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Gluten-Free Living

Gluten-Free Living: Build your own muffin

Gluten free muffins from Meg Heckman.

(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

Gluten free muffins from Meg Heckman. (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

after days of rain and last week’s mini heat wave, my tiny garden is suddenly lush with herbs. This was a happy discovery because it means it’s time to pull out a recipe I first tried last fall just before my sage, oregano and chives were lost to the snowbanks.

Handfuls of fresh herbs bring these savory muffins to life and give you endless possibilities to customize the recipe based on your garden and your taste. The herbs also keep flavor light despite the ample amount of cottage cheese that holds these muffins together.

When it comes to gluten-free baking, adding cheese is a great way to preserve some of the structure gluten gives to conventional doughs.

I’ve used cheddar and mozzarella in breads and ricotta in cupcakes, but when I decided to try these muffins last fall all I had on hand was cottage cheese. And it worked beautifully.

The cottage cheese does make these a bit heavier than traditional muffins, but that just means you can use them to build an easy summer meal. Serve them alongside a big salad for a simple, cooling supper or with an omelette for brunch. They’re sturdy enough to dunk in your favorite salsa or dip, and would be fantastic toasted on the grill and served alongside kabobs.

You can mix and match different herbs, nuts and seeds to meet your needs. The muffins pictured here are flecked with chives, oregano, rosemary and roasted pumpkin seeds. If you’re craving something sweeter, try mint, lavender and walnuts. Another good combination would be lemon thyme, sage and sunflower seeds.

Putting this recipe together is simple. You need nothing more than a bowl and a large spoon, but one word about the baking: If you have a silicone muffin pan, use it. These muffins tend to stick. If you’re only option is a traditional pan, be sure to thoroughly spray each cup. Once the muffins cool a bit, you may need to use a butter knife to help nudge them loose.

Cottage cheese herb muffins

11∕2 cups Pamela’s gluten-free
baking mix

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

pinch salt

pinch pepper

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons melted

11∕2 cups full-fat cottage cheese

1∕2 cup seeds or nuts of your choice

1∕3 cup chopped fresh herbs of
your choice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl and stir to blend.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the eggs, butter and cottage cheese.

Stir vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Fold in the seeds or nuts and herbs.

Fill a well-greased muffin pan with the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool slightly before removing muffins from tin.

Serve warm or wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Makes 12 large muffins.

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