Monday, August 13, 2012

Just Me....and GF Blueberry Muffins

Hey friends. Today I have a post about me. Ok, there will be a recipe at the end but, first, me...This year has been a trying one for me health-wise. I was born with asthma and have struggled with lots of different allergies for as long as I can remember. I've always been able to manage these with an albuterol inhaler, allergy medicine, shots, and the occasional visit to the doctor/pharmacy for antibiotics. I would suffer from the typical change of weather symptoms and you can forget about rolling around in the grass or having a real Christmas tree.

However, up until this year, it's been manageable. I never had to give up being a kid or playing sports. Working out wasn't an issue unless I was sick (who actually works out when they're sick anyway?) Outdoor picnics and visiting people with cats were do-able as long as I remembered to take a pill and bring my inhaler. Of course, over the years, I've had some issues. The occasional asthma attack or sinus inection. A few bouts with bronchitis and, once, pneumonia as a child. But these were spread out over thirty years and, for the most part, controllable with the proper methods.

This all changed in January of this year. I had my first sinus infection at the beginning of the month. I went to the doctor, was prescribed steroids and antibiotics, and sent home. Over the next month I had two more sinus infections and went through two more rounds of antibiotics. Since then, I've had countless ear infections, and I can't even remember the number of times I've woken up congested or with a severe headache. I already watch my MSG intake because too much of that causes migraines. This was something else.

I found an allergy specialist and started immunotherapy (allergy shots) to no avail. In fact, every time I got a shot, I just got sicker. Enough was enough. Something had to change. I spoke to one of my coworkers (the wife of my boss who shed the light on my MSG allergy - for more info read this post) and she told me about a book called Foods That Fight Pain by Dr. Neal Barnard. This book is so great! It contains the Elimination Diet - essentially, a detox plan that empties your system of all toxins and foods that are common triggers for pain, allergy attacks, headaches, etc., and then slowly allows those trigger foods back into your diet, one at a time, to help you figure out which ones are causing problems for you. Trigger foods are different for every person. Reading this book and following this plan helped me figure out that my trigger foods are foods with gluten in them.

Yep. You read that right. I'm a pastry chef with a gluten sensitivity. Let me tell you - this is not cool. Don't get me wrong. I'm truly thankful to have some answers and know that there is hope for a healthy life. It's just a little sad for me to think of all the cupcakes I'll have to give up. Now, I don't believe that I have Celiac's Disease. I can eat gluten in small amounts as long as I'm prepared to face the consequences. Sometimes I'll probably decide that that dark chocolate cupcake is worth the pain and suffering. :) But, for the most part, I will be living a gluten-free life. Thus, I'm looking at a LOT of change around here. Don't can still expect to find delicious, "normal" desserts here. There will just be the occasional GF recipe to share that says, "yes, having a gluten allergy is livable!" In fact, I'm sharing a yummy muffin recipe with you in this very post that is gluten free without missing any of that muffin-y goodness.

I'm also extremely blessed with a family, friends, and coworkers who are so supportive and cheer me on every step of the way. In fact, my mom wants our family to adapt to a more GF lifestyle and our meals, as a family, are going to start reflecting that! Thank you, Lord, for these people!!

So, without further ado....

GF Blueberry Rice Muffins (adapted from here)

Streusel Topping:

2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons white rice flour
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or melted salted butter or margarine)

For the Muffins:

1 egg
1/2 cup vanilla rice milk (you can use whatever milk you prefer)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup white rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with liners) a 6-cup muffin tin. For the streusel topping, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Add oil (or butter or margarine) and mix together until fluffy and incorporated. Texture will be sandy. Set aside.

For the muffins, in another small bowl, combine rice flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Carefully stir in blueberries. In a medium bowl, mix the egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and lemon juice until well blended. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are starting to brown. Allow muffins to cool 5 minutes in pan before removing.

I really love these muffins and am going to experiment with the recipe for different flavors! It was so encouraging for me, especially this early on, to find things that are ok for me to eat, while still tasting good and having the right texture. I think I'm gonna be ok! :)

Don't forget to stop by and enter the giveaway here to win 12 awesome prizes!

Until next time, happy reading, and more importantly, pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you!


  1. Looks awesome! I have a gluten sensitivity as well that I have just discovered in the last year. What a treat to find your GF blueberry muffins!! Thanks for posting and good luck on your GF adventure!

  2. Really cool! I'll have to try that recipe (but sub the egg) sometime. I don't have a gluten allergy, but maybe a slight sensitivity for wheat. I don't eat a lot of it though, so cutting it all out doesn't make much of a difference for me. I seem to have something for milk though, and I feel way better without it. Good luck!

  3. The muffins look amazing. My dad's wife recently found out she's gluten sensitive... and she was the world's biggest bread lover. =( Stink!!!
    You know what..with your skills, you could start a venture to create tons of diff gluten free goodies...perhaps open up a gluten free only pastry shop!! =D
    Thanks for linking up today!!

  4. Hey lady!! I just found your cute blog via the hop, and I'm your newest follower! I'd also love to have you check out a fabulous Triple Giveaway I'm having right now!!

    Hope to see you there! And thanks so much!

  5. They look so delish! Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  6. you are one admirable lady! :D

    p.s. those muffins look delicious!

    <3, Mimi
    Win 3 kinds of truffles from The Madelaine Chocolate Company! :)

  7. Bless your heart, my middle daugther has all of those problems, last year alone she was on antibiotics probably 4 or 5 times including a 3 week course, steroids, etc. So I feel for you a lot. Thank you for sharing that book, btw, I am going to look into it, I would love to see if things are affecting her as well!

  8. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this ... it must be very difficult for you right now. I do think you are going to be a HUGE help and source of delicious GF recipes!

  9. those muffins sound incredible!

    Have a lovely day! Stop by and say hello! :)

  10. I love this! I just found out that I'm intolerant to gluten too, will have to try this recipe!

    I'm your newest follower.....can't wait to read more!


  11. Bummer! I'm so sorry for you - but I love your positive attitude in dealing with it =) Just found your cupcake home through Craftbotic's blog angel update today, so many great recipes to try! xo Anja

  12. Oh yeah...this is a total to do! Ingredients going on my grocery list! I know what you mean about struggling with health issues...praying for you!
    New Follower...yay!

    Ramblings of a Southern Belle

  13. I'm so glad you found your trigger! I grew up with what they assumed was lactose intolerance and really struggled. My son was diagnosed with a severe casein allergy two years ago, and it all began to make sense. It was the milk proteins that were causing all the trouble. A great integrative doctor made all the difference. Going dairy free has been hard at times, but you find ways to make it work...and feeling better is worth the effort.

    My son also had to go gluten while we were waiting for his test results, and we found some really great GF/DF options. Babycakes has some great recipes, but some have crazy, hard-to-find ingredients that can cost a fortune. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World has a really good GF cupcake recipe which is much easier. Best wishes on your endeavor!


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