Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Cinnamon Raisin Rice-Free Muffins (gluten-free, rice-free, vegan, ACD option)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I said I was on a break. I've never been good at putting myself on time outs.

These little gems were the result of an emergency gluten-free baking consultation session with a newly GF friend last night. I had to share the success story, because it is close to my heart! Imagine the following situation: you just found out you're allergic to lots of stuff, you're freaking out, you don't know what to eat, and then I show up on your door with a box of gluten free flours, a great big smile, and lots of determination to help you bake up something good.

 My dear friend B is an amazing baker - truly amazing - and makes cakes so beautiful you'd expect she went to pastry school.  Her buttercream frostings are epic.  She makes cookies and candies and pies that melt your heart.  But, in a rather tragic turn of events, she just found out she has allergies to rice, wheat, dairy, and eggs, as well as legumes, most nuts and seeds.  She suspects additional allergies to oats, corn, and soy, as well as other foods, but she isn't sure.  She is very allergic to the cats she loves deeply.  All these allergies explain a lot about the symptoms she's been dealing with, and she's already noticing some positive changes after cutting these foods out of her diet.  But she has a long way to go, and a lot more unanswered questions.

As anyone who has gone through this knows, adjusting to new a new diet is HARD.  Really hard.  And she's in the thick of it.  She doesn't know what to eat.  She doesn't know what to take with her for snacks during the day, has a heck of a time making stuff for dinner, and is trying to deal with all of this while planning her wedding and finishing grad school.  

Watching her go through this reminds me of how hard it was to change my diet a couple years ago, and how confused and alone and anxious I felt at first.  It also reminds me how far I've come, and how much more I know now.  Lately  I have been thinking about starting to market my services to people who need to change their diets, as sort of a dietary restriction lifestyle consultant.  I love this stuff.  I love helping people get excited about cooking and food and new ingredients. I love giving people tools they can use to change their life.  I love opening people's eyes to new things. Even though my heart is aching for Becky having to go through this, I am kind of excited to have the opportunity to share information with a receptive audience, one-on-one.  I've been lending out cookbooks, sending her recipes, and giving her suggestions for snacks.  I think I've overwhelming her with information, actually; I tend to be like a geyser when I'm excited about something.

After not hearing from her for a couple days, I got a text yesterday morning:  "Feel like baking later?"

 "YES!" I replied. I couldn't wait.  After work I packed up my box of flours, threw a bunch of other stuff in a bag, and went over to her house.  We talked about how she was feeling.  We talked about what kind of baked goods she was craving.  I introduced her to a bunch of different flours and talked about helpful pantry items. After rambling about the qualities of various flours and options for egg replacers, she said "You should give personal cooking lessons."  I smiled.  "Seriously," she said, "just show up and tell people what to do. I'm so frustrated right now with this whole situation that I don't want to deal with figuring this out myself.  I even love to bake, and trying to figure this stuff out is not fun. If you could show up and tell people what to do next, you could actually make this fun.  This is a great idea."  

YES! She totally reaffirmed my plan to start working with people one-on-one.

Since B is allergic to rice, we wanted to make sure to use recipes that were rice-free.  This was easy - I don't usually use rice flour when I bake, tending to prefer the added nutritional benefits and hearty flavor of other gluten free flours.  Honestly, I don't think that I'm a great gluten-free baker, but I'm decent, given all the restrictions I have to deal with.  What I lack in inherent baking mojo I make up for in passion and determination. First we made buckwheat-quinoa flatbread from my favorite no-fail flatbread recipe framework, which, oddly enough, I've never posted to this blog, but have made for friends many times. That recipe is my standby. We also made muffins, a variation of my Applesauce Muffins with Currants and Goji Berries.  I made those muffins a lot last summer when I was eating more sweet stuff.  Sadly, these days, those muffins are a little too sugary for me.  Since we were baking for her, the sweet factor wasn't a problem, so we tweaked the recipe to fit her needs and tastes. Due to her flax allergy and nervousness about chia, we used Ener-G egg replacer.  I have never used Ener-G before (it contains potato starch and I'm allergic), so it was fun to see how it worked in a recipe.

