Soft gluten free muffins filled with coconut flavour and bursts of sweet, seasonal strawberries. I made these sweet coconut muffins while I was watching Australia win gold in the modern pentathlon (go Chloe Esposito!). While I can dream of becoming a pentathlete, I don’t think I’ll ever have enough hours in the day to become good at five completely different sports. I have decided however that I could win gold at a pentathlon that consisted of: running to take the washing in before the rain hits; reading a novel in a single session; eating chocolate; finding Chris’s socks/phone/wallet; and baking a batch of muffins using whatever ingredients you have at hand. It’s this last point that brought me to these fragrant delights. The markets this week were filled with pallets of ruby red strawberries going for prices that make me want to hoard as many punnets as I can before the season ends. You could smell strawberries in the air; now that’s what dreams are made of! One of my favourite sellers had their tiny jewel-like strawberries going for only $4 a kilogram (that’s $2 a pound for those of you playing in non-metric countries). At that price you are obliged to pick up a punnet, or four…
When strawberries are expensive, I don’t dream of baking with them. The only way to honour those first of the season berries is with a tiny pouring of cream, or just eating them nude as nature intended. But these berries were begging to be made into a sweet treat. I love the texture that coconut milk lends to quick breads, and coconut and strawberry is a sweet and pretty combination for a spring weekend. These muffins start with a basic muffin base: a few gluten free flours sifted together with a rising agent, a touch of sugar, a can of light coconut milk, some eggs, and vanilla and coconut extracts. Then we fold in shredded coconut, and lots and lots of chopped strawberries. Once they are baked these are tender little morsels. Softly crumbed with pockets of warm, jammy strawberry.These light and tender muffins would make a perfect lunchbox snack. They aren’t too sweet, relying on the strawberries’ seasonal sweetness for a hit of natural sugars. The coconut milk is responsible for the incredibly tender crumb, and a background richness that makes these worthy of a snack but not too dense. Dare I say it, these are a ‘healthy muffin’…shh…it’s our little secret.
I shared these with my workmates for a Monday treat, but I made sure to sneak one or two for my pre-run snacks during the week. These are just what a girl needs when she’s dreaming of a pentathlon gold, or just a PB on the treadmill after work 😉
Strawberry and Coconut Muffins
gluten free | makes 12 muffins | store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Freeze, well wrapped, for up two months
- 70 grams brown rice flour
- 50 grams white rice flour
- 50 grams sorghum flour
- 50 grams almond meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup natural/plain yoghurt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice bran oil (or grape seed oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut essence
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut + 2 tablespoons extra
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a 12 cup muffin tray with paper liners (alternately spray them with cooking spray).
- In a large bowl whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, sorghum flour, almond meal, salt and baking powder.
- In a small bowl whisk together coconut milk, yoghurt, eggs, caster sugar, rice bran oil, vanilla extract and coconut essence.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until well incorporated.
- Add shredded coconut and strawberries and use a wooden spoon to gently fold them through the batter.
- Divide mixture evenly between the muffin cups.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning tray halfway through cooking time.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tray before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.