AFTER our hugely successful Spelt and Muesli scones last week, we thought we’d try these Blackberry and Blueberry Muffins. They are flour-free, gluten-free and super healthy, but they also taste great. Made with almond flour, bananas and berries they really do pack a nutritional punch. Eating almonds in moderation promotes lower cholesterol levels, prevents heart disease and can help with weight loss.

Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, with 25g providing 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance. They also have good amounts of magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fibre and are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat. They contain more calcium than any other nut which makes them great for vegetarians who don’t eat dairy.

Almonds contain several phytochemicals including beta-sisterol stigmasterol and campesterol. Studies have shown these help maintain a healthy heart. A handful of almonds a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL, or ‘bad’ blood cholesterol by as much as ten percent. Their high monounsaturated fat content, a key fat found in many Mediterranean diets, also gives them much greater benefits than just helping to lower cholesterol.

Blackberry and Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 medium-sized muffins

  • 2oo g raw almonds
  • 100 g shredded coconut
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil or melted organic butter
  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml plain yogurt
  • 10 fresh soft dates, pitted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 handful of berries

Preheat the oven to 400F / 200° C and line 12 muffin molds. Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine flour. Then add the rest of the ingredients (except the berries) and blend until well combined. Remove the knife-blades and add the berries, stir with a spoon to mix. Pour the batter into the muffin molds and bake for 12-15 minutes.