Tag Archives: blueberry

blueberry thyme muffins

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

Muffins:

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!

Crumble:

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!

 

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blueberry cornmeal muffins

i generally avoid muffins at most bakeries.  they are often too cake like and much too sweet for breakfast.  muffins were also one of the first things that i started the bake in high school and after all this time, this is the muffin that i always want to bake.  if i am eating a pastry for breakfast, i generally want it to be on the healthy side.  so this muffin is whole grain, and could potentially be free of refined sugar.  this is a blueberry muffin with a banana base so it is very moist without too much added fat.  i also think a strusel topping makes any sort of baked good so i wanted to include one here. this strusel used walnuts as the base so even though it is definitly not low fat, it is full of healthy fats.  each batch also usually make 10 or 11 muffins and not the usual 12 so act fast or they will be gone soon.

another image is here.

blueberry cornmeal muffins with walnut strusel

adapted from feeding the healthy vegetarian family by ken haedrich

this was one of my first and truly beloved cookbooks.  it has been about 8 years (!) since i bought it and i still refer to about once a month.  even though i was only cooking for myself most of time, haedrich uses easy to find ingredients and familiar flavors that please most people.  if you are just starting out vegetarianism or just want more plant- based meals, i highly recommend this book.

1 1/2 large very ripe bananas

1 egg

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup or packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

about 1/2 cup milk of your choice

1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup, maybe a little bit more fresh or frozen blueberries

preheat oven to 400 degrees and line or butter a muffin tin.

mash the banana in a bowl until smooth.  i find that heating the banana up in the microwave a bit helps.  mix in the sweetner of your choice, oil, and egg, vanilla, and milk.  in another bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt.  remove about a tablespoon or two of the flour mixture and toss the blueberries with it.  this prevents blueberry sinkage.  make a well in the dry ingredient bowl and stir in the wet ingredients just until combined.  do not overmix!  gently fold in the blueberries.  divide the batter into the muffin tin and top with streusel of your choice.  bake about 20-25 minutes.  test with a toothpick.  cool the muffins in the tin for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a rack.

walnut streusel

1/4 cup packed brown sugar.  i bet maple sugar would be super tasty in this, although it is super expensive.

1/4 cup oats

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

about 1 1/2 cups walnuts

1 1/2 to 2 tbsp vegetable oil

in the blender or food processor, pulse the brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt together until the oats are chopped pretty fine.  add the walnuts and pulse about another 4 to 10 seconds to chop the nuts roughly.  drizzle in the oil while pulsing a bit more until the mixture comes together.  this is very good on muffins and coffee cakes and also very very good on oatmeal.  you can also make this with pecans if you do not care for walnuts.

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