Marionberry Orange Muffins (Gluten-free, Paleo)

I mean really, is there ever a bad time for a muffin?

I mean really, is there ever a bad time for a muffin? Nope.

If one could be punished for “blog neglect”, I would obviously be in a decent amount of trouble. Luckily we live in a world where people post so much drivel on the internet that you can start and stop projects as you please (particularly if they’re online), and nobody really notices. I like that. Clearly I am not all that good at keeping up with posting during transition periods. It’s been about eight weeks since I posted anything, and in little teeny Kate-world it feels like it’s been even longer. Oh, I missed my blog. Massive transitions have taken place since I returned to the states – moving living location, starting summer school, trying to make amends with my body over the four months of zero exercise and beer drinking/sugar consumption I enjoyed in Asia. I definitely have enough to fill my time these days, and on top of everything (like, ya know, organic chemistry five days a week…) I keep cooking! It seems no amount of ‘other priorities’ can uproot my love affair with cooking and eating.

But I’ll be honest: I thought to myself during this time that maybe I should abandon the blog completely. The ‘focus’ of my life has shifted dramatically, and my goal is now to get myself through school as best I can without leaving (again…) and with better-than-decent grades – not to play in my kitchen, invent recipes and drool over new bacon ideas (I’m sensing another batch of homemade coming soon!). I really should be spending this Saturday morning stapling my face to my organic chemistry textbook, right?

These guys. Some of the best.

These guys. Some of the best.

I thought that sounded reasonable. Logical. Perhaps even ‘smart’ or ‘wise’. I thought: “it makes sense that I would have to choose school and studying over my for-fun creative outlet. This is what smart people do. They prioritize what really needs to be done, and they do that thing and leave most other things by the wayside.” Right? Maybe not. You see,Β  something I’m finally coming to terms with about myself is that as much as I’ve always wanted to be someone who is naturally extraordinarily talented in one arena – science, math, art, music, athletics – and can focus exclusively on that one thing, I’m just not that person. I’ve always been ‘good’ at many things, but never ‘great’ at any one thing. And that’s just how my brain works. I can’t do one thing all the time. In fact, doing one thing at a time is sometimes a struggle. (I think I like multi-tasking too much…I also think people these days call that “ADHD”). But as soon as I try to force myself to only study science, I find myself writing more poetry and music than ever. As soon as I ‘decide’ that I’m going to just play music or write, I’m watching physics lectures online and reading NASA news updates. I can’t be one thing. And I’ll admit, as fun as my scattered skills are, this complex leads to serious hobby-overdose and a pretty bleak response to the ever-looming question of: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

I know the recipe reads "orange zest", but for those of us with ill-equipped kitchens that means "really finely chopped orange peel"

I know the recipe reads “orange zest”, but for those of us with ill-equipped kitchens that means “really finely chopped orange peel”

What do I want to be when I grow up? What do I want to be when I grow up?! I’ll tell you. I want to be a humanitarian doctor-chef-writer with a band and a radio program and a pilots license. Oh, and some kids. And a farm, a teaching kitchen and a rural med clinic. Oh, and live in Mexico part time. And own some land in Central Oregon. Sound good? Feasible? Focused? Completely. I’m charging ahead full steam.

All my tangents aside, the thing I noticed about these past eight weeks of feet-off-the-ground-big-time-life-transition, was that no matter where I went (ahem: Boulder to Portland to Onalaska to Corvallis to San Francisco to Portland and back to Corvallis) the one constant I had, the thing that I could do and share everywhere I went was food. In every single one of those places I got to cook. With people and for people, in unfamiliar kitchens and in my family’s kitchen, with recipes and without. It is, more clearly than ever, something I must do. So as much as I think I like the idea of exclusive attention on one thing only, I know I am the way I am, scattered or multi-tasking or ADHD – however you’d like to call it. And cooking and writing will not be eliminated anytime soon.

Tastier, prettier and better for baking than a belly button!

Way tastier than a belly button.

Plus, I’m pretty excited that a few of the CrossFitters I’ve met here are going to hold me to my promise to post recipes…there’s really no better motivation than being threatened by girls who can throw you across a room if they so choose πŸ™‚

Local food? Like backyard local food? Check yes.

Local food? Like backyard local food? Check yes.

In light of the massive amount of marionberries nearly overtaking the back yard and the fact that my sweet tooth is ever-insatiable, I decided marionberry-orange muffins would be a perfect first recipe to post from here in Corvallis:

Just add butter (to everything...)

Just add butter (to everything…)

Marionberry-Orange Muffins (Gluten-free, Paleo)

makes 12 normal-sized (as in, not Costco muffin) muffins


2 Cups almond flour

1/4 Tsp baking soda

1/4 Cup honey

1/4 Cup coconut oil, melted

2 Eggs

1 + 1/2 Tbsp orange zest

Juice from 1/4 of a Navel orange

1 Cup fresh marionberries (or blueberries, or raspberries, or snozberries)

1 Cup full-fat coconut milk

Hefty pinch of salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (almond flour, baking soda, salt)

3. Heat honey and coconut oil together so they’re nice and liquidy, then combine with other wet ingredients (coconut milk, orange juice, eggs)

4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold in berries

5. Pour into paper-lined or well-greased muffin pan

6. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown

7. Eat at least one while still warm, slathered in butter. This might have happened x2 in my kitchen when I made them. But I had to make sure they were edible, of course…




One comment

  1. Caitlin Brennan · · Reply

    OMG WE MADE YOUR BLOG! πŸ™‚ … and read the whole thing! lol Muffins were AMAZING. YOU ROCK GIRL!
    xoxo Caitlin and Elyse

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