gluten-free cinnamon blueberry muffins

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I’ve never been one for the phone. The symphony of dueling voices, awkward pauses, and the all-too-frequent, can you hear me now? makes me want to hang up and walk to my friend’s house, like I used to. It’s strange to think of a time when the only ways in which you could connect with someone were the telephone, a letter, or a knock at the door. When I was small, I’d call on my friends, which was an elegant way of saying that I shouted their name from the street down below or into a static-ridden intercom. My friend would jump the steps, two by two, and we’d race out of the cool dark hallway and into the street, into the light. This is how I remember growing up in Brooklyn, calling my friend’s name and running around the street, using our spare quarter on a grape juice or bag of onion rings.

From nine in the evening last night until eleven this morning, I spent every hour on the hour drinking water, shivering, taking medicine, and falling in and out of disturbed sleep. When I realized that I’d slept through a yoga class I’d booked, I glanced at my phone and noticed my friend Sarah had left me a message. Listening to it, I smiled because she said everything I’d been thinking this past week. I know you, more than anyone, hate the idea of being sick, of doing nothing, but calling her back was an act doing something. So I called her back and we spoke for the greater part of a half hour, and what started out as a recap of my illness {replete with a classy coughing fit} dovetailed into a long discussion about food, GMOs {I swear I can taste the GMOs in this Skippy “Natural” peanut butter}, going without sugar and the new Gauguin exhibit at MOMA. A morning that started one way ended differently, and at one point my friend told me that she normally hates talking on the phone but she really enjoyed our chat.

While nothing will ever replace the kind of childhood where you shouted someone’s name from the street, I really enjoyed spending time with someone who always has the capacity to make me laugh.

When I told Sarah I was making these muffins and changing it up a bit, she gave me an amazing tip from her Ayurvedic practice: pairing protein with sugar will reduce the amount of sugar you eat. So, for example, she said, considering eating your muffin with almond butter. You’ll eat less of it, while still indulging. This may seem like captain obvious for some, but I just slathered some Maisie Jane’s Almond Butter all over these virtuous muffins.

INGREDIENTS: Adapted from Gourmet, July 2006
6 tbsp coconut oil melted and cooled
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour {I use Cup4Cup}
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Put liners in muffin cups. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, milk, and egg in a bowl until combined well. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.

Fold in blueberries gently. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

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