Timtana Spice Muffins and Giveaway

timtana spice muffins

timtana spice muffins photo by vsimon

Please let me introduce you to timtana, a new gluten free whole grain flour. It is dark and handsome. A flour with substance.

Montana Gluten Free Processors are working with the Celiac Sprue Association, who called for volunteers to develop recipes for timtana flour. I like to try new foods and answered the call. They sent me a free #3 bag of timtana flour to work with.

Timtana flour is ground from a perennial grain, the plants grow every year without needing to be planted each spring.  Most other flours are from annual grains.

High protein

Timtana has more protein than amaranth, buckwheat, oat, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, and teff flours. Timtana is 5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup. The other flours are  3 or 4 grams. Refined starches, such as tapioca or corn, have zero protein.

High fiber

Timtana flour also has more fiber than the above gluten free flours, 5 grams per 1/4 cup. Compare that with 1 to 4 grams for other flours. Refined starches have zero fiber too.

Calcium and iron

Yep, timtana has them. Comparable to amaranth and teff flours. Refined starches? Zero again.

Easy to use? Too soon to tell.

I am batting .500 using timtana. The spice muffins worked great the first time. Pancakes did not, those need more work.

3 Giveaways, you may get to try it too.

Montana Gluten Free Processors want more people to play with timtana. So they are giving 3 lucky folks each a free #3 bag of flour.

Simply comment below by Wednesday, January 6. Winners will selected by random generator and announced Thursday, January 7. 

Dedicated gluten free producers.

I always like to know the farm to table story. From the Montana Gluten Free Producers website.

Our products are manufactured in a dedicated state of the art gluten free facility that only processes and packages our own gluten free products. The story however doesn’t begin there, to be truly gluten free you must start in the field. Montana Gluten Free Processors works directly with traditional farmers to grow our private seed stock on ground with at least 4 years history of no gluten grains being produced on the field. Only production from our proven healthy seed stock is acceptable for Montana Gluten Free production. Crops are planted, fields are inspected, and harvested, storage and transportation equipment is dedicated and inspected to insure purity and quality. We watch over our product from the field to the package to be certain that the product in our package is the best all natural gluten free product food you can buy.


Today I share my success. What I call Timtana Spice Muffins originated as pumpkin walnut muffins in Gourmet November 1997.

We offered our first gluten free client pumpkin muffins, made with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free blend flour. She said, repeatedly, we should open a gluten free bakery. Starting with those muffins.

I like to take a good recipe and make it better. Really, I love when that happens.

Timtana flour improves the nutrition and changes the flavor a bit. The pumpkin flavor disappears. Sweet spice, the flavor and the fragrance, now predominate. So I changed simply the name. 🙂

Simplify if you like.

Admittedly, this is along list of ingredients. You might omit the dates and walnuts, but I wouldn’t.

And you can substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if you do not like to measure out 4 different spices.

Timtana Spice Muffins

Yield: 12 metric measures
3/4 cup solid pack canned pumpkin 180 gm
1/2 cup oil 120 ml
1/4 cup buttermilk 60 ml
2 large eggs 100 ml
3 tablespoons molasses 45 gm
2 cups Timtana flour 240 gm
3/4 cup dark brown sugar 150 gm
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 6 gm
1 teaspoon xanthan 4 gm
1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 gm
1/2 tsp ginger 1 gm
1/4 tsp ground cloves 2 pinches
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 pinch
1/2 tsp salt 4 gm
1/4 teaspoon soda 2 gm
3/4 cup chopped dates 120 gm
3/4 cup chopped walnuts 90 gm

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk pumpkin, oil, buttermilk, eggs and molasses.

In a large bowl, whisk timtana flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, xanthan, spices, salt, and baking soda.

Add liquid ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Add dates and walnuts, combine well.

Divide equally into 12 muffin papers.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes so the xanthan can hydrate.

Bake for 20 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 and bake 10 more minutes.

More Timtana Recipes

Montana Gluten Free Processors has more recipes at their website.

And Gluten Free for Good has a recipe for Timtana Montana Orange Muffins.

The Montana Celiac Society has a recipe for Timtana Bagels.

What recipe would you like to try? Please share, and remember to comment for a chance to win.

Update 1-7-10 And the winners are:

Porsha, Danica, and Janice. Congratulations!!!

Wonder Buns


gluten free wonder buns photo by lsimon

Five minutes, start to finish. No big scary commitment of time or ingredients. No need to hope, just hope for edible results.

You are assured of gluten free whole grain goodness, light texture, and a perfect size for a burger or sandwich. Cook it lickity split in the microwave in 90 seconds. These truly are a wonder!

I found several versions of this on the Celiac.com forum. And it appeared in the Celiac Sprue Association newsletter. I have altered it a bit, and make it successfully with several different flours.

Many whole grain gluten free flours work

Yeah, no refined starches. Sorghum is pictured. Teff gives it a deeper brown color and rich flavor. Millet yields a light colored bun.

Size matters

Make this in a 10 oz custard cup for a burger or sandwich size bun, as pictured.

For two small dinner rolls, use the same recipe and divide the batter into two 6 oz custard cups. Microwave these together for only 80 seconds total.

Or double the recipe below and put into two 10 oz custard cups.  Microwave each for 90 seconds, one at a time.

I use inexpensive Pyrex custard cups, available in my regular grocery store.

Molasses instead of sugar

Molasses give a bit richer color, more antioxidants than white sugar, and the bun is a bit moister.