By the end of the night, despite being tired, she was smiling.   The baked goods passed with flying colors with both her and her fiancé, who is also a very good baker.  After she wrapped up slices of the bread for grab-and-go snacks and tucked them away in the freezer, she nibbled happily on a warm muffin.  She told me it was cinnamony and sweet and pretty awesome.  "I'm going to eat these with pleasure," she said.  Laughing, I told her that I wanted to call them B's Pleasure Muffins, but we decided that sounded kind of dirty.  Anyway, she planned on eating the muffins for breakfast this morning, smeared with coconut butter or applesauce or cashew butter. Oddly, she is allergic to all tree nuts except cashew, just like me.  Thank god for the cashew.  At least we have that!   I'm excited to call her and see how the muffins treated her for breakfast.

Given her allergic turn of events, I have a feeling I'll be coming up with a lot more rice-free baked goods.  I'm working on a very delicious chocolate sandwich cookie that is killer, and, conveniently, rice-free.  Rice-allergic people, rejoice!  

And as for this blogging break I was putting myself on, well, we'll see how well it goes.  I've never been good at restricting myself from doing things I love! But I really do need to get down to business on some important non-food related life business.  And in the food realm, I need to channel energy into my vegetable cookbook. I want to make it happen as soon as possible!  So yeah, maybe I'll post again soon, maybe I won't...we'll see :)  Either way, know that I'm still cooking up lots of good stuff to share with you and trying to formulate a game plan of how I can offer consultations and classes to people!



CINNAMON RAISIN RICE-FREE MUFFINS (gluten-free, rice-free, vegan)

These muffins should equally well with a variety of egg replacers: flax gel, chia gel, or Ener-G.  To make these more ACD-friendly, omit agave and use stevia instead, and omit raisins and add chopped nuts or seeds.  If the applesauce is too sugary for you, you might try using pureed cooked zucchini, or mashed sweet potato or squash that has been thinned out to the consistency of applesauce.  I haven't tried those yet, but think it would be worth a shot - I plan to try it soon, if you do before me, let me know how it works!

yield 12 muffins

3/4 cup teff flour

3/4 cup amaranth flour (or quinoa flour)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 "egg" - 1 tsp EnerG egg replacer + 2 Tbsp water OR 1 Tbsp ground chia or flax + 3 Tbsp water

1 1/2 cups unsweetened organic applesauce (for fruit substitutions see notes above)

optional: 2 Tbsp agave nectar (or 10-20 drops stevia liquid)

1/3 cup melted coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or other light tasting oil

1/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut

1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit

optional: 1/4-1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds

Preheat oven to 350*, and prepare muffin tin with oil and flour, or line with muffin papers.
If using chia or flax or your egg replacer, whisk together with and water in a small bowl, and let sit for 10-15 minutes, stirring a few times.  It will become a thick, gel-like goo.  If using Ener-G, whisk together just before using.

Sift together flours in a medium bowl.  Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk briskly until well combined.  Set aside.  Then, in a large bowl, add your prepared "egg" along with applesauce, oil, agave, and stir until well mixed.  

Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring gently and quickly until evenly moistened.  Then gently fold in raisins and coconut, and stir only until evenly mixed.  Batter will be thick.  Spoon immediately into muffin tins, filling all the way to the top for big, plump muffins!  Bake at 350º for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in largest muffin comes out clean.  Cool in tin for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Store in refrigerator, or wrap tightly and freeze for longer storage.

12 servings/recipe
Recipe notes: made with Ener-G, 2 Tbsp agave, and no nuts/seeds
Calories 201.0, Total Fat 10.2 g (Saturated 8.2 g, Polyunsaturated .2 g, Monounsaturated .5 g), Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 154.9 mg, Potassium 136.7 mg, Total Carbohydrates 26.3 g, Dietary Fiber 3.6 g, Sugars 6.3 g, Protein 3.3 g

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Reader Comments (11)

Getting to read this so made my day , I laughed , I cried , I really feel for you B, I am sorry for all that you are going through , funny how life is , you are so blessed to have Kim to help you , if anyone can help , it will be you . The muffins sound great , I am going to try them real soon . I would hope there would be a way that you could figure out how to offer your knowledge and more detailed individualized recipes for a fee , that would be fantastic .I will pray that B will be able to keep her cats . Kim make sure that you try to stick your plan of taking some time for yourself , I'll will be here waiting for you when you get back. You've left plenty of recipes and great information to keep me busy.God bless ~ Bye XO

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

These sound so tasty! I have to get my wisdom teeth out tomorrow and can't eat anything solid really for a few days and all I want to do is bake! When I can manage it I'm going to try and whip up some of these :)

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterA-K

These really were amazing. I definitely recommend liners for them. But, once they are cool, they come out of the liners better than any other muffin I've had. Happy baking!

