Cornmeal and Blue Cheese Muffins

Cornmeal and Blue Cheese Muffins make a wholesome, savoury treat. Made with cornmeal they have a grainy texture and are suitable for Fodmap and Gluten Free diets, among others.



The inspiration for this recipe was to use local ingredients for a savoury Gluten Free muffin. Cornmeal/maize was being planted in the fields nearby as I started devising it (it was December). Tapioca/cassava is also grown locally; and the blue cheese and yoghurt are produced by a friend at “Eastwood Farm” here in Livingstone.

Sweet potato is in abundant supply, although in Zambia it is not used in baking as it is in the southern regions of the United States. It helps hold the moisture and bind the flours, important attributes for Gluten Free baking. In addition, its natural sweetness contrasts with the savoury of the blue cheese and other flavours you may add such as onion (not Fodmap diets), chives or mustard.

If the muffins are to be eaten immediately, the addition of Xanthan gum, which also maintains the moist texture, is not necessary.

Diets for which Cornmeal and Blue Cheese Muffins are suitable:

Diabetic, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free and Vegetarian.

Ingredients

Preparation: 15 mins | Cook: 25 mins | Serves: 10-12 medium size
200 gm (1 cup) cooked, mashed sweet potato*
90 gm (3 oz) blue cheese
2 eggs
1 cup yoghurt**
1 tbsp vegetable oil
170 gm (1 cup) cornmeal
50 gm (1/2 cup) tapioca flour (cassava flour)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum ***

chives (optional)
sautéed onion (optional, not Fodmap)
1 tsp mustard powder (optional)

Method

PREHEAT the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
PREPARE muffin tray**** or muffin cases.
SIFT all the dry ingredients, ensuring will mixed.
WHISK the eggs lightly.
MASH the cheese and mix with the sweet potato, yoghurt and oil.
ADD the eggs to the cheese mix.
FOLD the cheese and egg mix through the dry ingredients. (The mixture is quite firm; add extra yoghurt or oil if required.)
SPOON into a muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins are firm and lightly coloured. (This flour mix will produce a very light colour muffin.)
COOL a little before removing the muffins from the tray.

Serve

– Best served on the day.
– Freeze well. Defrost and microwave for approximately 10 seconds. Day-old muffins may also be enlivened with a few seconds in the microwave.
– As a snack or with a salad.
– Make small muffins with more cheese as canapés.

Notes

* Sweet potato should be baked, cooked in a microwave or steamed till soft. (Do not boil.)
** If the yoghurt is very thick you may need to add more — or a little water. For a low lactose diet use soy yoghurt.
*** Xanthan gum is not necessary if the muffins are to be eaten immediately.
Substitute Xanthan gum with ground linseed (1 tbsp ground seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water). Reduce the eggs to 1 when adding the linseed and water mix.
**** I use a silicon muffin tray from which the muffins are easily removed.

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