Low carb, grain-free muffins that taste like cornbread! Made with coconut flour and bursting with cranberries and jalapeño, these delicious muffins would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving table.
Cranberries are such a seasonal item and, if you think about it a bit, you have to wonder why. In this age of modern technology and transportation, all other berries are available year round. Plump strawberries and ripe raspberries are sitting there on the produce stands even in the dead of winter, but fresh cranberries make their first appearance in October and are usually off the shelves by Christmas. I don’t know if it’s simply because of consumer demand and that people only think to buy cranberries in the fall, or if they don’t grow well in the warmer climes of Florida or California and thus truly are only seasonally available. I know that they require a harsh and acidic boggy environment, one that we happen to have plenty of in New England, and that may be the cause of their restricted geography and time-frame. Whatever the reason, I like my cranberries year round and I usually stock up and keep several bags in my freezer for spring and summertime cranberry cravings.
But I still get excited when cranberry season rolls around, because with it comes everything I love about fall. The cooler temperatures and the glorious foliage just go hand in hand with a craving for all things cranberry. This year, I was quite literally the first person to buy a bag of fresh cranberries at my local grocery store. I had this particular recipe in mind when I arrived, but I was worried that I was too early and that they wouldn’t have any in stock yet. I had fingers crossed that they were at least carrying some frozen cranberries in the freezer aisle. But just as I walked into the produce section, I saw a staff member working on a seasonal display of cranberries with several crates of the ruby red fruit. He had barely managed to pile up a few of them before I walked over and grabbed a bag. Apparently my seasonal cranberry cravings were perfectly timed.
Last year I’d made some vanilla bean cupcakes with coconut flour for my daughter’s birthday. I made a huge batch with the intention of using them for the other kids’ birthdays as well, but in the end, we ate many of them unfrosted as breakfast muffins. And as such, they reminded me a great deal of cornbread. The texture was a little less grainy because of the finely ground coconut flour but the flavour was very similar to a sweetened cornbread recipe. That thought stuck in my head, I guess, so when I had a craving for a more savoury, cornbread-like muffin, I knew those cupcakes would be easy to adapt. I reduced the sweetener and the vanilla, and I added some chopped cranberries and jalapeño for a fun little twist. They were delicious and would be a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table.