These almond blueberry muffins are a new obsession at my house. They are not only gluten-free, but amazingly delicious and surprisingly healthy. They are so easy to make a child can do it.
Why almond flour
The key ingredient here is almond flour. Almond flour is made from blanched almonds that are ground and sifted into a fine flour. It is incredibly nutritious, particularly rich in vitamin E and magnesium, two important nutrients for health. It is better than conventional flours for your blood sugar, as it has a low glycemic index. High in monounsaturated fat, it is gluten-free, lower in carbs and more nutrient-dense than wheat and coconut flours. But more importantly: its’ delicious!
What you need
You will need 2 large or 3 medium very ripe bananas (with brown spots on them). As bananas ripen, their starch turns into sugar, and that’s where the sweetness of the muffins comes from. There is a bit of added sugar in the form of maple syrup, and my next experiment will be to remove the maple syrup completely. I believe if the bananas are ripe enough, the muffins should still taste quite sweet. Stay tuned!
This recipe uses almond flour, which is not the same as almond meal. Almond meal is typically made from raw (unpeeled) almonds, and almond flour is made from blanched (peeled) almonds. Compared to almond meal, almond flour has a finer texture and lighter color and works better in baking.
We are talking about real maple syrup here, of course. The all-natural one that comes from maple trees. Not the fake one that comes from a chemical factory and contains high fructose corn syrup as the main ingredient, and a variety of other artificial ingredients.
Here again, do yourself a favor and splurge for the real deal. Unfortunately, 90% of the world’s vanilla extract is fake imitation vanilla that’s not a product of the plant itself. Instead, it’s flavored primarily with synthetic vanillin. Look for a label that says “pure vanilla extract”. My favorite of all times: Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract.
I usually make this recipe with frozen blueberries. They are so convenient to have in your freezer at all times, and always picked at their peak! No need to thaw them, just mix them frozen into the dough. Fresh blueberries work as well, obviously.
Muffin pan and liners
This here is a matter of personal preference, but I have found the perfect combination for me. I use a 12-cup non stick muffin pan and I line it with these amazing reusable silicone muffin liners. These have seriously changed my life and I don’t know why I hadn’t bought them until recently.
Once the muffins are cool enough to handle, you can either leave them in the silicone liners, or remove them by gently pressing on the sides. The muffin will come right out. No need to grease the pan or the liners. They are easy to wash afterwards in warm soapy water.
I do not recommend baking these almond blueberry muffins in a non-stick muffin pan without liners. They will tend to stick to the pan unless you slather it with butter, which would defeat the purpose of making healthier muffins.
Ice cream scoop
This is not absolutely necessary but makes dividing the batter a breeze. If you follow the measurements in this recipe, you will end up with 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin cup. My secret tool is a large (1/4 cup) ice cream scoop. But if you don’t have one, you can use a 1/4 cup measuring cup, or just eyeball it! Beware the batter is a bit sticky!
How to make almond blueberry muffins
Make sure you measure the amount of mashed bananas and use only 1 cup. If you have more or less than this amount, the consistency of your muffins will not be correct. They will either be too moist or too dry and crumbly. One cup is just the perfect amount. Trust me!
Fist mix the wet ingredients in the bowl until combined: bananas, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Then add the dry ingredients: almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine it all together. Finally, add the blueberries and gently fold them into the batter so they don’t get crushed. If using frozen blueberries, a bit of blue color will unavoidably seep into the batter but it’s OK. They will still look like these picture once cooked 😉
Baking time at 350F is between 25 and 30 minutes. The sweet spot in my oven is 28 minutes.
Once they come out of the oven, leave them in the pan for a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle. I like to remove mine from the liners after letting them cool down a bit more. Then I throw them in a bag in the freezer. One minute in the microwave oven is all it takes to have a nice warm muffin that tastes like it’s right out of the oven…
Yum… I may have to go eat one right now… Try them for yourself and you’ll see how addictive they can be!
Other recipes you might like:
Almond blueberry muffins
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with silicone or paper liners.
- Mash the bananas with a fork in a large bowl.
- Add eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Mix well with a whisk until combined.
- Add almond flour to the bowl. Sprinkle baking powder, baking soda and salt on top. Whisk until well incorporated.
- Add blueberries to the bowl.
- Gently fold them into the batter with a spatula
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups, about 1/4 cup each (4 tablespoons). A large ice cream scoop is very convenient for this.
- Bake 28 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Let the pan stand 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the muffins with their liners from the pan and let them cool another 15 minutes on the wire rack. Once they are cool enough to handle, take them out of the liners by gently pressing on the sides and let them finish cooling.
- These muffins can frozen and reheated for a minute in a microwave oven.