Almond Strawberry Thumbprint Muffins

It is finally summer. How do I know this? The minute I wake up 
and feel like all I want to do is jump in a pool of ice. Time to put 
the A/C on and put all winter pajamas into the deepness of my 
closet. Being someone who loves to cook, when insanely hot weather
comes around, cooking becomes more and more of a struggle 
 and taking salad out instead of putting on the oven is a no brainer.
 Of course, summer pops and frozen treats are essential in warm weather 
(expect those to be coming up on the blog soon) you can’t really get fed up 
of cookies, cakes and muffins, even if that calls for putting the oven on. 
These muffins are  the bomb because on top of being delicious enough to
 lick the spoon, they will not take away from the summer bod you’ve been
 waiting to display. 
In my last food post you heard me rant about my obsession with 
Trader Joe’s, and I’m using more Trader Joe’s ingredients in this 
recipe. Being gluten-free and partially vegan (I eat Cabot Lactose-
Free 75% reduced fat cheese and splurge on froyo etc) healthy fats
like avocado and coconut are essential in my diet. Olive oil is delicious
over grilled veggies or meat on the grill, but lately coconut oil has 
taken my fancy. For one, you can put it on your face and in your hair
for beautiful and healthy skin + hair, and it’s perfect when cooking 
stir-frys over high heat or baking desserts. This Trader Joe’s Coconut
Oil Spray is 0 calories (like similar olive oil sprays) but isn’t going to 
give food the olive oil taste that no one wants on their cookies and cakes.
The taste itself isn’t much of coconut and is kind of tasteless, but for
baking I recommend this product. It’s also not greasy at all. 
Another one of my fav new products is powdered peanut butter. 
Whoever invented this is A GENIUS. Regular PB is 190-200 
calories per 2 tablespoons, and stopping at just 2 tbsp. is always
difficult for anyone. But now, you no longer have to worry about gaining
6 pounds from eating a jar of peanut butter. One downside of this is 
if you are in a rush this peanut butter has to be mixed with water to 
become actual PB, so be warned to give yourself a few extra minutes in
the morning before using this product. However, besides the problem 
with time there are no downsides to it. Depending on the amount of 
water used, it can be more runny or less runny, thicker or creamier 
depending on your taste buds! For 45 calories for 2 tbsp. no one
is complaining. The picture above is my top brand for the powdered 
butter because there is no added sugar like a lot of other brands.
This uses coconut sugar, which is super healthy and not going to raise
your blood sugar. 
Almond Strawberry Thumbprint Muffins
Yield: about 12 muffins
Gluten-free, vegan option, low-fat 
1 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. arrowroot powder (optional, can use baking powder)
1 tbsp. salt
3/4 cup peanut butter 
2 tbsp. honey (if full vegan use maple syrup instead and omit honey) 
1 tsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup strawberry jam (use your favorite flavor, apricot would also work)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 tsp. fresh vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Mix peanut butter, jam, sweetener, almond milk with a hand mixer. It will be extremely thick but SO DELICIOUS. I ate a few bites before mixing with the almond flour. 
In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together and then add to wet and mix with hand mixer again, making sure to scrape down the sides and get to the bottom. Mix will be really thick and creamy, almost similar to the consistency of peanut butter. This is normal.
Take a muffin tin and put cups into the tin, spraying lightly with coconut or olive oil on the sides of the cups. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop 1 scoop of mix per muffin into the cups.  Fill about 3/4 way up, these muffins do not rise significantly. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven until the muffins start to crack slightly on the top. Allow muffins to cool down for 10 minutes before indulging. 
It is completely normal that the muffins sink in a bit! It’s just because of the almond flour. 

Miss Fashionista

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