Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.

Want to stay up to date? Check out my new website www.constellationacu.com.

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

Entries in Recipes: Breads and Baking (41)


Crunchy Millet Carrot Muffins (gluten free, vegan)

Hooray hooray, I found my original millet muffin recipe. After posting the Millet Rosemary Muffin recipe the other day, I was on a mission to find my most favorite (but more complicated) millet muffin recipe amongst my recipe sheets. I found it buried among many, and had to share it with ya'll!

So, here it is. It uses a mix of millet, brown rice, quinoa, and garbanzo bean flour, with grated carrot, applesauce, flaxmeal, coconut oil, and a hint of orange zest. Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients – this recipe really is quick and easy! If you don't want to add all the extra spices or zest, fine! This muffin is moist, light, and flavorful. Whole millet grains add crunch while grated carrot adds just a hint of sweetness. Great for breakfast, or the perfect on-the go-snack!

I bet a bit of shredded coconut thrown in would be awfully tasty. As usual, I have listed ideas for variations at the bottom of the recipe.


yield 12 muffins

1 c millet flour
½ c brown rice flour
½ c garbanzo bean flour
½ c quinoa flour
1.5 t baking soda
1.5 t corn-free baking powder
¼ t powdered stevia extract
1 t ginger
½ t ground cloves
⅓ c whole millet grain, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
1 flax or chia egg (1 T flaxmeal whisked with 3 T water and sit for 5 minutes)
¾ c rice/soy/hemp/nutmilk, orange juice, or apple juice
½ c water
¼ c coconut oil, warmed to liquid consistency
¼ c unsweetened applesauce
1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
1 T flaxmeal
2 t orange zest

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, sift together flours, leavening agents, stevia, ginger, and cloves to introduce air and make fluffy. If you don’t have a sifter, stir with a whisk until well blended.
To prepare flax/chia egg, put 1 T flaxmeal/ground chia and 3 T water in a small saucepan or microwaveable bowl. Heat for approximately 1 minute, then stir briskly until mixture reaches a think, egg-like consistency. Let cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together cooled flax/chia egg, rice milk, water, coconut oil, and applesauce. Add wet ingredients to dry until just mixed.
Add rinsed whole millet grain, finely grated carrot, flaxmeal, and orange zest. Stir again until just evenly mixed, and transfer to prepared muffin cups.
Bake approximately 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle of muffin comes out clean.
  • use another variety of fruit or vegetable puree in place of applesauce (peach, pear, squash)
  • substitute a different oil (olive, canola, almond, walnut) instead of coconut oil
  • use other spices or herbs in place of ginger and cloves
  • switch out your flours
  • add ground nuts or seeds
  • add dried fruit
  • use shredded parsnip instead of carrot, and add a touch of nutmeg instead of cloves and ginger. Yum!



Rosemary Millet Muffins (vegan, gluten free)

I whipped up some quick muffins tonight, and they were so tasty I had to share! I am house sitting, and don't have my usual full array of flours. I brought millet flour with me, so decided on a millet muffin, but wanted a blend. Luckily, hiding amongst the wheat flour and oats and powdered sugar, I found some sweet rice flour. Hooray! I wasn't too surprised to find it - the people I am house sitting for are total foodies. She is a food stylist who loves to bake, and he is a gluten-intolerant photographer. Their pantry and fridge are stocked with all sorts of fantastic ingredients (shiso fumi furikake! fancy dried mushrooms! gourmet jams and mustards! lebni! herbed chevre! pomegranates!). I also found some amazing rosemary fleur de sel (from Tesco of all places), and have been using it on everything. I think my sodium intake has tripled in the last three days. I couldn't resist using it in the muffins - so I sprinkled the tops of each muffin with it before putting it in the oven. Delightful! If only we had a Tesco in the U.S. Just another reason to plan a trip to the U.K.

