Strawberry Banana Red Fife Muffins with Flax, and some thoughts about wheat

Strawberry Banana Flax Muffins 2My Naturopath gave me this recipe which originally called for almond flour as she suggested it’s a good idea in general to reduce wheat intake.  I’ve read a lot about the wheat-free debate (including the book Wheat Belly) as well as much of the criticism against it (Paleofantasy, a criticism of the Paleo diet as opposed to only wheat, was just released and I’m curious to read it) but I’m still undecided as to how to how I feel about the whole thing.  Davis puts forth some very convincing arguments in Wheat Belly making it appear that once you eliminate wheat, all your problems are solved and life gets so much better.

While I don’t doubt that for a good chunk of the population eliminating wheat would have positive impacts (obviously anyone with Celiac disease or wheat/gluten sensitivity should stay away), one other theory is that wheat is not the problem – our bastardized, GM’ed, pesticided modern version of wheat is what causes the problems.  Not to mention that highly processed white flour has less nutritional value as compared to whole grains, in particular older less modified grains like Red Fife  – a quick side-of-bag comparison between Red Fife and PC Organics Whole Wheat flour had Red Fife with double the fiber and significantly more calcium and iron than regular whole wheat.  I’ve also heard good things about the nutritional value of spelt although I’ve not yet tried baking with it – it’s next on my list!

What do you think about wheat?  Do you eat it, limit your consumption, or avoid it entirely?  How about if it’s organic, GMO-free, local, and/or heritage?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Anyway, I had every intention of making these muffins with the stated almond flour, but I had a case of price-shock and didn’t buy it.  Instead, I used my old stand-by Red Fife and made a few additional substitutions to make them as healthy as possible.  This was my first time baking with flax meal and I really liked the texture it gave the muffins.  Plus, both the flax and Red Fife have a slightly nutty taste so that enhanced the flavor of the muffins even more.  The strawberries almost make me believe spring is here!

[NOTE: I’ve updated the recipe slightly so it produces a full two dozen muffins.  I had tweaked the original recipe so much that I was only getting 12-18 muffins, which drove me nuts seeing those empty muffin tin slots that could have been filled with delicious muffins!  It’s better now.]

Ingredients:

3 cups Red Fife flour (regular whole wheat would also work)
1 cup ground flax or flax meal (whole flax seeds are difficult to digest, so make sure it’s ground)
1 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup raw honey
1 cup yogurt
1 cup apple sauce
2 large bananas, chopped
3 cups frozen whole strawberries, chopped
Butter for greasing muffin tins

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 325. Combine flour, flax, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and stir until well mixed.

2.     Add eggs, honey, vanilla, yogurt, apple sauce, bananas and strawberries.  Stir until combined.

3.     Grease two muffin tins.  Fill with batter.  Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Makes 24 muffins.

Adapted from Blueberry Almond Muffins, Eat Well, Feel Well by Kendall Conrad.

Strawberry Banana Flax Muffins

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8 thoughts on “Strawberry Banana Red Fife Muffins with Flax, and some thoughts about wheat

  1. We’re having to go gluten-free or at least greatly gluten reduced for our youngest son, who has tested as very sensitive to gluten. We figure that reducing gluten in our home across the board is a good idea and we’re increasingly looking to barley as a very interesting low-gluten grain. On the wheat front, I love red fife, and I say keep up with the pledge to try spelt, it’s pretty amazing stuff.

  2. I actually just made muffins with almond flour and coconut flour as a means to limit my wheat intake! I don’t have a gluten intolerance and love wheat, but sometimes I feel like I eat too much of it. And I’m not even sure why I feel that way; maybe I’m being influenced by what seems to be growing anti-wheat sentiment. Or perhaps I am just trying to diversify my diet ..hedging my nutrition bets if you will 🙂

  3. I feel wheat is an important part of our diet, but it’s hard to avoid gmo’s. As a general rule, I recommend people stick to “older grains” such as kamut, spelt, rye, barley, and the like. As long as wheat is whole and organic, its very nutritious. However- a growing number of people are proving to be Celiac or gluten intolerant, so if you’re having gastric issues, it would be in your best interest to avoid all gluten for a month or so and see if you have improvement of your symptoms!

    • Hi Kate – thanks for stopping by! The wheat I’m using here is not genetically modified, as it’s a heritage strain of wheat, and it’s organic. I don’t have any gastric issues, but I have been considering going wheat free for a month or so to see what happens. The claims of increased energy, etc. are certainly appealing and I wonder if it’s only the wheat-sensitive who benefit.

      • My husband and I read the Wheat Belly and were most intrigued by what he had to say about modern wheat. We made the decision to try to go wheat free and have been doing that for about a month now. We have both lost weight – I have lost 5-6 pounds and especially the stomach that I just couldn’t get rid of over the last few years. I had put it down to my age. We also feel much sharper (what Davis describes as “brain fog”) and have more energy. I don’t feel so sluggish anymore. I also used to have pain in my legs when I would sit, but that has stopped now too.

        We were quite thrilled to come across the Red Fife Wheat that he mentioned as a non hybridized wheat. I have been using that and searching for recipes to use. My niece has been experimenting with it in recipes (she too has a food blog). I was very happy to find your website and your recipes using Red Fife. I have made the apple crisp a few times and we love it.

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