|Gluten-free Oatmeal-Rice Elderberry Muffins|
We’re great fans of muffins – for eating at home or bringing to social gatherings. And we’re always looking for new ways to bring California’s unique native flavors to local cuisine. Dried fruits are a great way to feature California flavors. This recipe uses dried elderberries – an easy way of preserving elderberries (and other native fruits) and a handy staple to have on hand. For more on preserving native fruits see: http://mother-natures-backyard.blogspot.com/2016/08/california-gourmet-preserving-summer.html
Dried elderberries make a delicious and healthful tea. But you can also reconstitute them for use in many recipes, from desserts to baked goods. And while this recipe was developed using elderberries, the muffins are equally scrumptious if dried currants, gooseberries or raisins are used. In fact, any of the dried fruits/berries available in markets would work as well. Just substitute ¾ cup of dried berries in place of the elderberries. Note: you don’t need to reconstitute purchased dried fruits or home-dried currants/gooseberries.
We’re also trying to develop a repertoire of gluten-free recipes for garden food events. This recipe uses a combination of oatmeal (rolled oats) and rice flour. The resulting muffins are light in texture and have the chewy goodness of oatmeal (use the old-fashioned oatmeal for more texture). The muffins smell wonderful baking; like oatmeal-raisin cookies. We think they will please most foodies, including the gluten-free gourmets among us.
1½ cups quick or old-fashioned rolled oats (old-fashioned for texture)
Gluten-free Oatmeal-Rice Elderberry Muffins
1 cup rice flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk (can substitute soy or other nut milk)
¼ cup oil (we use light olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried elderberries (reconstituted) or ¾ cup raisins or dried *currants
1. Place dried elderberries in a heat-proof glass bowl; barely cover with boiling water. Let berries sit for 30 minutes (they will take up water and become softer).
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. (175° C.). Spray a 12-cup standard muffin tin with cooking spray (or line with paper liners).
3. In a large bowl, mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to oats mixture, stirring until just combined. Gently fold in elderberries (with juice) or raisins/currants.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack. Let muffins sit in tin for 5 minutes; then remove from tin and let cool completely.
Yields: 12 muffins
*You can use dried native currants or gooseberries, or purchased dried berry fruits from the market. You can mix several fruits; or split the batter and make two kinds of muffins. You don’t need to reconstitute purchased dried fruits or home-dried currants/gooseberries.
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