Whatever your personal opinion of the concept of Valentine’s Day, it’s a good excuse to treat yourself or someone special to something yummy! Yes sure, you could turn to chocolate but maybe you’re looking for something a bit different and healthier (unless the chocolate has a cocoa content of at least 70%, of course).
On that note, have you tried some of the new 85% up to 95% chocolate that’s appearing in the shops lately? OMG, if you truly love chocolate and don’t like it to be sugary sweet, go out and get some now! CocoáFair, Honest Chocolate, Gayleen’s, Lindt and Green and Black’s are all brands I can recommend, from a taste and an ethical perspective.
But I digress…
These blueberry almond muffins are delicious, as well as being wheat- and refined sugar-free. With a base of ground almonds, they’re sweetened by fresh blueberries and a touch of honey, and they’re so easy to make.
You can buy the almonds already ground, or grind whole ones yourself (if you have the necessary grinder, it takes about 20 seconds). Nuts aren’t particularly cheap but for a special occasion, or if you’re looking for a healthy snack, they’re worth it. If you eat quite a few, you might want to consider buying in bulk – the cheapest place I’ve found for this is Yellow Submarine in Ottery.
This recipe makes enough for four medium muffins. The nuts make them quite filling so two each is usually enough, but if you’re feeling particularly hungry, or want to feed more than two people and/or save some for later, just double or triple the quantities.
Bear in mind that because we’re using almonds instead of wheat flour, they’re a little more crumbly than usual so need to be treated gently as you remove them from the muffin cups.
Serve warm or cold with Greek yoghurt, mascarpone or whipped cream and you have a delicious treat for you and/or your sweetie. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- 100g ground almonds
- 2T butter or coconut oil
- 1T honey
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg
- ½t baking powder
- ¼c fresh blueberries
- Greek yoghurt; or
- Mascarpone; or
- Whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C. If you’re using metal muffin pans, either butter them or place a cupcake case in each slot. Otherwise use silicon cases or a silicon pan, and if you have heart-shaped pans, even better.
If you’re using whole almonds, place them in a grinder and whizz until they’re fairly fine (I actually like mine with a few coarser bits in).
Place the butter, honey and salt in a bowl, and beat until the mix is fluffy and pale yellow.
Add the egg and 1T of the ground almonds to help stop the mixture from separating, and beat until smooth (although don’t expect it to be completely smooth).
Now add the remaining ground almonds and the baking powder and beat again. If the mixture seems a bit dry, you may want to add a touch of yoghurt or milk (it’s unlikely but does depend on the size of your egg).
Spoon the mixture into muffin pans and drop a few blueberries in each one.
Bake for 15 – 20 mins, or until the muffins are just browned and fairly firm to the touch.
Leave them in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack for a few more minutes – be gentle as they tend to be slightly fragile.
Serve warm or cold with a few more blueberries and some Greek yoghurt, mascarpone or whipped cream.
© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2015