Everyday I crack open the freezer and see stacks and stacks of frozen fruits and vegetables that I harvested or purchases in bulk from last summer. Part of me wants to horde this stash of produce for special occasions or when we don’t have anything fresh in the house. However, we are at the start of a new season of a new growing year and now is the time to use everything up! Here in the Northwest, we are at the time where most of the winter crop is out (leeks, carrots, potatoes, etc.) and before any of the new crops are ready for harvest (asparagus! tender greens!). Each week at the market, we peruse through piles of cold storage roots, dwindling mounds of kale, and the last of fall’s apples and pears. It is great to be able to supplement these reliable winter vegetables with tastes of the bountiful days of summer, by cracking open jars of all types of pickles, jams, and salsa and defrosting frozen green beans, corn, and berries.
Muffins are a quick and easy way to use up your own stash of Summer 2011 berries! These muffins make an easy breakfast or a substantial snack and are full of whole grains, while still being light and fluffy. The addition of thyme is gives these muffins a interesting hint of herbal flavor, but does not overpower. The crumble topping is optional, but very much recommended.
Blueberry Thyme Muffins
Inspired by Bon Appetit
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar or sucanat
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp warm water, mix and let thicken) or 2 chicken eggs (lrg)
1 cup yogurt+ 2 tbsp milk to thin out a bit
1 tsp vanilla
2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
zest of one lemon
1 generous cup blueberries. If frozen, do not thaw!
3 tbsp oatmeal
3/4 cup almonds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp oil
Preheat oven to 375. Line or grease a muffin tin. If you don’t have any muffin liners and want them, use squares of parchment paper cut into squares.
In a small food processor or blender, make the crumble. Pulse the oatmeal, almonds, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt until the almonds are finely chopped. Slowly drizzle the oil while pulsing the mixture until it comes together and is, well, crumbly. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and thyme. In a separate bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar (to release the lemon’s oils). Then whisk in the coconut oil, flax eggs, yogurt/milk mixture, and vanilla. Toss the blueberries with a bit of the flour mixture (this prevents the berries from sinking to bottom). Fold the wet mixture into the flour mixture, just until everything comes together; do not overmix! Fold the blueberries into the batter and spoon into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with a spoonful of the crumble mixture. Dust everything with a bit of sugar and bake in the center of the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out of the center cleanly. Cool and enjoy!