Besides, it’s seems completely appropriate to be talking of warm, nurturing, harvesty foods on this blustery day. And speaking of ‘blustery days’ I do believe that a visit between my middlest boy, good ole Pooh Bear and myself is in order this afternoon….because it’s just that sort of day.
There will be no new pictures here as we are currently not eating um, any of these. We recently started a new diet as an attempt to heal some of the various health problems within our family. So, we will just have to settle for lots of carrot soup (I’ve been practically living off of carrot soup lately) and home-made apple sauce this Autumn, and you will have to be content to refer to the original post if you want to see the finished product!
The tricky part of making acorn muffins, is preparing the flour. Start with large, plump acorns that show no signs of decay. Remove the caps and shell them. Now that you have your nuts you must soak them to remove the tannins (and the bitter taste that comes with them!). I’ve read several methods of doing this. I opted to boil them, changing the water several times until it ran clear. If you are unable to get them to this point in an afternoon, storing them in the refrigerator, covered in water, will keep them fresh and aid in the tannin reduction process. Allow the nuts to dry and grind using whatever method you choose (mortar and pestle, blender, grinder). Now you are ready to start your muffins!
This recipe, by John Stormm, appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of The Blessed Bee. My adaptations, based on what I happened to have on hand at the time, will be noted in parenthesis. I doubled the recipe.
1 1/2 Cups of 50/50 flour and acorn flour (I used a combination of Bob’s Gluten-free flour mix, acorn and hazel nut flour)
1/2 C of unprocessed sugar (Rapadura)
1/4 tsp. of nutmeg (cardamom)
3/4 cup of diced apples and raisins or other dried fruit (fresh apples and fresh dates)
1 egg (equivalent egg replacer)
1/2 C buttermilk or milk (coconut milk)
1/3 C melted butter or margarine (olive oil)
(see how well I follow recipes?)
Cliff Notes version of the directions: Combine wet ingredients in one bowl, dry in another, mix together. Should remain a bit lumpy. Spoon into well greased muffin pan, bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Now here is where things really get vague!
Prior to going GF I used to make this using a combination of oats, a bit of flour, pinch of salt, vanilla, spices and maple syrup, all added to taste and baked at around 375 until it “seemed done”. I used all different kinds of fruit for this, berries, pears, peaches, you could add some dried fruit, if desired, as well. To this basic topping recipe I sometimes added a bit of oil or some nut butter, depending on my mood. I noticed that Grace has just posted a recipe on her blog that is very similar to this, and hers has actual measurements and stuff (imagine that), so if you find my creative, willy-nilly baking style too alarming, you might want to stop by there!
Since going GF, I’ve made this twice. Both times it was served to non-GF friends, and met with rave reviews.
The first time I used: a combination of gluten-free flours (rice and tapioca, I believe, but don’t hold me to that!), some ghee, pinch of sea salt, maple syrup, a bit of gluten-free hot cereal, cardamom, cinnamon, and coriander.
The second time I used: My leftover acorn and hazel nut flour (see above) that I had stored in the freezer in place of the hot cereal. I used rice flour, instead of a blend. I also added cashew butter.
The second batch was the winner in my book.
And while I’m in recipe mode, here is a wonderful, multipurpose, gluten-free sweet bread that I’ve been meaning to share (there are measurements this time and everything!). The recipe was crafted by a friend, with a few alterations by me.
All Purpose Sweet Bread
1/2- 1 cup Maple syrup
3-4 eggs beaten (I now use egg replacer because we can’t have eggs and it doesn’t turn out nearly as well, but still good.)
3/4-1 cup oil
1 1/2 cups Water
2 cups mashed or pureed main ingredient- so if you are making banana bread then bananas, squash for squash bread, etc. I’ve used this recipe with pumpkin, various other kinds of squash, bananas, apple sauce, and carrots so far. For the best results I would say go with one of the squashes first and make muffins, then after you can branch out and try different flavors.
3 cups rice flour White rice works best.
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
A note on spices:
Adjust these according to the type of bread/muffin/cake you are making. Cinnamon and cloves are nice with apple. I like a bit of coriander in my banana bread. Cardamom gives and exotic touch to carrot cake. Alter this part to suit your own tastes.
This is a good combo for squash breads:
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
Combine all of the wet ingredients in one bowl and all of the dry ingredients in another. Blend together. Bake at 350 in an ungreased pan. Muffins take about 20 minutes, bread is around an hour, cake is somewhere in between. keep and eye out because it varies from oven to oven. This makes around 24 muffins or two loaves of bread. Leftovers freeze well.
Happy baking and Enjoy!