Cherry Almond Muffins

Cherry Almond Muffins

Dried Cherry and Almond Muffins use whole grain spelt and almond flour

After a cancer diagnosis this summer, my diet has changed rather radically. I thought I was eating a healthy diet, but I now realize that I was really kidding myself. Yes, I probably ate better than 90% of Americans, but that doesn’t mean I was really doing the best I could for my body. Research, and some talks with the Naturopathic Doctor I consult with at the Cancer Treatment Center in Seattle have guided me to a milk protein free, sugar free diet, in addition to my lower gluten intake.

Imagine my surprise when I find that this did not put a cramp in my style, nor affect my ability to bake and cook my favorites, or to develop new ones. Getting used to baking without sugar is a bit of a challenge, and your taste buds do have to adjust, at first you miss that rush of sweetness, but now I find I can taste the sweetness in grains and nuts, and a little dried fruit, or chopped fresh dates, can make baked goods taste as sweet as I could wish.

For those of you who are not actively avoiding added sweeteners, feel free to add a bit of honey or agave nectar to these reducing the liquid just a little to compensate.

Cherry Almond Muffins – whole grain

No sugar or sweeteners, no wheat, no milk protein (no casein)

Heat oven to 400º

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown on top

  • 1 1/2 Cup whole grain Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Meal Flour (I used Bobs Red Mill)
  • 3 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup hazelnut milk or almond milk (or try other milk alternatives)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup grapeseed oil (or other oil)
  • 1 Cup chopped dried cherries (Bings or othe sweet cherries are good)
  • 1/4 Cup chopped almonds or almond meal flour

Mix wet ingredients, beat lightly then add dry ingredients. Mix just until everything is moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Mix in most of the cherries with a few swift strokes, reserving a few to decorate the tops. Spoon evenly into 12 muffin cups, sprinkle tops with a few dried cherries and some chopped almonds. Press down lightly into the batter.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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  1. Judy, I didn’t know a diagnosis of cancer would mean this type of dietary change. What’s the reasoning? Glad to see you are baking and blogging!!!!

  2. I am interested in the idea of sugar free and gluten free food, I have celiac and my dad is diabetic. I would like some treats to cook for him. Since spelt flour isn’t gluten free, is there a gf flour you would suggest as an alternative for this recipe?

  3. Misa, Cancer utilizes a large amount of glucose for growth. As I understand it, removing sugar and white flour from your diet can help “starve” cancer cells, or at least reduce the amount of fuel made available to them.

    To learn more about why the doctor suggested I remove milk protein from my diet, try reading “The China Study”. It’s too much info to go into here, but I recommend the book to anyone who wants to avoid cancer, heart disease etc.

    And thanks! It’s nice to be back!

  4. Hi Tara! I’ll try a gluten free version out, good idea! I’d say simply substituting Millet or White Sorghum flour (two of my favorites) and 1 tsp. of Xanthan gum for the Spelt flour would probably work well, but I’ll report back on that.

    Update…I made these with Millet flour and 1 tsp xanthan gum and rice milk and they came out very well.

  5. Paul Ellison says:

    Wonderful recipe, I substituted frozen Cranberry for the cherries – final product Delicious!

  6. That’s great! I was wondering how this would be with cranberries. I’ll have to try that next. Thanks Paul!

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