Instead of reinventing the wheel, I thought I would share with you today a recipe from my cookbook (The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook). Some of you may have made these already, but for those who have not, the photos will probably inspire you to give them a try!
These muffins do not require any xanthan gum. I know this is a strange-sounding food ingredient, but it is necessary for the most part in gluten-free baking. The xanthan gum helps to hold baked goods together and give them elasticity. It also helps to retain moisture and increase mouth-feel. For those of you who are unfamiliar with xanthan gum, here is a great definition from www.wisegeek.com:
"Xanthan gum derives its name from the strain of bacteria used during the fermentation process, Xanthomonas campestris. Xanthomonas campestris is the same bacteria responsible for causing black rot to form on broccoli, cauliflower and other leafy vegetables. The bacteria form a slimy substance which acts as a natural stabilizer or thickener. The United States Department of Agriculture ran a number of experiments involving bacteria and various sugars to develop a new thickening agent similar to corn starch or guar gum. When Xanthomonas campestris was combined with corn sugar, the result was a colorless slime called xanthan gum."
I have found that most recipes which use buckwheat as the primary flour do not require xanthan gum and actually turn out better without it. Buckwheat flour forms a stringy goo when mixed with a liquid and the end product holds together surprisingly well.
Some people react to xanthan gum, while others would rather avoid it. It can cause digestive upset, especially for those who have weak digestion or bacterial imbalances in the gut.
And now, the Carrot Buckwheat Muffin recipe! I didn't add raisins to these this time; my girls decided that they don't care for raisins in baked goods anymore. They happily scarfed down (along with their twin brothers and a friend) the entire batch of muffins in one day! I guess that is a testimony in itself!
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