Showing posts with label muffins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label muffins. Show all posts

Monday, October 7, 2013

Savory Butternut Squash Soaked Oat Muffins

As the weather turns colder and my farm share starts including butternut squashes, I tend to do one of two things:  I roast them or I pile them up in a cold corner of my breakfast nook to make my Strategic Winter Squash Reserve (link to my FB page photo of SWSR 2013).  With the roasted squash, I make different main dishes or side dishes.

Late last winter, however, when the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve was the only source of 'fresh' CSA farm share vegetables [still had stuff put up in the freezer and pantry], I got creative.  I shredded the squash.  Shredding a vegetable that you normally use in a mashed form gives you all sorts of options (like Chicken Saltimbocca).  I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.

Savory Butternut Squash Soaked Oat Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

Since I'm crazy flexible enough to add vegetables to oatmeal and buttermilk and make muffins, I thought I'd throw a cup of shredded butternut squash in the bowl and see what happened.  The lovely thing about this soaked oat muffin recipe is that you toss the first few ingredients together, then have plenty of time to figure out just what you're going to make in the hour before you finish the muffin batter and start baking.  Plenty of time to dither between sweet and savory muffins.

In the end, I veered into the savory muffin direction (oh come on, the title of today's post gave it away). I had a bit of leftover dribs and drabs from a ham, and figured I'd chop them up and add them to the batter.  I added a bit of cornmeal for crunch, and a bit of thyme because I could, and honey in place of sugar for a hint of sweetness--not too much.   For a rather virtuous muffin (whole grain, no processed sugar) they are delicious.  Come see!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Plum and Whey-Soaked Oat Muffins

A slightly sweet, multigrain muffin made with oats soaked in whey (or buttermilk, if you don't have buckets of whey to use up) whole wheat flour, and ripe plums

Plum and whey-soaked oat muffins

Subtitle:  On Walking and Whey

What's your favorite song that's got a good beat for walking?  I'm looking for new tunes, and I'd appreciate any suggestions in the comments below.

Next month I'm walking a half marathon for no particular reason.  That's a lot of miles to walk, all at once, for the heck of it, you know?  My favorite walking partner got sent on an all-expense paid working trip to an exotic foreign locale, so I'm training with my second-favorite walking partner, Simon.  On longer walks (to me right now that's over 4 miles) he slows me down with his endless sniffing and assorted dog-on-walk behaviors.  For shorter jaunts (and yes, walking one mile to buy a quart of freshly-roasted Hatch chiles or a gallon of milk is now a short jaunt, and a gallon of milk isn't that heavy when you carry it for a mile) he's a good walking buddy.  
[Not as good as my walking buddies in Virginia--you guys are awesome and it was a joy
to get out of bed at 5:40am--even in January--to walk with you all.]
Plum and Whey-soaked Oat Muffins

On one of our walks recently Simon and I came across a plum tree, with ripe fruit spilling out all over the street.  Being a frugal scavenger at heart I snagged a handful of ripe plums.  I'd been wanting to try a soaked-oat plum muffin.  It wasn't until I arrived home miles later that I realized I didn't have any buttermilk.  We were heading out of town though, so I didn't want to buy buttermilk before the trip.  Instead, I decided to experiment with some of the whey.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fresh Peaches and Cream Muffins (Monday Muffins!)

When my daughter was 9 years old, she wanted a peach tree for Christmas.  The logistics of finding and wrapping a peach tree in December in Virginia aside, we were renting our townhouse and knew we'd be moving in another year-ish (given the standard "military future uncertainty" spin on things).

No peach tree that Christmas.  However, after we moved here and became homeowners,  we set about making our back yard a more edible landscape.  Thanks to my spouse's hard work, part of the patio became a strawberry patch and raspberry canes went into a back corner with blueberry bushes and recycled raised beds along the fences.  My daughter got her peach tree--two of them, in fact, one dwarf variety and one not-so-dwarf variety.  In the spring the trees have beautiful blossoms, in the summer their thick foliage provides a dense patch of shade.