Anyway, out of necessity, I chose a millet-rice blend. I normally use brown rice flour, not white or sweet, so this was kind of a fiber-free adventure for me into the world of refined rice flour. The flavor of the sweet rice flour is totally transparent and the texture much lighter than its brown counterpart; I can see why it gets used for sweet baked goods all the time! I decided to add some whole millet grains for crunch. Conveniently, I had a package of fresh rosemary that needed to be used, a scavenged leftover from last week's food shoot at the photo studio. Friday afternoons = free leftover food. So, in the rosemary went, along with garlic powder and poppy seeds, and that tasty rosemary fleur de sel.

I made them to eat tomorrow - I have a big, crazy, busy day and need some food on the go - but couldn't resist one fresh from the oven. Yum! The top is crusty with a salty bite, the inside is moist, and the flavor is deep and fragrant.

This was an on the fly sort of thing, I make a lot of variations of this muffin with whatever is on hand. Normally, I use my homemade corn-free "baking powder", but didn't have that along, so used a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar. I think the measurements are pretty accurate for those, darn close anyway... If you don't want to use sweet rice flour, feel free to try another flour - I've made a similar muffin in the past with millet and garbanzo flour. Buckwheat flour would provide an earthy flavor and stable texture, or try amaranth flour for a moist crumb, rich flavor, and boost of protein!

I only made six muffins, so double the recipe for a full batch of twelve.


yield 6 muffins

3/4 c millet flour
1/4 sweet rice flour
2 T whole millet grain
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 5-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
1-2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 c + 2 T unsweetened rice milk, broth, or water
2 T olive oil
optional: fleur de sel for sprinkling on muffin tops

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin pan, or line with muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flours, cream of tartar, soda, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk briskly to introduce air.
  3. Add rice milk and olive oil, and stir ingredients together until just moistened.
  4. Add chopped rosemary and whole millet grain, and stir briefly. Do not overmix!
  5. Transfer to muffin tin, filling each about 2/3. Sprinkle with fleur de sel if desired.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in largest muffin comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes in tin, then transfer to cooling rack.
  8. Enjoy!

Don't like rosemary? Or, want it sweet, not savory?


Use the same basic recipe but switch up the ingredients - mix and match, get creative!

  • For savory variations, try different herbs, like tarragon, oregano, thyme, dill weed, herbes de provence, or an italian herb mix, or try using different spices or spice mixes, like curry powder
  • Add 1/8 tsp of stevia or substitute 2 T of water with equal amount of agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, or brown rice syrup
  • Try coconut oil, sunflower oil, fruit puree, mashed pumpkin/squash, or a mix of oil/fruit instead of olive oil (I've made a similar muffin with a mix of applesauce and coconut oil - tasty!)
  • Switch the seasonings to something spicy or sweet, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, or cloves
  • Add lemon, orange, or lime zest, or a bit of the juice in place of water
  • Add almond extract or vanilla
  • Add dried fruit, chopped nuts, coconut, chocolate/carob chips
  • Add 1/4 c grated carrot or zucchini
  • Substitute 2 T of flour with cocoa or carob
  • Use juice instead of rice milk
  • Add fresh or frozen berries

A few ideas for combinations...I can't help but brainstorm...

  • lime juice, lime zest, coconut oil, coconut, and freshly grated ginger
  • pumpkin/squash and pumpkin pie spice
  • applesauce, cinnamon, and chopped dried apple
  • carrot, zucchini, raisins, coconut, walnuts
  • orange zest, clove, vanilla
  • chocolate or carob, chocolate/carob chips
  • sesame seeds, ginger, honey
  • poppy seeds, almond extract, almonds
  • keep in mind...the more junk you add, the more batter you get, and the more muffins you make!



Sprouted Quinoa Buckwheat Millet Sourdough Bread (gluten free, vegan, yeast free)

Sprouted?  Sourdough? Gluten free?  Yeast free?  And vegan?  


