Cranberry Crumb Topped Muffins, Gluten Free
Crumb topped cranberry muffins and they’re gluten free too! This time of year fresh cranberries are flooding the stores and although I usually use dried cranberries in salads, for snacking and in cookie and muffin recipes throughout the year, I have to say using fresh cranberries in muffins is unexpectedly delicious. I happened to pick up 2 bags of cranberries while I was doing some last minute Thanksgiving shopping, a) because my 8 year old spotted them and said we should buy them and b) because there was a 2 for 1 sale (and I have a hard time passing up a sale), then I went home and realized I had no idea what to do with all these cranberries. I scoured through my recipes and decided to adapt one of my favorite gluten free muffin recipes to use the cranberries. And, crumb topping, because why not, who doesn’t love crumbs, really? The results were delicious and I proceeded to make them 3 more times over the next couple of weeks!
These crumb topped cranberry muffins are going to make the perfect Christmas morning breakfast for my family. Christmas morning is always pretty rushed in our house, opening presents with the kids before we clean up and dash off to spend the rest of the day with my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and old family friends. But it’s Christmas and I still want to have a special breakfast with Colin & the kids, so we usually have smoothies, caffeine for Colin & I (of course!) and some kind of muffin, scone, bagel or pastry…yum. And since I’m trying SO hard to be gluten free, this year I plan to start out the day that way even though I know I’ll be sneaking in my dad’s cookies later on.
I have been experimenting a lot with gluten free baking over the last couple of years and one of the hardest things to do is create a gluten free muffin that will not just fall apart to crumbs the second you pick it up or take a bite, and I am happy to say I have discovered the way. Millet flour and oats seem to be the perfect combo of flours for making gluten free muffins, that do not fall apart and actually look and taste like a regular (albeit healthier than white flour) muffin. The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity. Two flours, that’s it, unlike most gluten free recipes that either rely on a premixed and very expensive gluten free flour blend or mixing up your own blend of 3 or 4 different flours, plus starches and gums. No starches or gums here and only one specialty flour. Granted millet flour may not be in every pantry, but it’s definitely worth seeking out, not only is it gluten free, it’s actually a seed not a grain, but it is super nutritious and alkalizing. I find baking with rice flour can sometimes result in a grainy texture that I never experience with millet. Oats, as everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock can tell you are heart healthy and high in fiber, not to mention delicious and are also great for baking gluten free. Beware though, a lot of oats may be produced in the same factories as gluten grains and can become contaminated, so if you have a true gluten allergy like celiac or are baking for someone who does, be sure to seek out certified gluten free oats. I save money and extra pantry space by never buying oat flour, instead I just blend up old fashioned rolled oats as needed, it takes about 30 seconds in a blender and you’re done. I also find that blending my own oats into flour, produces a lighter end result, which I prefer.
So I recommend you bake up a batch of these crumb topped gluten free cranberry muffins, pronto…maybe even for Christmas morning, for an easy, delicious and healthy breakfast treat. Enjoy!