My daughter carefully tends the trees--removing diseased leaves, thinning the branches and then the fruit, so that each peach has plenty of room and air circulation.  But her dream of harvesting her own peaches has not borne fruit, so to speak.  Apparently the fauna of our backyard can read the Certified Wildlife Habitat sign and think that the peaches, and blueberries for that matter, are for them.  It's OK, they are eating unripe peaches, and we can get fresh ripe peaches nearby to make these lovely muffins.

If you've been making ice cream lately, you may have half a cup of heavy cream left over.  (If not, go out and buy a pint of heavy cream and use 1 1/2 cups for a batch of ice cream so you'll have a leftover.)  Use it in these muffins!  They taste so rich "almost like peach poundcake" my daughter said while polishing off the leftovers on the second day.  I used more sugar than I usually use in a muffin (1/3 cup vs my usual 1/4 cup, when I remember to add the sugar) and only 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, but this muffin recipe remains one that I'm happy to offer my kids as a snack or breakfast, not just reserved for dessert. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Nutella Zucchini Muffins

I'd like to finally welcome Matt Damon to the stage. (Seriously, click on the link for an explanation in my Molasses Date Oatmeal muffin post.  Otherwise I'll just sound weird, OK?)

I realize this is the third zucchini recipe I've posted in a row.  I'm not apologizing, because my goal is to share something new for you to do with the glut of zucchini with which you may be blessed.  However, we're taking a break from zucchini after today's Monday Muffin recipe.  Wednesday I've got a fast fresh tomato sauce, and Friday I'll have a use for any regrown celery leaves you may have--Buffalo Chicken, Spring Onions, and Celery on a Buttermilk Pesto Pizza crust.

In the dog days of summer, when the squash just keep coming in the garden and the farm share, I shred a lot of zucchini.  Some of it gets mixed in with other veggies to help stretch meat for tacos or burgers.  The rest of it gets frozen all by itself, in 1 cup portions, for more zucchini-centric recipes.  Here's one way I'm feeding my family from the farm share all year 'round.

These muffins have a texture almost like a light chocolate cake.  They are delicious as an after-school snack, warm with a bit of butter or buttery spread.  You could easily go all whole wheat for the flour if you choose.
Yes, the bag says Squashzilla.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Strawberry Sour Cream Brown Sugar Soaked Oat Muffins

The winning combination of strawberries, brown sugar, and sour cream flavors these whole grain muffins, with an extra boost from soaked oats.

The winning combination of strawberries, brown sugar, and sour cream flavors these whole grain muffins.

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Forget your shortcakes, your chocolate coatings, your balsamic glazes.  For me, the best way to enjoy a fresh local strawberry is to grab it by the leaves, dunk it into sour cream, then plunge it into brown sugar.  Then get out of the way of that strawberry as it gets into my mouth!  I don't share well sometimes.

The winning combination of strawberries, brown sugar, and sour cream flavors these whole grain muffins.

Sadly, the local strawberry season is over in the blink of an eye, and the Certified Wildlife local varmints attempt to pilfer my backyard patch even faster.  I have learned that I must gorge myself on strawberries, sour cream, and brown sugar as soon as the berries come into my house, and if any are left over I bake with them.  If you manage to put any strawberries up, this recipe will also work with frozen berries, or slightly older, softer berries, as you're going to smash them anyway.

It's yet another variation on my Soaked Oat Muffin recipe, which I need to update to include links to some of the muffins I'm enjoying.  Like this one!  Remember that this recipe is best after the oats soak at least an hour and up to overnight.  You can even combine the oats and buttermilk in a container in your fridge for several days before use.

I wanted to share how our household generates very little waste with the strawberries, so I thought I'd pose the composting pigs in the strawberry patch with the strawberry tops.  The pigs were not informed of my plans, and ran amuck in the strawberries instead.  Did you know pigs will eat the plants, too, not just the fruit?  Now you do.  In the future, they can eat alfresco only in the clover.

The winning combination of strawberries, brown sugar, and sour cream flavors these whole grain muffins.