Yup, naturally leavened and lovely.  This was my second sourdough bread experiment, and I'm really pleased with the result, it turned out moister, with a better "sour" flavor, and raised much better - I think that  is because my starter is older and more developed than when I tried my first sourdough loaf!
This recipe is time consuming - all the soaking and fermenting and rising takes place over about 2 1/2 days - but it is totally worth it.  It makes a beautiful hearty loaf that is naturally leavened, with sprouted quinoa even, and therefore, easier to digest and assimilate.  The buckwheat, millet, and quinoa blend is great - the texture is good, the flavor is deep and earthy, and it is super nutritious and full of healthy amino acids. The bread has a crispy crust, a dense texture, and a rich flavor.  It is amazingly delicious toasted.  My sourdough starter rocked this loaf - I can't believe how much it actually raised!  Next time I will not cut such deep slits in the top, because it cracked pretty deep into the cut while baking - so, next time, just a nice shallow slit.   I baked it in a round Pyrex casserole dish instead of a bread pan, I greased it with olive oil and dusted with quinoa flakes.  
If you need a sourdough starter, check out this post for a basic recipe and my experience and suggestions.
Need a recipe for GF sourdough starter? I used the same process as I did  HERE, using a mixture of buckwheat and millet as the starter flours. 

1 c whole quinoa grain
water for soaking + about 1 c filtered water
1/2 c sourdough starter (mine is a buckwheat-millet-quinoa blend)
1 1/4 c buckwheat flour
1 1/4 c millet flour
additional flour for dusting 
1 Tbsp molasses (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
First, sprout your quinoa...
  1. Rinse the quinoa well, rubbing grains together to remove the saponin coating, which can irritate digestion.  Place in large bowl, cover with fresh water, and soak quinoa for 6-8 hours.  You will see little tails form!  
Then blend it and ferment it...
  1. Rinse sprouted quinoa well.
  2. Place quinoa in food processor or blender with about 1 c filtered water, and blend until most of the grains have been mashed up.
  3. Transfer quinoa mixture to large bowl, and add 1/2 c of your sourdough starter.  Stir until well mixed, cover with dish towel, and let sit in a warm place for 6-8 hours.   Your mixture should start to bubble and get foamy, with a sourdough smell.  Hurray!
Make your dough and let it rest...
  1. Gradually mix flours and salt into quinoa-starter mixture until a stiff dough forms.  Add more flour if necessary, but don't add too much - we don't want our bread to be tough.
  2. Remove from bowl, and knead on a floured surface until it feels as close to bread dough gluten free flour can!  
  3. Place in clean bowl, cover with towel, and let rise 2-3 hours.
  4. Knead dough again.  Feed your starter with 1/4 - 1/2 c each flour and water.
  5. Place in oiled and floured or quinoa flake dusted bread pan or round baking dish, depending on the desired shape of your loaf.  Cut shallow slits in the top of loaf to prevent cracking. 
  6. Cover and let rise 6-8 hours in warm place.  I like to put mine in a cool oven with a pan of water in the bottom (I have a gas oven and it is just a little warm in there from the pilot light).  If you have a good starter, your loaf should grow in size!
Then, you are finally ready to bake!
  1. Place pan in a cool oven with a large pan of water on the bottom of the oven.  If desired, brush bread with olive oil before baking.
  2. Heat oven to 425* and bake bread for 15 minutes at that temperature
  3. Reduce heat to 350* and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Do not open oven while baking until the very end when you are checking for doneness. Loaf shoudl be golden brown, and give a hollow sound when  you tap on the bottom.
  4. Remove from pan/dish to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Slice after cooled and serve!
Oh, so good!  I tried freezing some of the slices, and thawed it by toasting in the toaster oven.  It stayed moist, didn't fall apart, and was crisp and delicious.  I even dipped it in soup (Split Pea Spearmint Soup, to be exact) and it stayed crusty and fantastic like "real" bread.  Hot damn. It also held up to being spread with sunflower seed butter.
Give this recipe a try!



