Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cranberry Coconut Muffins - gluten free, dairy free, soy free, rice free, corn free

If you haven't tried Breads From Anna mixes yet, here is what you are missing: moist, springy muffins with high quality and nutritious ingredients.  A gluten free treat that will rival any coffeehouse counterpart.  Pictured is the cranberry coconut muffin recipe from the back of the Cranberry Pancake & Muffin Mix.   While this is first listed as a "Pancake" mix, I have to say that the coconut addition muffin preparation is far superior.  The pancake comes out thick and a bit tart, for my taste.  The coconut cranberry muffin, however, is hands down the best gluten free muffin mix I have tried.  I recommend using unsweetened finely shredded coconut flakes to achieve the best balance.  This muffin, pictured, utilizes almond milk instead of coconut milk and coconut oil as the vegetable oil.  This recipe works well with both coconut milk and almond milk. 

What is so great about Breads From Anna products?
1) Low allergen options.  If you ever find yourself in need of a yeast free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free bread...look no further.  You will not find a better choice then Anna's yeast free mix.  All of Anna's mixes work well with flaxseed egg replacer, as well.  
2) Quality ingredients.  Instead of going with the standard rice, potato, starch based breads, Anna's products use starch mixed with millet, chia, and bean flours to increase your nutritional balance by introducing fiber and protein to the mixture.  Instead of refined sugar, you'll find crystallized honey or pure maple syrup products to offer a slightly healthier option.  The choices Anna has made in selecting her ingredients puts her so far ahead of her competitors in both flavor and nutrition profile.

Tips: Anna's mixes have been reported to be difficult by many of my nutrition clients.  I have not experienced this problem, and I have been using them for years.  Here are some tips that will help you with your Breads From Anna mixes. 
  • Jumbo Eggs: Anna uses HUGE eggs.  I have attended her cooking classes and she uses the biggest eggs I have ever seen.  In our home, we use much smaller farm raised chicken eggs, so I always add an egg when following her recipes.
  • Flaxseed egg replacer.  1 tablespoon of milled flaxseed + 3 tablespoons hot water replaces an egg in Anna's recipes.  This works well.  For the yeast free bread mix, I like to use 2 tablespoons milled flaxseed + 7 tablespoons hot water.
  • Let it sit.  I find that letting them mixture sit for 20-30 minutes before baking helps the ingredients to moisten.
  • Use stoneware, or cook in small sizes.  Jumbo muffins tend to fall in once removed from the oven, so use smaller muffins, or mini loaf stoneware pans. Ceramic Ramikens work great.
  • Get creative.  For her Banana and Pumpkin mixes, add a combination of banana and cranberry, or zucchini, applesauce, cooked squash. Get creative and enjoy the results!
  • Pie crust: if you want to roll out your pie crust, roll it between two pieces of wax paper, freeze for 30 minutes before working with the rolled out dough.
You may need to order your mixes online, depending on your location.  Shipping can be cost prohibitive, at times.  Consider looking to local stores with shipping specials.  Anna's company is based in Iowa, so look to Iowa Health Market such as Advance Health and HyVee as choices for shipping.  I have found that all of the Breads From Anna products freeze well, which works out very nicely for grab and go snacks throughout the year.  Enjoy!

Here is a great recipe for making delightful jam tarts with Anna's pie crust mix.
Jam Tarts Recipe Here

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