At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU.
Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP.
Thank you so much!

Please Be Advised:
I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins (Nut, Wheat and Fish-Free, Can Be Milk, Soy and Egg-Free)

First of all, I must apologize for how long it has been since I last posted a recipe.  I have so many to share with you (honest!), but have had absolutely zero time to sit and type them up.  I still have very limited time, but I have decided to just work on typing up recipes a little at a time as I am able, and then post them when they are ready.  Hopefully, that means at least a recipe per month (that's my goal), but time will tell.

This recipe is a recipe of my own design.  It is perfect for autumn!  It is sweet, but not too sweet, with just the right combination of apple and cinnamon, and the cinnamon and sugar on top gives it just enough crunch to make it fun.  It is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike!

This recipe is also wheat, fish and nut-free, and can be soy-free (if you use all soy-free ingredients), milk and egg-free (see variations).  I hope you enjoy it!

Note: The gluten-free baking mix I recommend does not technically contain soy, but it does contain xanthan gum (see "Soy-Free" under variations for more details) which can cause issues for people with soy sensitivities or allergies, and that is why I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.

Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

3 Cups gluten-free baking mix 
(I recommend King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free Baking Mix, and yes, it has to be a baking mix, NOT a gluten-free flour or the recipe will not turn out right)

1/2 Cup white sugar

1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil

4 eggs

1 Cup milk

1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

1 1/2 Cups small diced apples, peeled or not based on preference
(I use Ida Red, Honey Crisp, Ginger Gold, Granny Smith or a combination, but you can use any baking apple of your choice)

Cinnamon and Sugar (for topping) (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
  2. Prepare muffin tins with 24 paper cups or grease tins well with fat of choice.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the gluten-free baking mix, sugars and cinnamon until well blended and set aside.
  4. In another larger bowl, mix the oil, egg, milk and vanilla until  well blended.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until the  mixture is just blended.
  6. Fold in the diced apples until evenly distributed.
  7. Evenly distribute the muffin mixture between the 24 muffin cups and top each one with cinnamon and sugar, if desired. (Note: The amount of cinnamon and sugar you put on each on each muffin is up to you, but I recommend about a teaspoon per muffin, but you could put as much as a Tablespoon.  To make a mix of cinnamon and sugar, I recommend about a teaspoon of cinnamon for every 2 Tablespoons of white sugar, but you can certainly use whatever ratio you like best.)
  8. Let the muffins rest about 10 minutes before baking.  (Note: This ensures the best results, so please don't skip this step!)
  9. Bake the muffins for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Let the muffins sit in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan and allowing them to finish cooling on the counter or a wire rack.
  11. Enjoy them warm or let them cool completely before enjoying - whichever you prefer!
Makes 24 muffins.

Variations (Please keep your individual dietary needs in mind when using variations):
  • Milk-Free: Use non-dairy milk of your choice in place of the milk, and use either paper cups to  line the tins or a non-dairy fat to grease the pans in this recipe.  You could also substitute apple juice or cider for the milk.
  • Egg-Free: Use an egg replacer in place of the eggs.  For ideas on what to use in place of the eggs, check out my ingredient substitutions page.  The flax seed "egg" or applesauce replacement would be a good fit with these muffins.
  • Soy-Free: King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free Baking Mix does not claim to contain soy, but it does contain xanthan gum, which can cause issues with people who have soy sensitivities and allergies, and hence the reason I won't claim this recipe is soy-free already.  You can use another soy-free baking mix (if you can have wheat/gluten) or soy-free, gluten-free baking mix of your choice.  Keep in mind that if your baking mix doesn't contain guar gum or xanthan gum, you may need to add between 3/4 to 3 teaspoons of ground flax seed, guar gum or xanthan gum to help with textural issues, too.  You'll have to make sure all your ingredients are soy-free, too.