For more recipes using strawberries, please see my Strawberry Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me who think that strawberries shipped in from Off taste like water, and prefer to eat strawberries that taste like . . . well, strawberries. I'm pinning lots of berry and other recipes to my Pinterest boards, follow me there. I'm sharing the progress of my own strawberry patch (can't get more local than the back yard) on my Instagram feed, follow me there. I'm sharing articles that catch my eye on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Double Chocolate Raspberry Muffins--and they're Whole Grain! (Monday Muffins)

I like to eat seasonally, and locally, which usually means that I'm eating fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak flavor.  No tasteless January store tomatoes for me!  For berries, however, that means my "eat them fresh" season is very short--weeks, at best.  Most of the berries we eat have been frozen and put up in the fruit and veg freezer during the season.  We put frozen berries in fruit salads, on oatmeal, and waffles to name a few.  My spouse and daughter even like a bowl of frozen berries for a snack or dessert.  Me?  I like to bake with them.  I don't care if the berries lose their shape when they thaw in a muffin or cake batter.  They still taste fine to me!
I needed a muffin to take to a morning coffee gathering. I'd been gathering pizza ingredients out of the fruit and veg freezer when a bag of raspberries caught my eye.  Dark chocolate and raspberries go well together, so the recipe was starting to form in my mind.  My mom had emailed me to use cocoa powder in another dish, and I always listen to my mom ;) so I added a couple of tablespoons into the batter.
Then the fun began.  I used my standard soaked oatmeal muffin recipe as the base, but the first batch wasn't quite right.  I suspected the culprit was the additional bitterness of the cocoa powder, and made a second batch using a bit more brown sugar.  That tasted good.  But now I had 22 Chocolate Raspberry Soaked Oatmeal Whole Grain muffins staring at me.  Eep!  Conveniently, my daughter had recently enrolled in a home ec practical arts class, so I emailed her teacher and asked if the class could do a taste test for me.  The teacher was happy to oblige.  My daughter came home for lunch and I sent both batches of muffins off with her.  The class verdict?  Overwhelmingly in favor of the slightly sweeter muffin.
The actual data sheet, grease stains and all!
That meant that I still had no muffins for the morning coffee.  When I made my third batch of chocolate raspberry muffins for the day, I tossed in a handful of dark chocolate chips to the batter.  I liked these best, and that's why you're getting this version.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Creamy Dark Chocolate and Banana Muffins (and they're Whole Grain!) (Monday Muffins)
My spouse took this photo.  I think it rocks.  He does, too.
I have a confession to make:  I don't get bananas in my farm share here in Ohio.  I know I started this blog to share how I use seasonal produce--usually from our CSA farm share--to feed the family year 'round.  Sometimes, however, I get good deals on produce that is not part of any farm share I've ever known.  Like 49 cent pints of blueberries in July.  Or speckled bananas for 27 cents a pound.  Because I'm feeding my family from this seasonal abundance, I like to blog about it, too.

There, I'm glad I got that off my chest.  My CSA farm share will be starting up next week, so I'll be sharing more and more farm share recipes in the coming months.  But this is too good not to share.

I think bananas are one of nature's perfect foods.  We planted a banana tree behind our home in Hawaii, and it grew fast and furious despite neglected soil.  Then it flowered a gigantic flower and soon baby bananas appeared.  We never ate any bananas from that tree--apparently someone else was watching the growth and development of our banana bunches as well, because once they got about big enough to harvest, the stem would disappear without a trace.  I guess someone else needed them more than we did.  Just like the local fauna appear to need the blueberries and peaches and strawberries in our backyard here . . . though we managed to snag 13 raspberries last year.

I love that bananas don't fully ripen until after you cut them off the tree.  Not like all the basil threatening to go to seed when you're not ready to make pesto, or the zucchini growing from 4 inches to 18 inches when you turned your back to weed the tomato bed.  When I get a good deal on speckled bananas, I save some on the counter for immediate use and freeze the rest.

And just how easy is it to freeze a banana?  Carefully pick it up by the stem, open your freezer, and set it inside.  Then carefully close the freezer--you're done!  Sure, the skin turns dark brown on a frozen banana, but that same skin did a rockin' awesome job protecting the fruit inside while it was on the tree and that protection continues in your freezer.  I usually set a frozen banana on the counter for 15-20 minutes before easily scraping off the peel with a paring knife.  Forgetting about the banana for an hour means you can just cut off one tip and squish the banana into whatever you're preparing.  Yum, that's a lovely image.

