Whenever our little granddaughter comes to our house she always asks if she can have a muffin. I gave her a muffin once when she was barely a toddler, and she never forgot it. Miss E has a fantastic memory, and a raging sweet tooth, and practically reaches cosmic consciousness when she sees a piece of cake or a cookie. I never thought I'd be the sort of Grandie who indulges sweet cravings with things other than fruit and such. I was very into natural sweets with my own children, and not much into baked sweets myself. But I swear, I am compelled to give Miss E treats. I try to respect her Mom's wishes, and I DO keep it reasonably healthy, but this is a side of me that I find surprising.
And it's not just sweets. Today I actually bought Miss E a bright yellow Dora the Explorer shirt that I found on a resale rack for $1. This deserves a capital OMG. Miss E, who knows Dora from a talking book she received from her other Grammy when she was nine months old, was ecstatic; she's sleeping in the shirt as I write this. Her Papa, when we dropped the shirt off, said, "Oh no," but too bad.
Back to the muffins. As a baked treat, muffins can have less fat and sugar than cake or cookies, but be just as much fun to eat. I always make them with whole wheat flour and other wholesome ingredients so they will be as healthy as possible while still providing a pleasurable eating experience. I know I could just give her fruit or veggies for treats, but she gets plenty of those good foods, and she loves muffins so much, it's fun to sometimes provide these baked goodies.
Now that she's 2-1/2, Miss E can help me make them, and she loves that. The muffins pictured here were supposed to be blueberry-lemon, but when I went to get a lemon from the refrigerator, there was only one lime. The little cook was waiting so I grabbed the lime and made do. The lime was so juicy, there was a quarter cup of juice in just half the fruit, so I used the zest from the entire lime and the juice from half.
My little helper thought the muffins were delicious, and so did I. But next weekend I think we'll make fruit salad, just to change things up.
Blueberry-lime (or lemon) muffins
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and oil 12 or 18 muffin cups. The recipe is enough for 18 muffins, but you can squeeze it all into 12 muffin cups and have muffin tops if you want. I actually prefer the smaller ones, but I only have a 12-cup muffin tin. I've been meaning to purchase a 6-cup pan so I can have lots of leftovers to freeze.
1-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup coconut flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice (like Sucanot)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)
zest from 1 lime (or lemon)
1-3/4 cups non-dairy milk
1/2 cup lime (or lemon) juice
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened, non-dairy yogurt
* You can use all white whole wheat flour instead of coconut flour. If all wheat flour is used, use only 1-1/2 cups of milk. The coconut flour gives the muffins a wonderful, soft, silky texture and more fiber, but isn't necessary.
Stir the flour well to lighten it. Spoon it into the measuring cup and use the flat edge of a knife to level the top.
Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and whisk or stir well to thoroughly combine.
Stir in the zest and the blueberries.
Combine the milk, lime juice, oil, vanilla and yogurt in a medium bowl and stir until smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine, mixing as little as possible to incorporate all of the flour.
Divide the batter (will be thick but light) between 12 muffin cups if you want muffin tops, or 18 muffin cups,for smaller muffins that don't fall over the pan.
..................................................................................... Kasha and bowties
I love buckwheat so much I could eat it all the time. Traditionally, it's a winter food, and has warming qualities. I made kasha and bowties, or kashavarniskes, last night, and was intending to include a recipe, but now I'm too tired to write it. I'll get around to my version of k&b, which uses dried shiitake mushrooms and miso, soon, but in the meantime, if you want a great soup with buckwheat and bowties, try this one.