Today's amazing post is brought to you by the amazing woman Carrie Vitt behind the awesome site Deliciously Organic. She is the wife of an Air Force test pilot and mother to two daughters. She is also the creator of some kick ass recipes, just like the one you are about to get. I now present you with Raspberry Almond Muffins followed by Carrie's post.
We all come to the paleo/primal way of eating for different reasons. Some are looking to lose weight, some are looking for a clean diet and others, like me, are struggling with health problems.
Back in 2008, I went to the dentist because of a cracked filling in one of my teeth. The dentist removed the amalgam filling (without taking proper precautions) and after the removal I felt terrible, spending nearly a week in bed recuperating. I thought it was strange that I took the removal so hard, but after a week I gained my strength and went on my way. A few weeks later, I began to have problems with my complexion. I hadn't changed anything in my daily regimen and was confused. Months later, I began breaking out in unexplainable hives. The hives were from the neck up and were absolutely horrible. My face was constantly swollen, red, would peel twice a day, and felt like someone was holding a frying pan to my skin. I began eliminating things from my diet searching for a cause, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I went to several doctors and they all told me I had dry skin, gave me a tube of steroid cream and sent me on my way. I'm not an idiot. I knew my skin wasn't “dry” and I knew I had to dig deeper, but I didn’t know where to turn.
I cried. I became very depressed. I didn't want to go anywhere because not only did I look horrible, but I was in constant pain. I slept with ice packs on my face each night to ease the burning. I had to drop all my outside commitments and didn't really get out to see my friends. If I ate vegetables I would swell. If I ate meat I would swell. If I walked into a room with too much perfume I would swell. So I stayed at home. All day. Every day.
After 6 months I still didn't know what was causing the hives. No matter what I ate, drank, or did, I constantly had hives. I finally found a doctor who listened and he sent me to an allergist. She did all the skin testing, but I was negative for everything. Perplexed, she told me about an autoimmune disease that in some extreme cases causes hives, so she did a blood test for the antibodies. The test showed my immune system was attacking my thyroid gland. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease. The doctor told me to start a thyroid medication, but after some research I learned the medication would only calm the symptoms and not stop the antibodies. I decided to look for an alternative solution.
I began working with a nutritionist and after many tests, we discovered my thyroid had absorbed most of the mercury and consequently caused my liver to “back up” so it couldn't properly filter the toxins my body came into contact with. This helped explain the hives and the thyroid disease. The first thing my nutritionist told me to do was drop all sugar, alcohol, meat, grains, fruit, and dairy. I was only allowed vegetables and fat. It was drastic, but I had suffered for long enough and was willing to try anything. She also prescribed me many whole food supplements and several cleanses to begin the healing process.
Here I was writing a cookbook and blog and I felt like all my creative outlets were taken away. I didn't know there was a world of “grain free” cooking and baking. So I ate vegetables. My husband and the kids were gracious enough to eat the same diet as me. Pete said, “If you have to do this, then we will do it together.”
After several months of intense cleansing and careful eating, the hives disappeared. I began to regain my strength, and starting feeling like myself again. I slowly added food like meat and eggs back into my diet and learned how to work with new-to-me ingredients. It was an interesting process, like looking at the world through a different lense. I love to bake, and I quickly discovered that combinations of grain free flours taste just as good as the wheat flours I was used to.
Despite the challenges, I can honestly say I’m extremely thankful for the hardships I’ve encountered. I now understand what it’s like to have to avoid certain foods. I have much more empathy for people who suffer from ailments and can’t find the answers. I also know many of you have Hashimoto’s and have felt a sense of despair. I’m here to encourage you and tell you there are solutions. The foods we eat play a huge role in how our bodies work and heal and there are many foods out there that can help you start the healing process.
My diet and lifestyle have changed drastically, and so has my health. My thyroid disease is reversing, I feel incredible, and I can’t wait for that joyful day when it’s completely gone. Until then, I’ll keep on and I won’t lose hope.
Now on to the muffins! I love my eggs and bacon in the mornings, but sometimes I want a baked good to start my day. You can substitute just about any berry in these muffins, change the extracts out for different combinations or add some walnuts or pecans. I usually bake a batch, put them in the freezer and reheat them in the oven during hectic mornings. A perfect treat for the cool mornings ahead.
Raspberry Almond Muffins
- 6 large eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 1/2 cup frozen raspberries no need to thaw
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and adjust rack to middle position
- Line muffin pan with muffin liners
- Whisk eggs, coconut milk, honey, vanilla, almond extract and butter in a large mixing bowl
- Sift coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over a medium bowl
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until no lumps remain
- Fold in applesauce and then fold in raspberries
- Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake for 18 minutes, or until lightly brown on top
- Store muffins in an airtight container for 3 days
Carrie Vitt is the publisher of the popular food blog Deliciously Organic. Husband, kid and party-friendly, Deliciously Organic is brimming with the recipes and flavors families love — all created using wholesome, unrefined and organic ingredients. Carrie lives with her husband, an Air Force test pilot, and their two daughters in Southern California.