Posts Tagged ‘quick breads’


I should rename my blog, “Muffin Mama,” since it seems I bake muffins at least twice a week. Baking is stress-relieving for me. In California, I baked muffins and breads regularly, but I because I haven’t bought a loaf pan yet here in Brazil, I’m all about the muffin. Unfortunately, because I can’t figure out the temperature on my oven in Brazil, there have been many muffins batches I wanted to share but couldn’t because they cooked too hot to be worth photographing.

I like making muffins because they’re simple to prepare, fun to eat, easy to make gluten- or dairy-free and low-sugar, and possess some element of nostalgia (possibly from the 80s–or was it the 90s when muffins became so popular that offering “muffin tops” even became a thing?). My kids love them, too, and I can put in all sorts of ingredients, such as carrots, zucchini, wheatgerm, and nuts, while keeping everyone happy.

This recipe is slightly more sophisticated than the banana or blueberry muffins I usually bake. These muffins you might serve when you invite someone over for tea or coffee, or as part of a brunch spread. They have a moist, delicate, cake-like texture, and the orange and almond combination make them just a tad sophisticated–if I can be so bold as to suggest muffins can have any sophistication. These would make a great companion to a leek and gruyere quiche or tart or an herb omelette if you’re inviting friends for brunch.

I’m crazy about almond, so you’ll appreciate the subtle almond flavor in these. If you don’t like almond, just use vanilla extract–just make sure it’s good quality, pure vanilla. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.



3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I like this brand)

1 cup almond flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp sea salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

zest of one orange (roughly 2-3 tsp)

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted



Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 12-muffin tin by either greasing the cups with a little olive oil or lining them with paper muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until mixture is even in color. Whisk in sugar, orange zest and juice, yogurt, oil, and extracts.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir until combined. (Don’t over stir.) Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.

Lightly toast the sliced almonds under just lightly golden. Sprinkle evenly over the batter-filled cups. Place in the center of the oven and bake 18-22 minutes or until the edges turn gold and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Once completely cooled, muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.




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zucc loafzucc slice


Moist, lightly sweet and perfect for anytime of day, this zucchini bread will get gobbled up by anyone standing around when it comes out of the oven. Yes, I suppose you could also classify it as another one of my strategies for getting vegetables into the little bodies running around my house (most often found loitering around my kitchen island asking for “a snack.”).

Both the standard version made with spelt and the gluten-free version turn out beautifully, but I’ve been making the gluten-free version most often. I also like that you can easily make this loaf dairy-free, too, in case you’re avoiding it.



1 cup whole-grain spelt flour*

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened or coconut oil (melted)

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup water or milk (cow, almond or coconut)

1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup (packed) grated zucchini, fine or standard grating

1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

*Make your loaf gluten-free by using 1cup all-purpose gluten-free flour, and 1/2 cup sorghum flour or boost the heart-healthy fats and protein content by using 1/2 cup GF all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup sorghum and 1/2 cup almond flour.



Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter or oil a standard-size loaf pan. Set aside.

zucc shred

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.

If using butter: In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, water or milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Stir in the grated zucchini.

zucc wet

Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.

zucc mix

Fold in the chopped nuts. Pour/spoon into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

If using melted coconut oil, whisk the eggs first. Whisk in the water or milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the coconut oil. Stir in the grated zucchini. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chopped nuts. Pour/spoon into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

Run a butter knife along the outside edge of the loaf to loosen it from the pan. Give it a little shake and flip it out onto a cutting board for slicing.

This bread will keep for 2-3 days on the counter wrapped in foil–longer if you store it in the fridge.




zucc slice above

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