Spring time means a lot of local fresh fruit and vegetables are starting to become available. I’m so excited to see so many greens in our CSA (community shared agriculture) box from Tap Root Farms in Nova Scotia, Canada. For the past three weeks we have also received a bunch of rhubarb in our box. At first I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it and all I could think of was strawberry rhubarb pie and stewed rhubarb. I opted for a strawberry rhubarb square recipe and I cut up several stalks and put them in our freezer. I measured out the cut rhubarb into 1 cup servings so it will be easy to use in future recipes.
However, this past week when we got our box with rhubarb again, I thought I would try rhubarb muffins. I searched for quite a long time looking for a muffin recipe that didn’t have several cups of sugar. Almost every recipe I looked at had 1 to 2 cups of brown or white sugar. In 12 muffins, that is 1 1/3 to 2 2/3 Tbsp of sugar PER MUFFIN! I guess people think you need a lot of sugar to balance out the tart/sour taste of rhubarb. Let me tell you – you don’t. I know that muffins can be delicious without refined sugar, so I continued to search until I found a recipe that satisfied my ideal ingredient list. Besides the fact I know my body doesn’t need the added sugar, I certainly don’t want Henry to be eating it. And you can be sure that if I’m eating it, he will want some. In fact, he now knows which cupboard these muffins are kept in and although he can’t open it, he stands and points at it in hopes I get one for him. What can I say, he’s persistent! I don’t really mind though as I feel good about every single ingredient in this recipe (how often can you say that!?).
Some of the nutritional highlights of these muffins include (but aren’t limited to!):
🌿 Rhubarb – high in fiber (great for constipation), vitamin C (good for your immune system), vitamin K (aids in bone health by helping to transport calcium, good for blood clotting) B vitamins (for energy), calcium (bone health), and magnesium (relieving constipation, bone health, muscle relaxation, mental calmness)
🌿 Dates – fiber (regulating bowel movements), potassium (water balance within the body, brain function), magnesium (used to make vitamin D from the sunlight), manganese (antioxidant, nervous system function), iron (to carry oxygen around on your red blood cells, for new blood cell formation for your baby)
🌿 Chia seeds – rich in omega 3 fatty acids (essential for life and for vitamin absorption) and fiber
🌿 Flax seeds – omega 3 fatty acids, high in fiber
🌿 Almond butter – high in healthy fat (monounsaturated fatty acids for healthy brain development), high in protein (which is used as the building blocks of your growing baby)
🌿 Cinnamon – helps to balance blood sugar
Don’t be scared off by the fact these muffins are “gluten free”. The flavour and texture have not been compromised! They simply don’t have traditional white flour in them. Instead, you use gluten free oats and just grind them in a blender to make oat flour. Oats are naturally gluten free, but if you want this recipe to be truly gluten free, you must chose oats that are labeled as such. Any other oats can be contaminated as they are often processed in a facility with other glutinous grains.
Muffins are often thought of as a breakfast food, but typically they are mostly carbohydrates. For me, they would need to have a substantial amount of protein in order to be considered a breakfast option. For this reason, I suggest eating these muffins as a treat/dessert or if you really want them at breakfast, then pair one with a hard boiled egg, or better yet scrambled eggs with some veg (spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions etc.).
I certainly can’t take credit for this recipe. Here is the link to the original recipe I used as a base for these muffins. I changed it up a bit by adding more rhubarb and more cinnamon. You’ll find my version of the recipe below.
Besides the taste, my favourite thing about this recipe is that you only need a food processor or blender. No mixing bowls required = less dishes! And they freeze really well so I highly recommend doubling the recipe and storing ½ of them in the freezer for when you need a treat. Imagine being able to grab one to eat it while you are feeding your baby!
What’s your favourite way to eat rhubarb? Let me know in the comments below!
Gluten Free Rhubarb Muffins
Makes 11 muffins
Prep time: 15 mins
Bake time: 30 mins
- 7 organic medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup gluten free oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
- pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 banana
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped rhubarb (about 3 stalks, depending on the size)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend the dates until they are a paste. If you are using one food processor container, you’ll want to scrape out the date paste into a small bowl. I used my Ninja blender for the dates and then the food processor the remainder of the recipe.
Using the food processor, pulse the oats until they are a fine powder. I tend to only pulse until most of the oats are powder; it’s ok to still have some larger flakes. If you are using whole flaxseed you can add them in with the oats to grind them down as well.
Add the baking powder, cinnamon, ground flaxseed (if not already added), chia seeds, coconut sugar, and salt. Pulse until blended.
Add the eggs, banana, almond butter, vanilla and date paste. Blend until fully mixed. Do not over blend.
Remove the blade and scrape it off. Fold in the rhubarb, leaving a few tablespoons aside to put on top of the muffins.
Spoon into lined muffin tins. Top with remaining rhubarb and an extra sprinkle of coconut sugar (optional).
Bake for 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the muffin tin and store in a container for up to 5 days. These also freeze really well. Enjoy!