When I was growing up, one of my favorite store-bought treats was a snack cake called a Jim Jam. It was a basic sponge cake topped with strawberry jam and coconut, and my Mom would buy day-old ones for half price at the Bakery Thrift Shop. It’s probably been 38 years since I’ve had one, but every now and then I get a hankering, so I set out to make a Primal-friendly version that also accommodates my own food sensitivities (free of grains, legumes, sugar, dairy and eggs). I started with the basic muffin recipe from Durga Fuller, adding the Jim Jam elements until I reached the ideal ratios.
Because they require a little advanced preparation, these aren’t a good choice for busy weekday mornings. They are, however, just a bit fancy enough for a birthday breakfast or a Valentine’s treat (what with the red topping and all). It’s an easy recipe to cut in half for smaller households.
4 cups whole fresh or frozen strawberries (if using frozen berries, measure before thawing)
4 drops Stevita brand stevia liquid*
Puree berries in a blender. Pour into a small saucepan and cook uncovered on low heat until reduced by about half, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes). Add stevia and mix in thoroughly. Allow to cool, then store in refrigerator until you make the muffins (can be made the day before). Yields about 2/3 cup.
**please note the advanced prep required for the flax egg substitute**
2 cups almond flour/meal
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut, plus more for topping
¼ cup flax seed meal mixed with ¾ cup water, allowed to sit until thickened (20 minutes-12 hours)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk (either from carton or can)
½ cup melted coconut oil
3 tsp. vanilla extract
12 drops Stevita stevia liquid
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. coconut flour (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 12-cup muffin pan (unless it is non-stick). Mix together almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and coconut. Add flax mixture, almond or coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract and stevia. Mix well with whisk or spoon. Add vinegar and mix in quickly and thoroughly. If mixture seems too runny, add a tablespoon or two of coconut flour to absorb some moisture.
Spoon evenly into muffin tins, creating a little concave depression on the top of each. Spread strawberry topping evenly on muffins (about 1 Tbsp. each). Sprinkle additional shredded coconut on top of the strawberry spread.
Place in oven and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and allow the muffins to continue baking in the still-warm oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours. With a fork, carefully remove from tins. For maximum specialness, serve on your prettiest little plates.
*As with all of my recipes which call for stevia, if you are using any other brand, add 1 drop or pinch at a time until you reach your own desired level of sweetness.