I was all set to make paleo cranberry muffins, except the cranberries were missing. I had a whole bag of dried cranberries right in the pantry and they were gone when I went to grab all my ingredients to make the muffins. At first I thought the 4 year old ate the whole bag, but she probably would have been sick if she ate the entire bag. Then I thought my partner might have eaten them considering he is a bit of a human garbage disposal and will eat anything and everything.
I finally realized that my poor teenager must have grabbed them as a snack since she has late rehearsals this week and the next couple of weeks and she needed a snack to tide her over. She has a pretty punishing schedule for an 8th grader; we wake up at 5 so she can leave the house by 5:30 to get to the bus by 5:40. Then she has about a 90 minute bus ride to school, a full day of school, and then, if she has after school practice, she doesn't get home till 8 at night. That's a lot for a 14 year old, but it's a fantastic school, she's getting great grades, and (most importantly) she's happy there. But, she does need a snack so I do not begrudge her a bag of dried cranberries.
I did a quick scan of the pantry and realized I had leftover shredded coconut and a bunch of lemons from our tree, so I improvised and now we have Lemon Coconut Muffins instead of the cranberry muffins. Kitchen Improvisation Magic!
Paleo Lemon Coconut Breakfast Muffins
2 c almond flour
1/2 t baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon (wash first, then zest)
1/4c maple syrup*
2 T good quality olive oil (or coconut oil)
2 T lemon juice (from your zested lemon)
1 1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut*
1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a regular muffin tin with paper cups.
2. Mix almond flour, baking soda, sea salt, and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add in the shredded coconut and mix well.
*Note: Feel free to reduce the amount of shredded coconut to 1 cup if 1 1/2 cups sounds like too much. You can also up the amount of maple syrup (maybe 1/2 c max) if you would like a sweeter muffin.
3. Fill muffin cups almost all the way up to the top. These muffins don't expand too much so you can be generous with the filling in each (there's just enough for 12 good sized muffins).
4. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. My muffins took 24 minutes, so start checking at 20 minutes and take out when the tops are nicely toasted and a knife inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
These are hearty enough for breakfast and are a great grab and go option when you have to run out the door in the morning. Like most paleo baked goods, the muffins tend to get a little soggy by the next day. We didn't mind the texture, but you can always throw one in the toaster oven and give it a good toast to perk it right up.