Now that you've snagged bananas when they are perfectly good for baking and cheaper, and stored them properly until you're ready to use them, let's make a muffin.  This recipe is a variation of my favorite soaked oatmeal muffin.  It's best to start it the night before, but letting the oats and buttermilk soak for just an hour is nearly as good.  See NOTE below.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Frugal Refrigerator Bran Muffins
The tops are cracked open already because I just nestled in the butter to melt.

Having a bucket of muffin batter in your fridge is a happy thing.  It means that warm, tasty goodness is 15 minutes + oven preheating away.  It's been a while since I've done a Monday Muffins post, so I wanted to give you an inexpensive, long-lasting recipe that just does a body good.

I first tried these muffins when Debbie, of Salmon with Oranges fame, gave me a hot one oozing with a pat of butter.  Oh goodness, that was delish!  Of course, I asked for the recipe.  It involved buying a name brand bran cereal and soaking it in hot water until the cereal turned into mush.  So--I'd first pay to have that bran processed into a cereal shape, then in order to use it in the recipe I'd undo the processing I'd already paid for?  Must be a more frugal way, I thought.

And there is!  Buying a box of unprocessed bran saves a bunch of money on these muffins.  Making your own buttermilk saves a bit more!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Molasses Date Oatmeal Muffins (Monday Muffins)

I started posting Monday Muffins when I realized I was accumulating a pile of muffin recipes and I ought to get them posted with some sort of regularity.  So on my old-fashioned paper calendar pages <gasp> I plotted out all the recipes I had in the can.  So to speak.
Some of these were easy to schedule.  Pink Beet and Horseradish muffins?  They go in February before Valentine's day.  Butternut Squash and Ham muffins?  They will go in the fall.  Creamy Banana and Dark Chocolate Chip muffins?  They can go up any time (and will appear in a month, if you're worried the link isn't yet live).
I'd originally scheduled a batch of Nutella and Zucchini muffins to appear here today.  They are the Matt Damon of muffins on the Jimmy Kimmel of this blog--they keep getting bumped!  It's a great recipe, but I've decided that most other people don't have bags of shredded zucchini in their freezer in late winter, and teasing you with the enchiladas was enough, so I've permanently moved Nutella and Zucchini muffins to the summertime.  You can see them here!
Why did I bump those muffins?  Because I could. not. wait. to share this recipe with you.  It's delicious!  I picked up a vat of dates at Costco during sled hockey practice, and after we enjoyed a bunch straight outta out of the container I started thinking about cooking with them.  For my first attempt, I chopped up the dates, ate a few, chopped a bit more . . . and decided that they were so sweet I didn't need to use sugar.  I added extra buttermilk, but it still wasn't quite right.  I knew for the next batch I would process the dates in the small cup of my smaller and cheaper version of this Food Processor, but I was hoping to do another muffin without refined white or brown sugar.  Then I hit on it--molasses!  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Adds a bit of iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium to go with the whole oats and whole wheat.  And the color pairs marvelously with the dates.

Because I thought of this at suppertime, I was able to soak the oats, dates, and buttermilk overnight.  I like soaking oats overnight, but even an hour helps break down the whole oats into great-for-baking consistency.
If you have fresh dates--eat some.  When you get sick of them, or if you have a package of dried out dates in the back of the pantry--make these muffins!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Orange Cherry Oatmeal Muffins (Monday or President's Day Muffins)

I cannot tell a lie.  Yesterday morning we were walking the dog to the grocery store to pick up cream for my tea when we saw some guys cutting down a tree.  I admire their gumption--it was cold as heck out, and to be hanging from a rope way up high, with a chainsaw?  Yipes.  Then I got to the store and saw cherry pies on sale.  It wasn't until after I bought the pie that I realized it was for President's Day.  So here's a President's day muffin recipe for you, using cherries and oranges.  These muffins are perky, if a muffin can be called that.  The flavor is bright and brightens my morning.  My kids eat them for breakfast and after school snacks, so perhaps they brighten the whole day!  Sunny citrus in action.

I adapted this recipe from the most excellent Muffins: A Cookbook by Joan Bidinosti and Marilyn Wearing.  I made these before the Band Fruit Fundraiser oranges arrived.  Had I been swamped with fresh oranges, I'd substitute a blended navel orange for the juice.  The original recipe called for raisins, but I've got a lot of dried cherries so I snipped them in small pieces and used those instead.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Horseradish-Beet Muffins (Monday Muffins!)

