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PARSNIP MUFFINS

Posted Jan 04 2011 12:00am



I realize that right now most people are thinking they would do fine forgoing baked goods for the rest of eternity.  And I understand.  It has been an indulgent couple of weeks, and jeans are outrageously expensive.  But I just spent the afternoon testing muffin recipes for work, and I have to share my favorite.  



PARSNIP MUFFINS


MAKES APPROXIMATELY 18 MUFFINS 
Using two different sweeteners here, Rapadura and maple syrup, adds dimension and prevents either ingredient from overpowering the subtle flavor of the parsnip.

INGREDIENTS

4 ounces (about 1 heaping cup) walnuts 1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Rapadura
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
12 ounces (about 5 medium) trimmed and peeled parsnip, grated
8 ounces pitted Medjool dates, chopped* NOTES
*Dates love to stick to your knife, making them a real chore to chop.  Two tips: store them in refrigerator, as they are easier to handle when chilled; toss them a pinch of flour before and after chopping.**This recipe works wonderfully as a quick bread (See photo above). Simply pour batter into a greased (I spread olive oil on with a paper towel or basting brush) glass or cast iron bread pan (8.5” x 4.5” x 2.5”). Increase cooking time to 60-70 minutes; bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners and spray or brush with extra virgin olive oil. 

Spread the walnuts on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and bake until toasted, about 9 minutes. While still warm, fold the walnuts into a clean kitchen towel and lightly rub to remove the bitter skins; cool and coarsely chop.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, Rapadura, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, walnut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and eggs.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined (don’t overmix or muffins could turn out tough).  Add grated parsnips, chopped dates and walnuts; stir until evenly incorporated.
Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container, at room temperature, for up to four days.

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