Sunday, December 4, 2011

Muffins for Breakfast

This morning we're making blueberry muffins with lemon zest (we like it real lemony so we use the zest of 2 good-sized lemons, which we have a ton of from my mom's friend).  Served with Schaner Farm pomegranate orange juice and scrambled eggs with chives from Suzie's Farm and a beautiful, flaky Murray River salt from Salt Farm that we picked up at the Little Italy farmers market yesterday.

Here's a basic muffin recipe (based on a Joy of Cooking recipe) that you can change seasonally...

1 cup buttermilk (or other dairy - see variations)
2 eggs
2/3 cup rapadura sugar
3 oz melted butter or oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (we make our own)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1¾ cup fruit (we like to go pretty heavy on the fruit - fresh, frozen, or dried fruit of your choice)

Whisk wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, sugar, butter & vanilla) together.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder & soda, salt).  Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined, then briefly stir in fruit or any other ingredients that suit your fancy.  Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before popping them out of the pan.  Best when served warm!

Makes 12 standard-sized muffins.

  • Instead of buttermilk, use yogurt or sour cream (or use milk or cream and eliminate the baking soda)
  • Try fresh shredded zucchini, carrot, or winter squash such as pumpkin; fresh chopped apple or persimmon; dried fruit, such as coconut, cherries, figs; or frozen berries.
  • Decrease butter or oil to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of apple sauce or pumpkin puree
  • Add a handful or 2 of chopped nuts (almonds, Chandler or red walnuts from Terra Bella Farm, pecans, macadamia - they grow locally)
  • Add 1-4 teaspoons of zest (of lemon, lime, Buddha hand, orange, tangerine...) with the wet ingredients
  • Add a teaspoon or so of your favorite spice with the dry ingredients (cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg...)
  • Substitute some of another grain, such as cornmeal
  • Add a handful of oats, hemp seed, ground flax seed, or toasted wheat bran with the dry ingredients

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