RECIPE THURSDAY: Gluten-free Coconut Muffin Chicks

I just wrapped up another lovely segment today at CTV Morning Live in Ottawa – and would like to thank Leanne, Kurt and Erin for being such amazing hosts as always!

On the show today, I talked about how easy it is to make simple changes in your habits to eat healthier, especially now that we’re in the New Year. Just by sticking to nutritious whole foods 80% of the time, and keeping your healthy indulgences to 20%, you can be right on track!

What do I mean by nutritious whole foods and simple changes? Give these simple substitutions a try in your daily meals:

– Choose extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter,
– Choose stevia or unpasteurized honey instead of refined sugar,
– Choose quinoa, millet or brown rice over white bread or white rice, and
– Include dark leafy greens which are nutrient dense foods full of calcium, fibre and vitamins

And for the 20% healthy indulgences? Try to cut down on refined sugars, and experiment with a variety of different flours in your baked goodies. Remember, flours don’t have to be grain-based either – this week’s recipe is for oh-so-cute gluten-free coconut muffin “chicks” that were inspired by Martha Stewart (and modified to be gluten-friendly, of course!)

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

3 large eggs
1 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup coconut flour

Icing:

1/4 cup Vegetable shortening
2 cups Icing sugar, sifted
4 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Toppings:

Toasted coconut flakes
Dark mini chocolate chips
Whole almonds
Raisins
Goji berries

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until thick and creamy, approximately 5 minutes. 
  2. Beat in grapeseed oil, honey, vanilla, salt and baking soda.
  3. Sift coconut flour and add to batter, mixing until well blended.
  4. Pour into muffin tray, ideally lined with non-stick silicone baking cups. Cook at 325F for 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.
  6. Prepare icing to a soft, workable texture. Adjust thickness as needed with extra icing sugar or water.
  7. To decorate, ice the entire cupcake and place upside-down on a plate. Build up the shape on top of the cupcake to create a conical shape. Sprinkle and press coconut flakes onto the icing. Use mini chocolate chips to make eyes, a whole almond for the beek, raisins for the feet and goji berries (or sliced raisins) for the coombe. Enjoy!
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