This past week was a tough one. I haven’t posted since early in the morning on Marathon Monday, I haven’t been able to gather thoughts in an appropriate manner, and it wasn’t the time for fun new recipe posts anyway. For those of you also in the Boston area, I hope you made it through the week safe and sound, and that you are gradually getting back into the swing of things. I can definitely say it’s a relief to be returning to normal, though I wish we’d never had to endure that week and those horrific events in the first place.
This recipe was the first I’ve made in quite some time. I’m back on a very restrictive diet – coming up on 3 years of feeling sick nearly every day means I have a renewed energy for trying to find what ails me. This diet means no gluten and no dairy, among other things, so baking is obviously the first thing to go. However, with the Secret Recipe Club reveal looming, I had to find a recipe to make that I could enjoy while sticking within the strict guidelines of my diet.
For this month, I was assigned Denise’s blog From Brazil to You , which features a collection of Brazilian-inspired recipes, and a lot of new-to-me dishes. I had a blast pouring over her recipes, finding things that I bookmarked for the future, and then narrowing down a few options to finally settle on these corn muffins I ended up making. My second choice, and almost the subject of this blog post, was her Banana Coffee Chai Smoothie – something that fits (mostly) within the confines of my diet, and sounded really delicious! I just didn’t make it because we had no chai tea bags around…
So. Muffins. Believe it or not I don’t think I’ve ever made corn muffins before. Cornbread, yes, but never corn muffins. Kind of hard to believe right?! I think in my mind I see corn muffins as bland and boring, so they’re never something I even consider when I’m looking for a new recipe to try, but fortunately these caught my eye, and with a few tweaks became diet friendly! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s very easily made for gluten-lovers or gluten-free. I even did mine mostly dairy free, with the exception of butter which I am (thankfully!) allowed to eat.
Many recipes won’t come out the same if you substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour, but this recipe actually worked out perfectly. I have not tried them with regular all-purpose flour, but that’s how Denise made her recipe, and she had nothing but good things to say. I feel the same about my muffins – they were great! Very moist with a wonderful texture, and rather sweet. I think if I made them again I would reduce the sugar a touch, though a good corn muffin to me always airs on the sweeter side, even if only just a bit.
Denise made her muffins with guava paste, but since I had a fresh batch of fig jam in the fridge, I used that instead. I really loved the flavor combo, especially smeared with a bit of salted butter. Mmmm! She added her guava paste to the batter and to the slightly hollowed-out muffins tops post-baking, but I only added my fig jam to the muffins pre-baking, so that the muffins came out with a warm figgy center. It was a lovely touch!
All in all, another great month with the SRC, and I was thrilled to sneak something baked and delicious into my diet. Also a comforting recipe after a long, exhausting and frightening week. Here’s to looking ahead, and to being grateful every day for the things that we have. This incident reminded me how fragile life is and how lucky we are for each day that we can wake up, bake muffins, and otherwise enjoy our lives. Here’s to whatever makes you happy!