Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gluten-free Black Currant Muffins

OK, I must admit, I am struggling with the "no sugar" effort... suddenly I'm craving something sweet all of the time. Which only reinforces that I need to lay off the sugar for a while.

I decided to experiment with a sugar-free muffin this morning- using whatever I have in my refrigerator, which isn't much these days. Summer time is slim picking at the Farmers' Market. But I have carrots... a lot of carrots. Perfect.

Since I was craving something sweet, I loaded this muffin with sweet things like carrots, apples and currants. In retrospect, I believe I was subconsciously thinking "carrot cake". I'm not sure if using agave exactly counts as sugar-free, but at least it's lower-glycemic than cane sugar. I think this no-sugar effort is going to be a work in progress.

These muffins are deliciously dark due to the black currant juice.

Gluten-free Black Currant Muffins
Makes 12 muffins


  • 2 1/2 cups your favorite gluten free flour mix (I used this one)
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 2 teaspoons corn-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup black currant juice
  • 1/4 cup white grape juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (I think you could get away with less; perhaps 1/4 or 1/3cup)
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup dried currants (Note: while black currant juice appears to be actual black currants, be aware that what is sold as dried "currants" in the US is just a small variety of grape; usually called "zante currants") You could substitute raisins if you do not have dried currants.
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 apple, diced small (I used a gala, because that's what I had on hand, but I think a granny smith would be better)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Line a muffin tin with unbleached parchment cups. I ran out of muffin liners, so I improvised my own from regular parchment paper:
The spice jars were just holding the parchment down in the cup until I could spoon batter in each cup.
In a large bowl, whisk together the GF flour mix, guar gum, corn-free baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together black currant juice, white grape juice, unsweetened applesauce, agave nectar, and grapeseed oil.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine.

The batter is purple from the black currant juice! It doesn't actually show up so well in the photo here, but it was quite a pretty shade of purple.
Fold in carrots, apple, currants, and pecans.

Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool approximately 10 minutes, and enjoy!
Those DIY parchment cups didn't turn out so badly:
The muffins are very sweet and very moist. The moistness doesn't quite come across in the photo, but think: carrot cake. Hmmm... maybe I should call this recipe "carrot cake muffins"?

I'm sure these will freeze well, so there will be a stash on hand!

More info on the nutrients in: black currantscarrots, cinnamon, zante currants, apples, and brown rice.

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