  • Different Flavors: If you are not an apple fan, you can substitute raisins, dried cranberries, peach, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, or another fruit of choice (though I don't recommend pumpkin, banana or any other "mushy" fruit).  You can use a combination of fruits, too, as long as you don't exceed  1 1/2 Cups of fruit.  I recommend using fresh fruit or dried fruit ONLY, as canned or frozen fruit will alter your texture greatly.  You can also leave out the cinnamon if you don't like it, as well.  You can also top the muffins with plain sugar or nothing, if you so desire.
  • Sugar Substitutes: You could use any sugar substitute that is approved for baking for the sugar.  Make sure that you sub it according to the recommendations for that sweetener.  Not all sugar substitutes are subbed with a 1:1 ratio.  I also don't recommend using a liquid sugar substitute as it would greatly alter the moisture content. 

 Don't these look great?
I promise, they are quite delicious!

You won't regret making up a batch (or 2) to enjoy with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee on these cooler autumn days!

(This recipe was originally posted on my original site, Natural and Free.)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {10}

Today is the tenth Monthly Milestones of 2017 (I am posting this a day early because I will be at a Ladies' Retreat all day tomorrow and unable to do it then).  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:

1. My weight is down another 3.5 lbs.!  I finally made my goal!  I'm under 200 lbs!  My next goals will come in 10 lbs. increments, so that makes my next goal to be under 190.  Just 7 lbs. to go!  We'll see if I can make that before the end of the year.  Wish me luck!
2. I try to get out and walk as I can.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get as much walking in as I'd like.  We've had a lot of illness, ER visits, surgery, and a other life happenings that have prevented me from doing that.  I have been decently active with other things, but I would still like to get out more while the weather is behaving.  We'll see how I do this month.

3. September and the beginning of this month have been insane for us.  As I mentioned above, we've had some adventures recently!

Everyone in the family has had a vicious head cold at one point that seems to last forever (the worst of it is over in about 3 days or so, but then it takes about 2 weeks or longer to be essentially back to normal), and we've all had it about a week apart, so that's made things interesting.  We are finally all on the mend in that regard, so that's good. :)

The beginning of September, our middle kid broke his collarbone, and then proceeded to have some form of allergic reaction a few days after that, possibly to ibuprofen.  He is healing up nicely now, and is headed for an ibuprofen challenge with the allergist in November, so please pray for that.  We also found out that he has scoliosis that isn't quite bad enough to treat, so we're keeping an eye on that, and hope to get his to a chiropractor after his collarbone is sufficiently healed in hopes that will correct some of it (all of it would be nice, too) or at least keep it from getting any worse.  Prayers appreciated for wisdom and direction here, too.  Thank you!

About 2 weeks ago, my husband either had a reaction to Augmentin that affected his heart or nearly had a heart attack.  He spent the night in the hospital, and we praise the Lord that there was no damage to his heart or signs of an obvious heart issue.  We still don't know for 100% what happened, but he is to avoid all Penicillin containing products (which is the ingredient in Augmentin that would have been the issue) from now on, and also we have to watch for any further issues with the heart.  So far, he's been well, and I'm so grateful!

Yesterday, our oldest had surgery on both of his eyes to fix a strabismus issue that his glasses could no longer correct adequately.  He is recovering well with the normal post-op issues which have included drainage and some double vision that should correct in time.  Please pray that he continues to heal well and that the surgery will have been 100% successful (something we will only know in time).  Thank you!

We still have a few other huge unspokens that I don't want to share the details of online, too.  Just know that we covet your prayers right now.  Thank you!

As you can see, it's been a wild ride, but God is good and has been so faithful!  We are grateful for His protection and help with all of these things and then some.

4. I want to update the blogs soon, but life keeps getting in the way!  I keep trying to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Free, but I have yet to find the time.  I have plans to attempt typing up those posts next weekend, but I have no idea if I'll be able to or not.  We'll see if I can get those posts up sooner than later.

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)

(This post was originally posted on my original site, Fibro, Fit and Fab!)