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterB

Would you ever consider adding nutritional information with your recipes?

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwhitney

Kathy-yes,thank you for the kind words and support - I know I need to take time for myself! thank you for reminding me :)

A-K - good luck with your wisdom teeth! I hope these can be a welcome adventure back into the world of solid food.

B- glad you liked them :)

Whitney - yes, I've thought about it a lot actually! I'd love to include it with my recipes. But I'd like to get some kind of computer program or something that I can just input all the info and then have it calculate for me. I sometimes calculate nutritional information now by hand, but it is a REALLY tedious process, and just hasn't been worth it for me to spend the time, so I don't ususally do it. Susan V on Fat Free Vegan has a program she uses, and I really like seeing that info with the recipes. You've inspired me...I bet there is some kind of calculator online somewhere I coudl use for free...I am going to look into this... :) thanks for the suggestion!

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkchristensen

What a wonderful friend you are! I went gluten-free months ago and had very little problems doing it. But now it seems I'm developing allergies to a number of things, and am completely at a loss as to what to eat. You should definitely market yourself as a consultant! A lot of people would happily pay for this kind of help!

February 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIris

Thanks for the comment! I found your blog yesterday and decided to follow it...and this recipe looks incredible! I'm a beginner at blogging so its great to get some connections in the blog world that have similar allergy problems! How did you get started blogging?

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Great start you're off to already it seems! I got started because I had allergies, was very sick, and needed some solidarity. After seeing so many other people's blogs, I thought "I shoudl DO this!" So, I did! I had always loved cooking and writing, so it just came naturally. I love it. I think it is so much fun. Really creatively stimulating, and so inspiring to see so many amazing readers and other bloggers. Great people. You'll love it!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkchristensen

I'm currently gluten-, dairy/casein-, egg-, soy-, peanut/tree nut-, chocolate/caffeine-free, and having a hard time finding any baked goods I can eat. I've come to the realization that I'm going to need to do my own baking, but finding recipes without egg or soy tends to present a problem. I am SO thankful for blogs like yours. I wish you could come teach me...I really need it! I think that's an excellent idea...you should definitely run with that!

On a side note, ironically cashews bother me, but the other tree nuts so far seem to be okay. I just avoid them all to be on the safe side. What is it about cashews that make them different than the other tree nuts, I wonder?

Again, thank you so much for your blog! Thank you for sharing with us what you have learned to help make all our journeys easier. :)

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennC

Hi Jenn,
THanks so much for your kind and supportive comments! I wish I could come bake with you too, it sounds like fun. :) FUnny about cashews, isn't it? I don't know what makes them different, but they are a funny nut with different characteristics! Good luck with your health journey, and I hope I see you around the blog more often. xoxo Kim

April 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

Wow, thank you so much for posting this recipe!! I was doing a google search for gluten-free rice-free egg-free sugar-free dairy-free just for the heck of it (I'm allergic to 46 foods in all) and came upon your wonderful site. I didn't know it was possible to bake much of anything without at least rice flour! I'm definitely going to give these a try with dried cranberries instead of raisins. For those who are developing new allergies as I have been doing, here is a HUGE piece of advice: stop eating the same food two days in a row! If you have several food allergies it is HIGHLY likely that something has caused you to develop leaky gut (intestinal permeability) - maybe it was candidiasis or long-term use of antibiotics, or poor diet...anyway, you have it and whenever you eat the same food repeatedly (which we all can do easily), proteins from that food are making their way through your gut wall and into your bloodstream, where your body is creating antibodies against it. What's more...you don't have to be allergic to these foods forever! Okay, I'm done ranting. Here is the site that first led me to that simple truth: http://drhyman.com/5-simple-steps-to-cure-ibs-without-drugs-2226/. I wanted to go see him myself, but found another cheaper doctor in California who is going to help "fix" my food allergies with the same strategies.

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterH.L.G.
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo