Monday, October 10, 2011

Almond-Flour Muffins

I think I need to clear some things up about "Canadian Thanksgiving".

Or, should we say, "Original Thanksgiving". Sorry Americans, we had it way before you.

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In 1578 (yes, a good forty years before all that silly pilgrim stuff), Martin Frobisher trotted through Northern Canada, in search of the mystic Northwest Passage. Things were particularly rough - you know, in the ice and snow and barren landscape - and at least one of his ships were lost. A freak storm separated the rest of the ships. By complete chance, however, they all found each other again in Frobisher Bay, where they celebrated by giving thanks and feasting on what was left of their supplies.

Even years after that incident, the French-Canadians recorded holding their own day of thanks, celebrating both their successful journey and bountiful October harvest on the same day as Frobisher's celebration. The tradition was set firm in 1604 (yep, still fifteen years before our southern brothers) and often included sharing and celebrating with the local First Nations and Aboriginal bands.

So, while America is celebrating a bunch of weak-ass pilgrims who couldn't settle and explore their way out of a paper bag, we Canadians raise our glasses to our rough-and-tumble voyagers of old. They didn't eat turkey and pumpkin pie, but they did create the first celebration of the fall harvest.

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Now, Canadians all have their own traditions when it comes to Thanksgiving. Lots of people have turkey and pie, but we tend to leave that weird yam/marshmallow thing off the table. Every household has their own individualized meal - quite a few around here are filled with vegetarian and vegan yumminess. At my house, we did the turkey and stuffing thing (though that's changed since I've taken animal-products off my menu completely). The one thing I remember is my Mom making banana chocolate chip muffins for breakfast. Not very thanksgivingy, I know. But tradition is tradition. And, since Canadians began the celebration, I'm sure we can change it in any way we'd like.

These muffins are a play on what came out of our family's oven all those fall days. I took out the gluten and replaced it with almond flour to make a more healthy breakfast treat. The texture and the spices are very reminiscent of fall - even though there's no pumpkins or cranberries to be seen.

So, Americans, step out of your November Thanksgiving fantasy world for a bit. Mix things up a bit. Start your own tradition. Or share a bit of ours.


Almond-Flour Muffins
adapted from Honest Fare

2 1/4 cup almond flour or meal (I just blend up almonds until fine)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
3 bananas, plus extra for on top
cinnamon sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1) Preheat oven to 300F. Through your almond meal and baking soda in the food processor and pulse it once or twice (make sure you don't go over that or you'll have nut butter on your hands). Set aside in a large bowl.

2)Plop in the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and bananas and process until light and fluffy. Pour into the bowl with the almond meal and baking soda and stir until combined.

3) Take out about a third of the batter and pour it into a separate bowl. Whisk in your cocoa powder. Place about two tablespoons of your regular batter in your muffin liners and swirl one tablespoon of your chocolate batter in-between. Top with sliced banana, almonds, and a bit of cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean. Wait until completely cool before enjoying.


Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny said...

These look delicious, I love your recipe! :)

S.V. said...

The muffins sound fantastic, and I totally eat the marshmallow covered yams in celebration of our weak ass pilgrims trying to settle the land LOL!

Unknown said...

I agree with you on those weak ass pilgrims! LOL...I have Native American blood flowing through my veins so Thanksgiving isn't up high on my list of holidays. Love those muffins, though I would omit the almonds only because my Gabi is severely allergic to nuts of any sort. I actually wish I had one now to eat with my pumpkin latte!!

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