It all started with a book my five year old brought home from school, a modern day version of Little Red Riding Hood “a new fangled prairie tale”, in my opinion, a truly terrible version of a classic, but it ended with grandma opening a muffin shop for the wolf to work in to keep him busy enough to stop terrorizing the neighborhood AND a recipe for Wheat Berry Muffins. Upon first reading I assumed it was muffins made with wheatberries, which as much as I love wheatberries, did not sound so tasty to me mixed into a muffin. But, then I realized it was whole wheat muffins with blueberries and “grandma’s” secret ingredient, sunflower seeds, now that didn’t sound too bad. Evan asked for days to make the Wheat Berry Muffins, but I had an open carton of buttermilk in the fridge that needed a purpose, so I decided Little Red’s grandma’s recipe needed some tweaking and the more I thought about it, I realized how yummy corn muffins are with berries and why not just for fun try to make a gluten free version….hmmm, now I was on to something. So I spent the morning scouring through recipes and ended up with four different ones I took a little from this one, a little from that one and so on until I came up with the tastiest little morsels, moist and delicious. There’s a hint of coconut, but not overwhelmingly so (in fact, Skyler, who despises all things coconut, upon tasting these for the first time, exclaimed “delicious” and then asked “is there coconut in these?” and then continued to devour the rest and ask for more), a really nice crunch from the coarse cornmeal and a bit of texture from the sunflower seeds, lightly sweet, unbelievably moist and so very yummy. These little gems are my current muffin obsession.
Corn Berry Muffins
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
Makes about 15 muffins or 12 plus 12 minis
1 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Coarse Cornmeal **
1/2 cup Almond Flour
3/4 cup Granulated Natural Cane Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Buttermilk
2 extra large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1/3 cup Coconut Oil – liquefied ***
1 – 1 1/2 cups Blueberries (or Blackberries) – about 1 -2 6 ounce containers of berries
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, add in all the dry ingredients; Brown Rice flour, Cornmeal, Almond flour, Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt. Whisk together to combine.
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, add in the Buttermilk, Eggs, Vanilla and Almond Extract. Stir thoroughly to combine.
Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir to fully combine. Mix in the Coconut Oil.
Gently stir in the Blueberries and Sunflower Seeds.
Prepare muffin tins with cooking spray. Pour in about ¼ cup of batter into each muffin cup.
Bake at 350 F, about 20-23 minutes for regular size muffins or 16-18 minutes for minis.
Recipe Notes: As an alternative to Blueberries these muffins are also delicious with big juicy Blackberries. I actually really like making mini muffins with 1 big Blackberry in each one.
**A note on Cornmeal– the cornmeal adds a nice little crunch to these muffins that I just adore. Alternatively, you could use finer corn flour, but you’d lose out on the crunch. I have also used corn flour with a few tablespoons of the ½ cup subbed out with polenta or corn grits.
***One other note, if Coconut Oil is not available, I think your best bet on substitution would be butter, but I would probably up it to 1/2 cup.
When I was young, my Italian Nana would often make a recipe for me that I loved. Long strands of twisted fusilli pasta with broccoli cooked in the same pot until it was so soft it nearly fell apart when I ate it. The salted water with the broccoli and pasta would develop a lovely brothy flavor which would be ladled into the bowl with the rest and then topped with some grated Romano cheese. It was delicious and to this day I still dream of it. Here I’ve cooked the fusilli and broccoli a bit more al dente, although the broccoli still is quite tender, and I added a creamy light ricotta “sauce”. Eating this now reminds me of my Nana. As the say in Italy, Buon Appetito!
Fusilli con Broccoli with Creamy Ricotta Sauce
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
1 pound pasta – fusilli or other shape, orecchiettie is also good
1 cup Ricotta cheese
Handful of chopped Parsley or Basil
Grated Romano cheese
Grated Ricotta Salata cheese
Zest of ½ Lemon
3 cloves Garlic – chopped
Hot Red Pepper Flakes or Black Pepper
1 bunch of Broccoli florets, cut to bite size pieces
Cook pasta until al dente in salted water, making sure to reserve some of the cooking liquid for the sauce. During the last 2 minutes, add the chopped Broccoli to the pot and stir around.
While the pasta cooks, in a small saucepan add the chopped garlic, a pinch of salt and olive oil to cover. Warm over low heat, to infuse the oil with garlic flavor and gently cook the garlic. – this step is optional and can be skipped if you’re not a huge fan of garlic, but I think it adds a great extra layer of flavor to the finished dish.
Also, while the pasta cooks, to a large serving bowl add Ricotta, Parsley or Basil, grated cheeses and Lemon Zest. Mix together.
Add the cooked Pasta and Broccoli to the Ricotta mixture adding in some reserved pasta liquid a little bit at a time, until the sauce is the consistency you like. Pour the infused Olive Oil and Garlic over the Pasta and top with a bit of Red Pepper flakes or ground Black Pepper, whichever you prefer. Finish with a little extra grated Cheese if you like. Serve warm and Enjoy!
Recipe Notes: I love the lemon zest in this sauce but if you’re not a fan, feel free to skip it. In it’s absence I would add a little nutmeg.
My name is Jen and I never met a recipe I didn’t want to change. I view recipes as inspirational guidelines, not rules to follow. I hope you find some delicious healthy recipes that inspire you to cook and eat and feel free to change at will. If you enjoy what you see, please feel free to subscribe, you’ll receive recipes as my life and time permits and I promise not to fill your inbox or your tummies with any junk. Enjoy!