Brown Rice Muffins with Lemon Glaze
When I was growing up, I don’t remember seeing a wide-variety of flours in the store. In the 1950’s most moms baked with plain white flour or “all-purpose flour.” I remember thinking it was a big deal when whole wheat flour became available. It was something that health-conscious hippies baked with, wasn’t it?
These days there is a remarkable selection of “flours” – from grains such as wheat, buckwheat, or rye to name a few, and from every imaginable nut, such as almond flour. One that’s actually been around for a while is brown rice flour which is made from stone ground unpolished brown rice. Because it contains the rice bran, it has more nutrients and fiber than white rice flour. Brown rice flour also has a chewier, heavier texture, whereas white rice flour tastes very bland. An added bonus is that brown rice flour is also gluten free.
When you purchase brown rice flour, make sure that you’re buying the flour, not “rice starch” which is used as a thickening agent. Think of it as the difference between corn flour (for making muffins) and cornstarch (for thickening gravies). It’s the same difference between rice flour and rice starch.
BROWN RICE MUFFINS with LEMON GLAZE
1 lemon, divided
Vegetable oil for coating pan (or use muffin cups)
4 large eggs, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups brown rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
Muffin pan lined with muffin cups
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Zest the lemon into a small bowl, set aside. Line your muffin pan with muffin cups or lightly oil the pan.
Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into two different bowls. Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the whites are thick and glossy.
With your mixer on low, add the four egg yolks and the lemon zest to the egg whites. Mix for a few seconds. Combine the brown rice flour and baking powder and sprinkle it onto the bowl with the wet ingredients. Beat for another few seconds until just combined. DO NOT OVERBEAT or the muffins will be too dense. Scrape the edges of the bowl with a spatula to gently finish mixing.
Fill each muffin cup three-quarters full. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown.
While the muffins are baking, make the glaze. Heat the honey (or maple syrup) in the microwave for a few seconds until warm. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the honey and stir to combine. As soon as the muffins are done, brush them with the honey-lemon glaze.
You can add up to ½ cup of nuts, seeds or dried fruit to your muffins such as roasted sunflower seeds, candied ginger pieces or dried cranberries for a flavorful variation.