Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Granola Muffins

By: Carol Blymire

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Gluten-Free Granola Muffins
AKA My Baby Takes the Mornin' Train 

When you have celiac, it can be difficult to find food on the go that's safe to eat for any meal during the day. In the morning I am a major bigtime crankypants, and I want something delicious to snack on (and also to absorb the insane amount of coffee I drink, if I'm being totally honest). So I need something delicious and substantive and, most important, easy and quick.

Dumping a bag of granola into my mouth while driving was not exactly working out (too many raisins found their way into my bra). So I decided muffins were the way to go and created a gluten-free granola muffin recipe that is pretty easy to tinker with, depending on what you like in your granola.

There’s no store-bought granola here. It's so easy to make your own, and you can customize it however you'd like! Not into dried fruit? Toss in carob and sesame seeds. Hate pecans? Use walnuts or chopped cashews instead. Whatever makes you happy.

On Sunday afternoon I make a double batch and freeze half. That way I have some ready for the first few days of the workweek, and another pack in strategic reserve when my schedule gets hectic and crazy again. You can stick a frozen muffin or two in your kid's lunchbox or your celiac sweetie's workbag; the muffins will be thawed by the time your loved one gets the 11am hunger pangs. Having these muffins ready to go at any time makes life that much sweeter.

Can't imagine a nicer way to start the morning, can you?
Granola Muffins

You can make the batter for these muffins the night before and refrigerate it so you can pop them in the oven early in the morning and let the rest of the folks in your house wake up to the lovely smell. These muffins are great right out of the oven, and they freeze well. They'll keep, covered, at room temperature for three days.

Total Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Yield: 12 muffins
Level: Easy

For the granola (makes 2 cups)
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup dried fruit (I prefer a combination of golden raisins, cranberries and currants)

For the muffins
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour (mochiko)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all granola ingredients except the dried fruit. Stir well to combine and make sure oil, brown sugar and coconut are evenly distributed.

Transfer mixture to a small baking dish or cast-iron pan and roast in oven for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through the roasting time.

Let granola cool for 5 minutes, then stir in dried fruit. Keep oven at 400 degrees F to bake muffins.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, brown sugar, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Stir in the buttermilk, vegetable or canola oil, and vanilla extract.

Stir the granola into the mixture.

Spoon mixture evenly into paper-lined muffin tins.

Bake for 20 minutes.

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