Grain-Free Cherry Almond Muffins

The other week we were shopping at our local Giant Eagle Market District, and I spotted something on an end cap that looked exciting to me. They were maraschino cherries from a company called Tillen Farms. I immediately noticed that they looked like a true cherry red, and not that artificial bright red that is slightly terrifying from conventional maraschino cherries.



I looked at the ingredients, and was pleased to see that these didn’t contain any red dyes, or corn syrup, and according to this article, “Royal cherries are bleached with calcium chloride and sulfur dioxide until they turn yellow and lose their natural flavor (WHY?!). Then they’re marinated in high fructose corn syrup and Red #4 food coloring for upwards of three weeks.”  Pretty scary, and not something you want to be putting in your body, no matter how cute they might look on top of a cupcake.



I immediately wanted to use the Tillen Farms cherries for something, so into our shopping cart they went. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to make a healthy alternative to a sugar laden cupcake. I thought this would be a great opportunity to make something with our NEW Organic Almond Extract, as well as our NEW Organic Maple Sugar.



I decided on cherry almond cupcakes. I modified my recipe for Gingerbread Muffins, so these ended up more like a muffin, than a cupcake, but they were so delicious, and didn’t taste overly sweet!



I used frozen organic cherries in this recipe, but if you make this recipe in the summer, than you can use fresh cherries. I removed 1/2 cup of frozen cherries from the bag, and soaked them in room temperature water so they would defrost. I then let them drain, and squeezed out any excess liquid before chopping them up for the cupcakes.



I topped these with whipped cream, because I wanted to avoid a sugar heavy buttercream frosting. I did add two teaspoons of our maple sugar to the whipped cream, because I wanted to see how it whipped into the cream, and I’m pleased to say it was perfect! Our organic maple sugar is so finely ground, that it dissolved perfectly. I also added a splash of our NEW Organic Vanilla Extract to the whipped cream. There really is no recipe for this, just make as much cream as you’d like, and just add a splash of vanilla and a teaspoon or two of maple sugar.



Once I piped the cream on the muffins, I topped each one with a Tillen Farms Merry Maraschino Cherry. These muffins were adorable, and delicious!



I hope you enjoy them this Valentine’s Day with someone you love, even if that someone is yourself.



Cherry Almond Muffins

These Cherry Almond Muffins are a fun treat to make any time of year, but we made them as a healthy treat for Valentine's Day. You can use fresh or frozen cherries for this recipe, which means you can enjoy them in any season! Top with unsweetened whipped cream, and a fresh cherry on top.


Yield: decrease servingsincrease servings



Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
  1. If using fresh cherries, pit and chop them, and set aside. If using frozen cherries, remove them from the freezer, and soak in room temperature water so they defrost quickly, then drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to bake at 350 degrees.
  3. In a standing mixer, combine the cassava flour, almond flour, potato starch, maple sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium-low to combine all ingredients.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, almond extract, and almond milk.
  6. Warm the palm shortening so that it starts to melt, but you don't have to melt it completely.
  7. Pour the palm shortening into the flour mixture, and beat on medium until the batter resembles course sand. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  8. While beating on low speed, add the liquid to the dry. Once all is combined, turn the mixer onto medium speed, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  9. Once the batter is fully combined, turn the mixer off.
  10. Squeeze any excess liquid from your cherries, and give them a chop.
  11. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and fold in the cherries.
  12. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into a lined cupcake tin.
  13. Bake the muffins at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  14. Allow to cool, and top with whipped cream, and a cherry if desired.


I topped our muffins with Tillen Farms Merry Maraschino Cherries, which are free of corn syrup and red dye!

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