Whole Grain Buckwheat Yogurt Muffins (gluten free, egg free, vegan option), and bonus cookies.

I came across a recipe for Gluten Free Buckwheat Yogurt Muffins on the blog I AM NOT AFRAID OF WINTER, written by Carrot Quinn, a self-described box car riding queer writer who can't eat gluten and hitchhikes and writes about all sorts of interesting things. I totally dig Carrot's blog, and was very intrigued by the recipe, because it called for soaking the buckwheat and amaranth flours in yogurt for 12-24 hours before mixing in the rest of the ingredients. Carrot's original recipe is posted here; it calls for eggs, butter, and cow yogurt. So, I made a number of changes and substitutions to fit my needs, and damn, these things are good!

Oh my goodness, so yummy, so yummy. Even my baking extraordinaire friend thinks these muffins rock, and she makes positively the most marvelous, elaborate cakes you've ever seen, plus cookies that make you cry, a pumpkin pie that seduces even the most discerning judge, and brownies that bring you to your knees (all full of gluten, sugar, eggs, and butter, mind you...how I miss her baked goods!). These muffins are moist, not at all crumbly, and totally delicious, with just enough sweetness, and fun texture added from whole buckwheat groats. Plus, both amaranth and buckwheat are low glycemic and full of protein, amino acids, and vitamins, made super available and digestible by fermenting the flours in yogurt! I used goat yogurt, but if you don't do dairy, try using soy, rice, or coconut yogurt instead, and let me know how it works for you!


Check out my version of Carrot's recipe below, plus a record of my bonus cookie experiment...

Whole Grain Buckwheat Yogurt Muffins


yield: 12 muffins 

1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour
1 cup amaranth flour, or mix of amaranth and amaranth bran flours
1 generous handful of whole buckwheat groats, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1 1/2 cups goat yogurt (substitute soy, rice, or coconut yogurt if dairy intolerant/vegan)

2 chia or flax "eggs" (2 T ground chia or flax seed :: 6 T water)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp olive oil or other oil or melted butter/ghee
2 Tbsp water, or more as needed

The day before you want to eat them...
Mix flour, whole buckwheat groats, and yogurt, and let the dough sit for 12-24 hours. As Carrot pointed out to me, you need to leave your yogurt/flour mix out in room temperature or a warm place, NOT in the fridge/cool spot as I originally had in this recipe. It needs to ferment, so warmer is better! Thanks to helpful Carrot for pointing that out.

When you are ready to make the muffins...

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and grease a muffin tin.
  2. Make the flax/chia eggs: take 2 T ground chia or flax seed and 6 T water, and place in a microwaveable bowl or saucepan. Microwave for 2 minutes OR boil in saucepan over medium flame for 1-2 minutes. The mixture should form a thick gel. Let cool 5-10 minutes before using.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat cooled chia "eggs", vanilla, salt, olive oil, and agave. Then add the baking soda.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and blend together, adding water as necessary. This is a thick, goopy batter and can be hard to mix - be patient and stir just until blended.
  5. Spoon into muffin tins, and bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy! And thanks to Carrot for the base of this recipe - brilliant.



I love cookies. I miss cookies. I wanted to eat cookies. So, instead of making all 12 muffins, I only made 9, and I took the ret of the batter and made a tasty chocolate coconut cookie out of it. After 9 months, I decided to break down and reintroduce cocoa to my life. I'd been avoiding cocoa and chocolate since last May (OH. MY. GOD. SO LONG!) due to the acid content, caffeine, and general irritating nature that cocoa can have on delicate digestive systems. I broke down. I couldn't handle it anymore. It was time to introduce a bit of chocolate to my life.

I added cocoa powder, raw cocao nibs, shredded coconut, grated bittersweet chocolate, and a pinch of stevia for a little extra sweetness, and hoped for the best.

