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Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

You've heard of lemon ricotta everything (from cookies to muffins to pancakes). And you've heard of lemon blueberry everything (from scones to waffles to cupcakes). But have you heard of combining all of these great flavor combos into a single dessert? I know I hadn't when I came up with the idea for these muffins! Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Muffins are just what they sound like: delicate, sweet, lemon-y (courtesy of both fresh lemon juice & zest), slightly tangy (thanks to almond milk ricotta), and 100% delicious. These muffins are so sweet that I consider them maybe to lean more on the dessert side of baked goods, as opposed to the breakfast side. Nonetheless, I still eat two of these for breakfast when I make them! These muffins are gluten-free, not grain-free, so for those of you on the paleo diet, check the "Substitutions" section of this post for grain-free flour alternatives.



These muffins are absolutely delectable! They never last long when I make them, and they're packed with healthy nutrients. These muffins have a natural beige color (because I haven't started experimenting with my vegan/all-natural/gluten-free/sugar-free food coloring yet), but if you have an all-natural, vegan, and sugar-free yellow food dye such as Color Kitchen's or Supernatural's, then by all means add some of it to this batter to get that lemon-y hue.


These are my favorite muffins I've made thus far, and I plan on making many more recipes with lemon, ricotta, and blueberries.



These lemon ricotta blueberry muffins are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and fruit-sweetened. If you want, you can make an almond glaze to go on top of these muffins, but I personally believe their sweetness is more than adequate and doesn't warrant a glaze.


These muffins are perfect to have with a DIY hot or iced vegan/sugar-free matcha latte (which I'll eventually post a recipe for on The Dimpled Date). Slather a little vegan/gluten-free butter on top of these lemon ricotta blueberry muffins (like Miyoko's) for a salty-sweet treat.



Nutritional Profile of Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Muffins


Dates- dates are antioxidant powerhouses that are rich in fiber, protein, iron, and potassium. They can help protect against anemia, aid digestion, and promote heart health.


Almond milk ricotta- almond milk ricotta (such as Kite Hill's) is a great source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, iron, and vitamin E. These nutrients are good for building muscle, are good for digestion, promote heart health, and boost your complexion.


Flaxseed- flaxseed (and thus, flax eggs, which are just flaxseed meal and water) is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and iron. Omega-3s promote heart, brain, eye, immune, metabolism, joint, skin, and hair health.


Lemon- lemon juice & zest are filled with antioxidants, vitamin C, and beneficial plant compounds that may aid weight loss, boost the immune system, aid iron absorption, and fight free radical damage.


Sea salt- sea salt is better for you than table salt (which is highly processed). Sea salt is beneficial to your adrenal glands, balances electrolytes, and nourishes the body with micronutrients. Try Himalayan pink sea salt or another healthy sea salt.


Almond milk- almond milk is chock-full of vitamin E and calcium & vitamin D ( if fortified). Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is good for your skin and hair. Calcium & vitamin D build bone and are good for the immune system.


Coconut oil- coconut oil is packed with healthy fats, fatty acids, and beneficial plant compounds. Coconut oil is good for your heart, brain, skin, hair, may aid weight loss, and may have anti-fungal properties.


Blueberries- blueberries are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. These nutrients are good for iron absorption, immune health, the GI tract, and overall health.



Substitutions


The Medjool dates may be substituted with any other kind of dates such as Deglet Noor dates. It's difficult to substitute them because they form the base of these muffins. If you know how to easily replace the dates with maple syrup, another sticky sweetener, or a less processed sugar like coconut sugar, by all means try it! The almond milk ricotta can be swapped with any vegan and gluten-free ricotta. I personally used Kite Hill's almond milk ricotta. The 2 flax eggs may be substituted with 6 Tablespoons of aquafaba (chickpea brine) or 2 chia eggs. The lemon zest and lemon juice really shouldn't be replaced, as this is a recipe for lemon ricotta blueberry muffins, but you may use orange juice/zest or lime juice/zest.


The vanilla extract can be swapped with the equivalent amount of scraped vanilla bean or vanilla powder or can be substituted with almond extract. The gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour is tricky to substitute. If you have baking experience and know how to make this recipe work with almond flour, coconut flour, and/or cassava flour, experiment a little! The baking soda and baking powder cannot be replaced, as they are the leaveners in these muffins. The sea salt can be swapped with table salt or can be omitted. The unsweetened almond milk can be substituted with your unsweetened (or sweetened, if you can do sugar) plant milk of choice. The melted coconut oil is preferable, but you may use a neutral-flavored healthy vegetable oil instead. The blueberries aren't necessary, but they definitely add extra sweetness, flavor, and a fun texture. You may omit them or replace them with fresh blackberries.



I'm Back!! And new recipes...


I'm finally back after my spring semester! Which means you'll be seeing more of me around here ;)


Some new recipes I've been dabbling with (coming to The Dimpled Date soon...):


-Immune-Boosting Superfood Smoothie

-Avocado Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

-No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies..


AND MORE! Keep posted for more yummy (and healthy) sweets :)


Enjoy <3,

-K.



Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 to 22 minutes

Total Time: 40 to 42 minutes

Servings: 23 muffins


Ingredients:


-2 cups Medjool dates

-1 cup almond milk ricotta (one 8-ounce container of almond milk ricotta // like Kite Hill's Almond Milk Ricotta)

-2 flax eggs

-1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest

-1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

-1/4 tsp vanilla extract

-2 1/2 cups gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (like Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour)

-1 tsp baking soda

-2 tsp baking powder

-pinch sea salt

-1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened plant milk of choice)

-1/4 cup melted coconut oil

-1 cup fresh blueberries (preferably organic)


Directions:


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.


2. Add the dates to a food processor and blend them until a paste forms. Set aside.


3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt). Set aside.


4. In another large bowl, add the date paste, almond milk ricotta, flax eggs, lemon zest & juice, vanilla, and melted & slightly cooled coconut oil. Stir well to combine.


5. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir in between until all wet ingredients are incorporated.


6. Pour in the almond milk slowly and stir until the mixture is smooth and uniform.


7. Fold in the fresh blueberries with a spatula.


8. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way. Smooth the tops.


9. Bake in the preheated oven (at 375 degrees F) for 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops start to turn golden brown and a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


10. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with a pat of vegan butter (like Miyoko's or Earth Balance) on top, enjoy with a vegan hot/iced matcha latte, and/or have with a little sugar-free blueberry preserves slathered on top. Enjoy!


Store in airtight container in the fridge.



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