March 2. Sleet, freezing rain, and snow. Gluten-free vegan muffins. What do those things have in common – nothing really except for that’s what’s going on this lovely Sunday morning. I finished up week 2 of training – 3 bikes, 4 runs, 2 swims and LOTS of yoga. It was a great training week. I had to sneak in two long workouts yesterday due to today’s weather, but on the bright side I have a full 36 hours off. My body needs it…my head, not so much. It would love to run again today! That’s not going to happen though because it’s below freezing right now and sleeting. Peeking out the window the car is glistening and the trees are starting to shine in the morning light, so my cup of coffee and smell of baked goods coming from the oven is quite nice right now. I’m glad I wrapped up my long run yesterday so I didn’t have to slip through it this morning!
So, just when you think the dogwood buds and few daffodils popping up are a sure sign of spring…BAM…sister winter comes back! I’m only in it for a couple of days, as it’s off to Charleston, SC on Tuesday and then back into the bitter cold in Michigan for a few days this coming weekend and early next week. Those warm/cold trips are always fun to pack for! I started the process yesterday and had to break out the big suitcase (I HATE checking bags for those of you who have traveled with me!). On the bright side, I got a little bit of organizing in my closet done.
Speaking of travel, this spring is quite busy for me. I’ve got a trip lined up every other week for the next couple of months. I’m trying not to get overwhelmed with that and the fact we move into the new house in about 6 weeks. We check every few days on the progress and things are looking great. The upstairs bamboo floors and the cedar slats were finished up or are being wrapped up this week. The details get started on soon and that means we are closer to move in. I’ll try to post weekly progress pictures as we go and when it’s finished you’re all invited for a long run and coffee on the covered porch!
Since I’ve been getting up early to workout this week to get everything in, my body is adjusting to these early morning wake-ups. So, at 5:30 am I woke up. No alarm. My sleep in day – boo! So, since the Mister is still asleep I thought a cooked breakfast sounded lovely. I made my coffee and whipped up some GF Vegan Mango Coconut Muffins. They look delicious! For those of you who have ever chatted with me about food/nutrition (by the way, something I love to talk about), I follow a vegan diet because I feel that it makes me my best. Last year I cut out all packaged foods and gluten. I am not allergic to gluten, but I was curious to see how it made me feel and if it affected my race performance. I ran two PR marathons, so I decided to stick with it going into 2014. I also follow a raw vegan diet the majority of the time, but every once in a while need a baked good or hot meal! In the last year I’ve become best friends with my dehydrator, Vitamix, food processor, and juicer. My Kitchen Aid, at one time my favorite kitchen appliance, is now tied for third or fourth! …you didn’t need to know all that, but I bet you want this recipe? It’s super tasty. I have found that baking GF and Vegan is tricky – half the things turn out, half the time they are…interesting in taste and texture?! (that’s a nice way to say it!). I love checking that random food section of TJ Maxx for flours, mixtures, etc. and found my favorite GF Flour mix there last year – Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour. It’s a little pricey, but since I only bake a couple of times a month, it lasts me a while and is worth it to have tasty baked goods. I like nut flours the best, but for making muffins and breads I found a blend works best. So, here is the details on those delicious muffins!
Mango Coconut Muffins (GF/Vegan)
1 cup nut milk (I made homemade almond milk)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp flax
1 3/4 cups GF flour blend
1/2 cup vegan sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup of liquid coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup of mango (I used frozen mango and chopped it up)
Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffins tins, or 24 mini muffin tins. In a small bowl make the ‘buttermilk’ – mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set to the side. Make the flax ‘egg’ – mix water and flax and set aside. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (GF flour through cinnamon). Whisk together all wet ingredients (flax egg, coconut oil, milk, almond extract). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ones. Mix together. Fold in the mango and shredded coconut.
Spoon batter into the muffins tins and bake muffins for 18-20 min or mini muffins for 14-15 min. Remove and let cool on cooling rack. You can store these for up to three days in the fridge, or for weeks in the freezer…if they make it past breakfast!