They smelled AMAZING baking, and tasted pretty darn rich and chocolatey, kind of earthy and not too sweet, which I liked. And they look nice too, don't they? Some gluten-free baked goods turn out just plain unattractive, and these guys look good. The texture was soft and chewy, with a fun occasional "crunch!" from the whole buckwheat groats and cocao nibs. This cookie totally satisfied my chocolate cookie craving, especially when I smeared one with coconut butter! Totally decadent, hot damn. I'm going to play with this recipe and make a few small tweaks, and come up with something that has actual measurements, because this was a spontaneous, throw together kind of thing. But I think I'm on to something good, let me tell you that much. Plus, they are almost healthy...low GI, high in protein, and full of fermented goodness and antioxidants from that cacao. Right...

I'd like to come up with a version of this recipe that doesn't require yogurt at all, maybe using my buckwheat sourdough starter I have fermenting right now on my kitchen shelf. Stay tuned for some sort of real recipe for these bad boys!



Quinoa Millet Sorghum Sourdough Bread (gluten-free, vegan, yeast free)

I make lots of breads and muffins, most of which aren't on this blog, but until recently hadn't decided to explore the world of soaking my flours and letting the dough rest. I soak all my whole grains, but why not flours? Fermenting flour products is a time honored tradition that we have let go in the West; I decided I needed to give it a shot. I had never attempted a naturally leavened loaf of bread, it seemed a little intimidating, even to an adventurous sort like me. But why? It is just fermenting, letting flour and water sit. Then sit some more. And some more. Why not try making one from scratch? So, five days ago I set out on a sourdough journey, and I made my own sourdough starter using quinoa and millet flours (see this blog post for my recipe and record of the experience). After days of patient fermenting, stirring, and feeding my little starter baby, I decided to give my first loaf of naturally leavened, yeast free, sourdough gluten free bread a shot. Here I go!

This recipe is adapted from Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, and amazing book that I would recommend to anyone interested in natural healing and whole foods. I substituted a gluten free flour blend of quinoa, millet, and sorghum flours for the whole-wheat flour in his recipe. Also, his recipe makes an enormous batch, so I chose to quarter the proportions, but used slightly more starter and slightly less water than proportional. For added nutrition, I included flax meal and kelp powder, and I decided to add a savory seed mix to the top of the loaf. And that's pretty much it, no yeast, no binders, no oil or sweeteners, just whole grain flours, some seasonings, water, and my starter.

I'm not into using loads of starches or refined flours in my baking. I think they are boring and nutritionally void. No flavor, no real vitamins or minerals, just carbohydrates. I might use a pinch of starch or sweet rice flour here and there, since it does help with texture, but I don't want it to the base of my flour mixture. I never liked white bread or overly refined flour products, and I don't want to start eating it now. Heck, if I'm going to use flours, I want nutrition - amino acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. In the case of binders, they are tricky for me; I currently avoid xanthan gum due to my corn allergy, and I'd really prefer not to use loads of guar gum, since it can have a laxative effect. That makes creating a loaf of bread that actually sticks together a little challenging; you can only add so much flax or chia. I just want all the simple, wholesome goodness of a 'normal' loaf of bread, the classic flour-water-salt combination, without all the added, overly-processed stuff that a lot of gluten-free baking uses to make it seem more like a 'normal' loaf. Is that too much to ask?

So, while researching for this quest, I came across the website for Grindstone Bakery. They are based in California, and make naturally-leavened, yeast-free sourdough breads that look amazing, full of whole grains. They even feature a number of beautiful gluten-free products, and while they do use xanthan gum, their gluten-free breads have all the simple goodness of a true loaf of bread, no added starches, no other crazy stuff - just naturally leavened, sourdough goodness. Naturally leavened breads are easier to digest; the starter breaks down the proteins and carbohydrates into amino acids and simple sugars. The fermentation makes nutrition more easily assimilated, and the healthy bacteria can help to restore a proper intestinal environment. After coming across their website, my mind started turning, wondering if I could make a similar loaf at home...


