Wild Rice Cranberry Muffins – Tasty, Moist & Satisfying
We spent a long weekend with extended family in and around Elbow Lake, Minnesota last month. That’s where Paul grew up on a farm. While at his brother’s farm we took a spin on a cushy 3-wheel bike called a Spyder. Our sweet grandson joined in the fun on his tricycle. One of Paul’s sisters not only made a huge pot of Wild Rice Soup, but she also gifted us with a bag of truly wild, wild rice. Now a month later, I cooked a small portion of that hand-harvested, Minnesota wild rice and created gluten-free Wild Rice Cranberry Muffins with Flaxseeds and Coconut Milk.
Such richly flavored and satisfying muffins.
- Sweetened with a touch of molasses and coconut palm sugar.
- Made moist and nutty from an abundance of wild rice.
- Deliciously tart from juice-sweetened dried cranberries.
Truly wild, wild rice
Few people outside of Minnesota ever get to taste traditional, hand-harvested wild rice. The long, thin “grains” of wild rice with their nutty flavor, chewy texture and nutrient density are quite a delicacy.
Wild rice is gathered by hand by “ricers” in a canoe. In this 19th century image, one woman holds a forked push pole. The other two women each have a wooden flail to knock the rice into the canoe. Finishing the harvested rice involves parching it over a fire. Then, as in this video, it is hulled by dancing, then winnowed to remove the chaff.
Although wild rice is treated like a grain, it is actually an aquatic marsh grass. Unrelated to rice, though resembling, prepared and enjoyed like rice, wild rice is also gluten-free. Nutritionally, it has more protein, minerals and B vitamins than brown rice. And many consider truly wild, wild rice to be superior in both flavor and aroma to cultivated wild rice.
The cultivated wild rice that most of us know tends to be slightly shorter and thicker than traditionally harvested wild rice. Plus, there is a huge difference in color. Black versus shades of gray and brown. Traditional and cultivated wild rice can be used interchangeably in Wild Rice Cranberry Muffins and all your favorite recipes.
Thank you, Joanne, for this most delicious and generous gift of truly wild, wild rice.
Wild Rice Cranberry Muffins with Flaxseeds and Coconut Milk
Tasty, moist and satisfying Wild Rice Cranberry Muffins were inspired by my desire to duplicate the wild rice muffins that French Meadow Bakery sold at the Minneapolis airport. Wanting an even healthier muffin, I reworked my recipe for Flaxseed Muffins with Apples ’n Blueberries. So now we all get to enjoy these oh so delicious dairy and gluten-free Wild Rice Cranberry Muffins.
- Both hand-harvested and cultivated wild rice work in these muffins.
- Allow about an hour for the wild rice to cook and cool to room temperature.
- Whole flaxseeds can be ground in a blender.
- And, you can make oat flour by grinding old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender.
Makes 12 muffins Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours (including baking time and wild rice cooking and cooling time
½ half cup traditional or cultivated wild rice, washed, drained
1 ½ cups boiling water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds (from ¾ cup whole flaxseeds)
½ cup coconut palm sugar
4 teaspoons molasses
3 large eggs
1¼ cups lite coconut milk (from the can)
1 1/3 cup oat flour (from 1 1/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats)
2 teaspoons baking soda
Rounded 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Rounded ½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups cooked, room temperature wild rice
2/3 cup dried cranberries (apple-juice sweetened preferable)
- While you wash and drain the wild rice, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the wild rice and the salt. Cover the pan and lower the heat so the rice gently simmers for 45 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 minute to let any excess liquid evaporate. If some liquid remains after that, drain it off. Let the wild rice cool to room temperature before adding it to the muffins.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
- If you are using whole flaxseeds, grind them in a blender. Melt the coconut oil.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together the coconut palm sugar, molasses, eggs, coconut milk and coconut oil. Stir in the ground flaxseeds. Set this mixture aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- If you are using rolled oats, use a blender to make oat flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the wild rice and dried cranberries. Make a well in the center of these dry ingredients.
- Pour the wet mix in all at once into the well. With a rubber spatula gently fold it into the dry mixture until just combined.
- Fill each muffin cup with a scant ½ cup of the batter.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees. Bake for another 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a couple of muffins comes out clean.
- Remove the Wild Rice Cranberry Muffins from the oven. Let them cool in the muffin tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.