I’m just finishing up a long stretch at work and feeling drained. On the plus side, I am feeling much stronger (and faster!) when I ride my bike to work now. Not only that, but I’m actually enjoying it. When I first started, I knew it was good for me, the earth, and my checkbook, but I just didn’t like it. It was hard. Sometimes you have to “fake it till you make it.” Maybe it’s the much awaited sunshine, but I couldn’t help myself from just smiling every time I got on the bike! The down side? I’m so exhausted that I took an extra “rest day” off from working out today. I usually only take one day off a week, but today I thought I was going for a run and ended up mostly walking. My legs are sore and my energy is low. I hate messing up my schedule, but I have to respect my body.
Other exciting news? My bestie, Michelle, arrived in Portland Sunday! We are now about a 25 minute walk away- much easier than a 4 day car ride or 4.5 hour plane ride. As I mentioned, she is newly gluten-free and I have been making lots of gluten-free treats. I don’t follow a strictly gluten-free diet, but I do enjoy trying new grains and grain alternatives. I feel best when I eat a variety of grains such as rice, quinoa, oats, kasha, and millet instead of just all wheat.
These muffins are actually made with almond flour and are low carb, high protein (a whopping 9 grams per muffin!), and packed with nutrients. I don’t buy almond flour as it is quite expensive. I simply grind whole almonds in my coffee grinder and…voila! Almond flour. Almonds are high in protein, fiber, vitamin e, calcium, and magnesium. The best part? They taste amazing! Andrew wrote me a love letter after eating one when he came home the night I made them. The phrase “most delicious muffins I have EVER tasted” was used.
But it gets better! They are also ridiculously simple and easy to make. I slightly adapted a genius recipe from Elana for a simple almond flour muffin that she created as part of the “Gluten-free Ratio Rally.” Her basic recipe has just five ingredients, though I changed it up slightly with the additions I made. The “bomb” is the homemade cherry jam surprise inside, and I also stirred some chopped cherries into the batter, as well as chocolate chips in half of the muffins.
Almond Cherry Bomb Muffins:
*8 oz almond flour (about 2 cups if you don’t have a scale)
*4 large eggs (I know it sounds like a lot, they act as leavening and binding agents in gluten’s absence)
* 2 tablespoons agave nectar
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (Elana uses apple cider vinegar, but I didn’t have any on hand)
*1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
*1/2 cup pitted and chopped fresh or frozen cherries
*8 tablespoons cherry jam
*1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1. Line 8 standard muffin tins with paper cups, or grease them. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine wet ingredients (eggs, agave, vinegar, almond extract). Stir in almond flour and baking soda. Fold in chopped cherries and chocolate chips if using.
3. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, only about half full. Spoon 1 tablespoon of cherry jam into each, then cover with the remaining batter.
4. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Cool and enjoy!
I’m off to enjoy some much needed sunshine! Have a beautiful day!