A Bite Inspired by… American Housewife (TV Show):
I love sitcoms! Watching a funny TV show is one of the best ways to relax at the end of a long day– anyone else agree? Inspired by one of my favorite new sitcoms, “American Housewife”, I’ve created a Gluten-Free + Vegan Chocolate Chip Cherry Muffin that is so incredibly soft and moist, you’ll never believe it’s free from wheat, eggs, and dairy products. In fact, these muffins are completely free from ALL the “Top 8” allergens (no soy or nuts here!) These truly are the best gluten-free and vegan muffins I’ve ever tasted, but don’t take my word for it! Try them for yourself and relax into chocolate-cherry goodness! These muffins are perfect for a healthy breakfast on-the-go or a delicious snack to enjoy while watching your favorite sitcom.
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Anyone else a fan of “American Housewife”? I personally think it’s one of the funniest new sitcoms this season. Katy Mixon is an absolute gem, as a “typical” housewife and mother living in the affluent town of Westport, Connecticut. Her character, Katie Otto, often gets frustrated being surrounded by wealthy, perfect-in-every-way housewives and their privileged children. The comedy is in how she copes with her surroundings; the heart is in her interactions with her family and how she finds commonalities with the Westport women, despite their superficial differences.
In a recent episode, Katie gets so frustrated with living in Westport that she seizes an opportunity to leave, even though her family wants to stay. Some standout moments from this episode include:
Katie: (in response her daughter and friends) Look at Taylor and her friends. They are splitting a muffin four ways. Why? Because this town muffin shames women, and it starts early.
Later in the episode:
Katie: (to a waiter) Can I have some cream?
Waiter: Soy, almond, cashew, or lactose-free?
Katie: (shakes her head) Mnh-mnh. Half-and-half.
Waiter: (looks confused) Half almond, half soy?
Katie: No. Half milk, half fatter milk.
Waiter: Oh, I’m sorry. We stopped carrying cream. No one wants it because it’s VERY unhealthy for you.
As you can imagine, Katie was not too pleased with the waiter’s response (neither was I). She’s all ready to leave Westport at this point, but has a change of heart when she realizes how much her family loves it there. There’s kind of a sweet moment at the end of the episode where the same waiter brings Katie some cream and says they started carrying it just for her. See, Katie? Westport isn’t so bad after all.
I have to say my tastes are pretty similar to the Westport housewives that Katie loathes so deeply. I like eating gluten-free baked goods, drinking green smoothies, feasting on vegan food, doing yoga, and posting my life on Instagram. These activities are all things that Katie has scoffed at over the course of the show and its kind of humbling to see these aspects of my life through her eyes. This show takes on a lot of superficial stereotypes about the rich vs. not so rich, seemingly perfect vs. not so perfect, and so on, and delves a little deeper, in such a way that you end up having sympathy for both sides. Despite Katie’s dislike for all things Westport, she still manages to reach a commonality and understanding with these women and that’s really interesting to watch. What I love about Katie is that she is 100 percent unapologetically herself. She refuses to change for anyone, but she still has a soft spot for her kids (especially her youngest, the adorable Anna-Kat) and she still manages to accept the other women and the culture of Westport for what they are… mostly.
Inspired by the show, I created a muffin recipe that is healthy enough to serve at any Westport bakery, but tastes decadent and delicious, so that Katie would want to eat it too (she’s not a big fan of anything that tastes too “healthy”). It’s the perfect common ground between Katie Otto and the Westport wives. It’s a recipe that, despite their different tastes, they would all enjoy. My recipe for Gluten-Free + Vegan Chocolate Chip Cherry Muffins is made with chia seed “eggs”, coconut oil, coconut flour, and maple syrup, but it honestly doesn’t taste like a healthy muffin at all. These are by far the BEST gluten-free and vegan muffins I’ve ever tasted, hands down. Gluten-free and vegan baked goods often get a bad rap for being dry, tasteless, and texturally “off”. I’ve re-made and re-tweaked this recipe many, many times until it was perfect! There’s no way Katie would ever eat a dry, tasteless “healthy” muffin, so why should you?
These muffins are so moist, fluffy, and delicious—you won’t believe there’s no flour, eggs, or butter in them. They are soft, sweet, and everything you want in a muffin, but filled with healthy, light ingredients. The coconut oil gives the muffin a beautiful texture, while also adding a hint of delicious coconut flavor. And, don’t even get me started on all the health benefits coconut oil has (read about them here!) Plus, the dark chocolate chips and dried cherries add delicious decadence without heavy unhealthiness. It’s the perfect healthy and delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert. I could eat the whole pan in one sitting! They’re that good. Oh, and did I mention they’re super easy to make? You just mix all the ingredients together, pour them into liners, and bake. No complicated baking recipes here!
These Gluten-Free + Vegan Chocolate Chip Cherry Muffins would definitely fit in the Westport community, but they taste so good that Katie might actually give them a chance… I hope! These muffins are the perfect balance of healthy and decadent. They represent the commonality between Katie and the Westport women because everyone, no matter who they are, enjoys a delicious, soft muffin. And, it doesn’t even have to be split four ways. 😉
The best part? You can use this basic muffin recipe as a base and add any ingredients you want to create your very own vegan and gluten-free muffin flavor! From fruit to nuts to seeds, you can add practically anything you want. Just make sure you don’t add anything with a high moisture content (i.e. frozen fruit or jam) because the extra liquid will throw the texture off. You can also replace the vanilla extract with other extract flavors (almond, orange, lemon, etc.) and change the flavor up that way. The possibilities are endless!
Whether you’re a fan of “American Housewife” or not, I can guarantee you’ll be a fan of this muffin recipe! Make it for your friends and they’ll never ever guess that it’s gluten-free AND vegan—it’s that moist and delicious! Enjoy! P.S. What sitcoms do you like to watch? I’m a huge fan of sitcoms and am always looking for new ones to check out. Comment below and share!
- 4 chia seed eggs (see note)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (plain or vanilla)
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ⅓ cup vegan semi-sweet dark chocolate chips (I used 55 % cacao—I recommend Pascha Organic Allergen-Free brand)
- Cooking spray
- Cupcake liners
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add chia seed eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, water, maple syrup, and vanilla into a bowl. Mix thoroughly until well-blended.
- Add coconut flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Add dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir well until the mixture is smooth.
- Gently fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Make sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners. Spray the liners with cooking spray.
- Fill each liner with batter. These muffins don't rise very much, so fill the liner until it's a little more than ¾ full, if you want a large muffin.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top of the muffin is golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!
¼ cup chia seeds
¾ cup cold water
Add chia seeds to a small bowl. Add water and stir well. Soak for 10-15 minutes until the seeds form a thick, gel-like texture.
* Some people like to grind the chia seeds before adding them to the water. I actually like the texture of the chia seeds, so I just leave them whole. It’s up to you. If you want to grind the chia seeds, you can do so in a small coffee grinder.
Feel free to use this basic muffin recipe and replace the chocolate and cherries with any add-ins you’d like!
Most baking powders are gluten-free, but always check the label to be sure!