I don't normally make savory muffins.  It's not that I have anything against a savory muffin.  Some of my favorite muffins are savory!  I like nothing better than a cheddar bacon cornmeal muffin with my green tomato chili.  I just don't think of savory first when I am preparing to make muffins.

But my mom did.

I'd mixed a cup of shredded beets into my soaked oatmeal muffin base, but was dithering over which direction to go from there.  Mom was visiting and suggested horseradish.  Conveniently, I had a jar of horseradish powder.

This savory muffin was delicious served warm with a touch of buttery spread.  I'm thinking of using this in a pink-themed Valentine meal--but I'm stumped on the entree.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chocolate Cherry Cider Muffins (Monday Muffins)

I mentioned in my very first muffin post that I love to make muffins and my kids love to eat muffins.  I make a lot of muffins out of the ingredients that I have in my kitchen, especially from my CSA farm share.  Since I've been so eager to share other recipes, however, I've got quite a backlog of muffin recipes to share.

So to work on this mass of muffin-ness, I'm starting an occasional (read, not weekly like Friday Night Pizza Night) series of Monday Muffin recipes.  I've got sweet muffin recipes, savory muffin recipes, and strange but good muffin recipes (Beet and Horseradish, anyone?).  I can pretty well say that they will involve less sugar and fat, and more whole grains than your standard bakery muffins.  And they will taste terrific.

Let's get started with a tasty winter treat!

These muffins sound like they are decadent, but really they're not that out there.  They are a morph of my Apple Cider Oatmeal Forgot-the-Sugar Muffins, so they can't be too unhealthy for ya, but with the chocolate and cherry additions they are a step above.

Note:  I let the cherry-cider-oat mixture hang out on my counter for about 4 hours until the cherries were pretty hydrated and the oats were fully . . . soaked.  I recommend at least 1 hour and up to overnight.  These muffins are easy to throw together and forget about for a while, perfect for any busy time.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Apple Cider Forgot-The-Sugar Muffins

It's apple season!  I love having apples on hand because they store in my crisper longer than, say, berries.  I can toss them in smoothies, side dishes, or just slice them up with peanut butter for a snack.
I used to be very 'meh' about apples, thinking they mostly tasted the same, until I got my first CSA farm share apples from the Shenandoah valley.  Whoa!  What a taste revelation!  The best variety was Larry (I am not making this up) and I'd pay good money to bite into a Larry apple again.  One of the things I miss the most about that first farm share.

These muffins I kind of threw together for an after school snack while I was gathering ingredients for dinner and doing laundry and plotting out the afternoon drive schedule and a bunch of other things.

So I forgot the sugar.

I didn't even notice until I bit into one, and thought 'hey, this isn't really sweet' but when my daughter grabbed the wild violet jelly and I grabbed the apple butter to slather on top, I didn't miss it at all. I mean, with a shake of cinnamon sugar on top, and apple cider for the liquid, they are sweet enough. If you are a person watching your sugar intake-try these!  If you're not, try them with jam or apple butter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quick and Crunchy Multi Grain Pumpkin Muffins

The overnight soaked-oatmeal muffins only work if you remember to set them up overnight, or at least an hour before baking.  Somedays, though, you remember to thaw a cup of pumpkin puree but forget to soak the oats.  And forget to put a tea bag in your mug of hot water . . .

For those days, here's a quick and crunchy muffin with the same whole grain goodness in less time.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Corn Cheddar Bacon Muffins

A savory cornmeal muffin with bacon bits and shredded cheddar, great with a bowl of chili.

Now that 3/4 of my family is unable to enjoy corn on the cob, I've come up with other ways to enjoy the fresh taste of just-picked corn. Normally I'd boil the corn and serve it with butter and salt.  Now, however, I boil it, cool it, cut the kernels off the cob, freeze them on parchment paper on a try, and transfer the frozen kernels to zip top freezer bags for long term storage.

On a particularly Frugal Farm Fresh Eco Friendly Palooza day, I managed to cook the corn in the leftover canning water, but normally I boil it for 10-12 minutes in salted water.

This savory muffin combination was suggested by my daughter.  I'll probably keep making these after the braces come off. They are tasty!