So, this is my attempt. The result? A very (um, VERY) dense bread that actually raised while it rested, has a sourdough flavor, and nice, golden crispy crust. Toasted, it is really really tasty.  This loaf totally sliceable with a good, sharp serrated knife, but wouldn't hold up to sandwiches - better for dipping in olive oil, using for bruschetta, or eating with soup. And boy, is it dense, but not in that undercooked, funky dense way that gluten free breads can have; it is good, hearty kind of dense. It is a little dry, but part of that might be because I messed up on the oven temperature.

In terms of how it baked, it raised a bit more in the oven, cracked on top, and browned nicely. And when I turned it out of the bread pan, I got the classic hallow "thud" when I tapped the bottom of the loaf. There will be some tweaking, but I think this recipe was a pretty decent success for a first attempt! I devoured some right out of the oven, and it was very satisfying.

Need a recipe for GF sourdough starter? The sourdough starter recipe and process I used for this recipe is HERE

QUINOA MILLET SORGHUM SOURDOUGH BREAD (gluten free, vegan, yeast free)

yield: 1 loaf (12-14 thick slices)


  • 1 1/4 c quinoa flour
  • 1 1/4 c millet flour
  • 1 c sorghum flour
  • additional 1/4 c flour of choice for dusting
  • 1/4 c ground flax seed
  • 1 c warm water
  • 1/2 c sourdough starter
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t kelp powder
  • optional savory seed topping:
  • 1/2 t each caraway seed, dill seed, dill weed, celery seed, flax seed, garlic flakes, onion flakes
  • Mix together and sprinkle on bread, or use as seasoning.


In a large bowl, whisk or sift the flours together until light and well blended.  In a separate bowl, mix half the flour with water, starter, salt, kelp powder, and flax meal.  Gradually add remaining flour until dough becomes too thick to stir.  Remove from bowl, and transfer to floured surface. Knead until smooth and no longer sticky. Since it is gluten-free, it won't be elastic, but knead it until it feels as close as gluten-free bread dough can get to the feel of 'real' bread dough.


Cover and let rise 2 hours in a non-metal bowl in a warm place.  Replenish starter with 1/4 c each flour and water.  Knead dough again.  Shape into a loaf, cover with optional seed topping, and place in an oiled and floured bread pan. Cover, and let rise 4-6 hours in warm place. Loaf should increase in size.

Place in a cold oven with a pan of plain water on the oven floor.  Turn oven to 425º F. Once heated, bake at 425º F for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350º F, and continue baking until golden brown, approximately 45 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool. Slice with a serrated knife.

So, what will I do different next time?

  • I may try making a sponge of some flour and the starter first, letting that sit overnight, then adding the rest of the flour, letting it rest for 2-4 hours, then kneading, and then letting it rest a final time for another 6-8 hours.
  • I'm going to try shaping the loaf and baking it on a baking sheet or pizza stone, instead of in the loaf pan, just for fun.
  • I'm going to try slitting the top a couple times to see if that reduces the cracking.
  • I'm not going to mess up the oven temperature - I forgot to turn down the heat after the first 15 minutes at 425*, and realized about 30 minutes into my second timer that I was still at 425*. So, I turned it down at that point, and baked it for the remaining time. But I think it dried the loaf out just a little too much.
  • I may add a little olive oil to the recipe, for moisture. The crumb was pretty good, and the density was nice, but that might help the dryness issue.
  • I may try adding whole grain soaked millet or quinoa for fun added texture.
  • I may mess with my flour proportions, or try a different blend.
  • I will use a larger pan for water, and fill it all the way up. My pan of water dried up by the end.
  • I may add a little honey or agave, to see if it feeds the natural bacteria and makes it raise a little more.

I will definitely be trying another sourdough loaf. I'd like to try a quinoa-millet-buckwheat blend. Until then, my starter will be fermenting in a cool place...