A few months ago I purchased Autumn Calabrese’s “Fixate” cookbook to add some more healthy ingredients to my arsenal.

I wouldn’t say I’m stubborn, but I hate trying exotic ingredients in my tried and true recipes. To my dismay, all of Autumn’s baked goods called for one of those foreign ingredients: almond flour.

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After weeks of searching for it in stores, almond flour was becoming the bane of my existence. I was going to try it — for the sake of food science — but I was not about to buy a food processor to make my own. I finally stumbled across a bag of it made by King Arthur Flour out of 100 percent blanched almonds. At a whopping 10 bucks for a 16-ounce bag, I threw my budget out the window and bit the bullet.

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Two things worried me about almond flour: the taste and the texture. I like almonds, but I was sure the consistency would be off and my baked goods would taste like tree bark.

I stuck to Autumn’s recipe for apple muffins, except for one other pricey ingredient: organic grass-fed butter. So I swapped that out for olive oil. Surprisingly, the muffins were everything I wanted them to be — moist, sweet and not crumbly. My picky boyfriend even ate two, so I’d call my first go at almond flour a success.

If you’d like to try the recipe for yourself, I’ve listed it below. My adaptations to the recipe are noted in parenthesis.

AUTUMN CALABRESE’S APPLE MUFFINS

Total time: 40 minutes

Makes: 9 muffins

You’ll need:

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (or 1 tablespoon of olive oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda (I just used 1 teaspoon to make my life easier)
  • A sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple (I used 1 medium apple)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. With a fork, mash the bananas until they are a pudding-like consistency (lumps are okay).
  3. In a medium bowl, add the bananas, eggs and butter (or oil). Mix well.
  4. Add in the almond flour and other dry ingredients. Mix well again before folding in the chopped apple.
  5. In a muffin tin, evenly spoon the batter into nine greased spaces.
  6. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes and serve warm.

(Recipe from Autumn Calabrese’s “Fixate,” Beachbody, LLC, 2015.)

Haley Church is a Mishawaka resident and writes for Flavor 574. Follow her on Instagram, @HaleyDrewChurch.

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