Every summer, our blueberry bushes positively drip with round, plump berries. Once we've eaten plenty fresh, we make these simple Einkorn Blueberry Muffins. They're delicious slathered with real butter and served with a hot mug of tea.
What is it?
Einkorn is an ancient grain related to wheat that offers a soft crumb and complex, rich flavor. In addition, einkorn tends to be more nutrient-dense than modern wheat. It boasts a higher protein content. Further, it's also a better source of key micronutrients, such as beta-carotene, lutein, zinc, and magnesium.
Thanks to its soft texture, it makes excellent pastries, quick breads, and muffins. In this recipe, we combine einkorn with fresh lemon for delicate, delicious muffins that are perfect for breakfast and freeze well, too.
Why this recipe works
Einkorn is considered nature's original wheat before hybridization and bred over time to increase gluten levels and increase yield.
You'll get a little extra protein from einkorn than you would if you used regular all-purpose flour.
Einkorn has less gluten than modern wheat, and what gluten it does have tends to be shorter and more brittle than modern varieties. Its gluten structure is also different than modern wheat. And many people who find modern wheat to be tough on digestion find that they can tolerate ancient grains such as einkorn.
Additionally, because it has so little gluten, it's hard to overmix einkorn, so you end up with soft, fluffy muffins every time.
A little lemon gives the muffins a pleasant citric note, and it also helps the muffins rise because we use it in combination with baking soda.
The muffins are also easy to make and freeze well. Consider making multiple batches in the summer when berries are ripe so that you can enjoy them all winter long.
- Einkorn flour makes the base of the muffin batter. It has a rich, golden color when baked, thanks to its plentiful antioxidant content. You can use whole-grain, sprouted, or all-purpose einkorn flour in this recipe. A combination often works particularly well.
- Whole milk provides the liquid and moisture for this recipe. It also lends an element of protein and healthy fats, too.
- Large eggs give the muffins loft and structure.
- Whole, unrefined cane sugar such as rapadura lends a little sweetness to the recipe. Minimally processed cane sugar also contains its native minerals and tends to be more nutrient-dense than other sweeteners.
- Blueberries are the highlight of the recipe, providing a luscious berry element and gorgeous, fruity sweetness. You can use fresh blueberries or frozen ones, depending on what you have on hand.
- Lemon juice and baking soda help the muffins to rise, so you can skip the baking powder. Lemon juice is acidic, while baking soda is alkaline. When you combine them, they'll give the batter plenty of air bubbles and that means lighter muffins.
- Butter and avocado oil provide the necessary fat content that will give these muffins a delicate soft quality. Choose a high-quality grass-fed butter when you can, as it tastes better and is more nutrient-dense. Many people prefer unsalted butter in their baking, but I find the flavor is better when you use salted butter.
How to Make Einkorn Blueberry Muffins
Baking einkorn muffins uses the same technique that you use when you bake regular muffins. You'll start first by combining dry ingredients, then wet, then you'll mix them together and fold in the blueberries.
- Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Then whisk together the wet ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
- Next, combine the two to form a smooth and uniform batter.
- Then, fold the berries into the batter, then use a large spoon to ladle the batter into the muffin cups.
- Bake your muffins. They should spring up in the oven, the berries will release their juice, and the muffins will develop a rich orange-gold color as they bake.
- Working with einkorn flour is similar to working with regular flour. However, you'll need to use less liquid and less fat than you might normally use. You also can't overwork the batter, owing to einkorn's weak gluten structure.
- Watch out for making too many substitutions. You might want to swap coconut oil for butter, coconut milk for real dairy, maple syrup for unrefined cane sugar, or even flax eggs for fresh eggs. But too many substitutions will dramatically change the results of this recipe. And even one small substitution will change the results a little bit.
- Line your muffin pans with paper liners in advance, as the chemical reaction between the lemon juice and baking soda is fast. If you let the batter linger while you line your muffin tin or tidy the kitchen, they won't spring up nearly as well in the oven.
- For best results, place the blueberries into a separate bowl. Then add in a little of the flour mixture. Toss the blueberries until they're lightly dusted with the flour. This will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the tray when you bake the muffins.
- You need to fold the blueberries into the batter gently so that you don't break the ripest berries.
- Scrape the batter at the bottom of the bowl when folding in the blueberries so that the berries are incorporated evenly into the batter. Otherwise, some muffins may contain loads of berries, and others very few.
- If you're using a ceramic non-stick muffin pan, you won't need to use paper muffin cups.
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Try a different berry. You can use this recipe as a base recipe for other einkorn muffins. It works well with blackberries, raspberries, peaches, and other fresh fruit, too.
You can use whole-grain or sprouted einkorn flour in this recipe, but you'll want to use it in combination with all-purpose flour. A good ratio is swapping in whole-grain or sprouted flour for half of the flour called for in this recipe. Keep in mind that your muffins won't rise quite as tall when using whole-grain flour.
Consider adding nuts to the recipe. You can work up to ½ cup of chopped nuts into the recipe. We've found that almonds are a great match for blueberries and work well in this recipe.
Consider making a streusel topping for the muffins by combining butter, flour, and a bit of sugar. It lends a pretty, professional touch to the bake.
How long do they keep?
Store the muffins at room temperature in an airtight container. They'll last for about 3 days.
Can I freeze them?
Yes. Toss them in a resealable plastic freezer bag and freeze them in a single layer. You can pull out as many as you need, then let them come to room temperature overnight in your kitchen.
Where do I find einkorn flour?
You can find einkorn flour at most well-stocked grocery stores and natural food markets. If you cannot find it locally, you can order it online here.
Can I substitute regular all-purpose flour?
No. Modern wheat and einkorn wheat have different characteristics and absorb liquid and fat at different rates. Einkorn recipes tend to use less liquid and less fat than recipes developed with regular wheat flour.
Does einkorn have gluten?
Yes. Einkorn contains gluten. It has less gluten than modern wheat, and the gluten it does have is a little bit different than modern wheat. Some people who find they have trouble digesting wheat may find they tolerate einkorn. However, it is not suitable for people who have celiac disease.
Can I make this gluten-free?
No. Gluten-free flour mixes vary wildly from brand to brand. Further, individual gluten-free flours have different liquid absorption rates and most need supplemental starches or gums to make up for the missing protein structure found in einkorn. Your best bet is to find a gluten-free blueberry muffin recipe and make that instead.
Can I make this dairy-free?
Maybe. You can use coconut oil in place of butter, but you may need to use a little less as coconut oil has slightly more fat per tablespoon than butter. You can also substitute diluted coconut milk for whole milk, but it will change the flavor and may change the texture of the muffins.
Can I use a different sweetener?
Maybe. Dry sweeteners such as coconut sugar will work fine as a substitute for whole, unrefined cane sugar. Liquid sweeteners, such as maple syrup and honey, will require that you make adjustments to the volume of liquid in the recipe.