, but they are totally grain-free, they are also dairy-free and refined sugar-free. I haven’t yet played with using an egg replacer to make these vegan, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you do try it out, please do let me know what you think. This recipe makes 6 large muffins. I fill the batter all the way to the very top and as you can see in the photos, that gives you the lovely puffy muffin tops, if you want more muffins, just fill the cups up less and keep an eye on your bake time, it may take a little less time.
Thank you again guys for your wonderful blogiversary wishes and if you haven’t yet entered the contest, please do. You have 5 different opportunities to enter and the giveaway closes on Wednesday.
[print_this]Strawberry Basil Almond Flour Muffins – Gluten-free, Dairy-free (vegan option)
makes 6 or 7 large muffins
- 2 1/4 cups blanched almond flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 local farm fresh large brown eggs (you can try an egg replacer here, I haven’t yet however)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add in the honey, vanilla and oil and whisk until well combined. Add the dry mixture to the wet, stirring until combined. Carefully fold in the strawberries and basil.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling to the top if you want a nice muffin dome, or as us ladies know it “muffin tops”. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Gently pop the muffins out to continue cooling on the rack (don’t cool them longer than 5 minutes in the hot pan they’ll definitely get soggy). Enjoy a muffin after they have cooled 10 minutes, you know you want to.
I find storing muffins covered tightly in the refrigerator or freezer to be the best. Just pop one out as you want it, heat slightly in the microwave if you want to take the chill off and go.
*Something I have learned from baking on my own and from reading Elana’s Pantry, is that not all almond flour (or meal) is created equal. Bob’s Red Mill makes an almond flour, though easy to find, that doesn’t seem to react quite the same as other almond flours. It doesn’t seem to rise as much and it just seems to leave recipes flat. On Elana’s recommendation I now buy Honeyville brand almond flour in a 5-lb bag from their website.