Cocoa for color

You will not taste it, but it makes the buns brown. And adds its own antioxidants. I leave it out of the millet version.

Nut meal

No need to buy nut meal if you have nuts and a spice or coffee grinder. Whiz them in the grinder for just a few seconds and you get light, fluffy meal.


Without the seeds, the sides and bottom of the bun looks steamed rather than baked. Adding seeds all around looks very inviting. I like sesame, caraway, millet, poppy and whole cumin seeds. They add flavor, fragrance, and crunch.

Wonder Bun

yield: one 3 ½ inch bun

ingredients metric measures
1 large egg 50 gm
¾ teaspoon molasses 4 ml
2 tablespoons sorghum flour 18 gm
1 tablespoon almond meal 5 gm
1 tablespoon ground flax seed 5 gm
½ teaspoon baking powder 2 gm
½ teaspoon cocoa powder 1 gm
a pinch of salt, optional pinch
1 teaspoon sesame seeds 2 gm

In a small bowl, beat the egg and molasses with a fork, for about a minute.

In another small bowl, add the flour, almond meal, ground flax seed, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Add a pinch of salt if you like. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed so you do not see little balls of cocoa or bitter baking soda.

Add the eggs to the dry ingredients, stir until smooth.

Oil a 10 oz Pyrex custard cup and sprinkle sesame seeds on the bottom and sides.

Pour the batter into the cup. Top with more sesame seeds.

Microwave for 90 seconds.

That is it! A ready to eat, tasty bun. A wonder bun!

Try these and tell us how you make them. What flours and seeds? I think other nuts would be grand. And herbs or cheese. How about cinnamon and raisins?

Let your imagination go wild. You can have so much fun with just a little investment in time and ingredients.

Added 9-8-2009.  Please visit the pantry to view a couple of free videos, including Wonder Buns.  We are just starting to stock the pantry, there is much more to come. We invite you to become a member,  help yourself to the free pantry, and stay tuned for new content. Thanks!

Added 10-2-2009 Wonder Buns were included in the October edition of the gluten free lifestyle blog carnival. This informative event was started by Kim of The Food Allergy Coach. This edition was hosted by Gluten Free Gidget, and it included product reviews and tempting recipes!

Antioxidants in Sweeteners

as slow as molasses

as slow as molasses photo by technicool

Are you avoiding white sugar because it is just empty calories? And using agave, honey, or date sugar because they are less refined and have more nutrition?

You might be surprised by a scientific study named Total Antioxidant Content of Alternatives to Refined Sugar, printed in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association January 2009. It tested the antioxidant levels of many sweeteners.

What was tested?

agave nectar (light, amber and raw)
blue agave nectar
brown rice syrup
brown rice malt syrup (not gluten free)
barley malt syrup (not gluten free)
corn syrup (light)
date sugar
maple syrup (100% pure)
molasses (dark and black strap)
sugar (white, light brown, dark brown, turbinado, raw cane)

How where they tested?

Sweeteners where purchased from major retailers, health food stores, and online distributors. From one to 53 samples were tested for each sweetener. Honey had the most samples, representing mostly refined clover honey as it is most available.

Results- a few surprises!

In order of antioxidant levels, high to low.

Sweetener Relative amount of antioxidants
date sugar xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx                       
molasses, blackstrap xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
molasses, dark xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
barley malt syrup xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (not gluten free)
brown rice malt syrup xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (not gluten free)
sugar, dark brown xxxxx
100% maple syrup xxxx
sugar, light brown xxx
sugar, raw cane xx
honey xx
sugar, turbinado x                                                                                     
agave nectar
corn syrup, light  
sugar, white                                                                             

Notes: White sugar, corn syrup, and agave nectar had almost no antioxidants. 

These are composite results. The study did show some variability of antioxidant levels between samples of the same type of some sweeteners.

My graph is a crude representation of the results.

How does this compare with other foods?

broccoli, raw xxx
milk chocolate candy xxxxxxxxx
red wine (merlot) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
blueberries xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
walnuts xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Note: Common serving sizes where compared.

Walnuts where way off this chart. One ounce of walnuts have about twice the antioxidants of one ounce of date sugar.

Can we switcheroo?

It is not possible to use some high antioxidant sweeteners measure for measure in place of white sugar in many recipes. A cup or more of black strap molasses in a cake will not be good. Date sugar is delicious, but will change the flavor, color and texture in recipes with lots of sugar. It is also expensive and not readily available. Some recipes successfully use these sweeteners though.

It is pretty easy to substitute dark brown sugar for white in many recipes. Did you know that brown sugar is simply refined white sugar mixed with molasses? The darker the sugar, the more molasses.

Stir 1 tablespoon molasses into 1 cup of white sugar to make dark brown sugar.

Using averages, the researchers concluded that substituting high antioxidant sweeteners for white sugar can increase the antioxidants consumed as much as having a serving of blueberries. That is because we eat so much sugar.

To much sugar

The average American eats 31 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Yikes!! While it is useful to use high antioxidant sweeteners, it is also important to simply use less sugar. And according to this study, using agave is not much better than white sugar.

Not tested yet

I like sorghum syrup and have used palm sugar too. They were not tested, so I do not know the antioxidant levels of these sweeteners. If anyone has this information, please share.

palm sugar1

palm sugar photo by vsimon

The study authors are Katherine M. Phillips, PhD; Monica H. Carlsen, MSc; Rune Blomhoff, PhD.