Friday, September 4, 2009

The Humble Muffin

TODAY'S Portion Size: 8 oz

1960's Portion Size: 1.5 oz
CALORIES: 100 to 175

Ok...Ok... so the pics are a little skewed... but you GET the idea. Right along with waste lines, butts, thighs, and weight our portion sizes have increased dramatically over the past 40 years.

A couple of weeks ago, Hubby Bear took me to see Julie and Julia. Not only, was the movie very funny and entertaining every second; but also, it was inspirational. It got America baking and cooking again, or so it seems, since Julia Childs book Mastering the Art of French Cooking went totally ballistic the next day. Amazon sold out within 2 days and now, nearly 50 years later; it tops all the book lists in the country and around the world.

Although of course, I am not a fan of the recipes, I am a fan of what Julia Childs represented..... A woman with a passion for something that she dearly loved with heart and soul. A woman that desperately wanted to share that passion with everyone. A woman that would not allow anything or anyone to get in her way to disrupt this mission.

So, last Saturday morning I decided I would "bake..bake..and more bake" in honor of the beloved JC. I made pans of muffins and just enjoyed the heck outta it... even if it was 4:45 in the morning. The house had that aroma that reminded me of the holidays or of cold, snowy mornings as a kid in New Mexico. Hubby Bear woke up and remarked, "Can I wake up every morning to the smell of homemade muffins?" (Uh, most likely no.)

Here's a few recipes for my Humble Vegan Muffins that are NOT the size of a grapefruit! Instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners, I use Agave Nectar or homemade applesauce. Instead of oil, I use apple or pineapple juice. Instead of sodium, I use lots of fabulous spices. And instead of flour or whole wheat flour, I use Oat Flour, and Brown Rice Flour, and Bran. As always, I use as much ORGANIC products that I can find. Normally I do not measure much at all when I prep food, but for muffins.... I measure.

The recipe is a basic one that comes out of The Health Promoting Cookbook by Dr. Alan Goldhamer, Founder and Director of the True North Health and Wellness Clinic in northern Calf.

You can purchase this wonderful cookbook from my "Humble Vegan Fave Reads & DVD's"

As a strict True North Vegan, I don't "do" bread, so I relied on my “trusty taste tester”... (say that 3 times really fast!)... Hubby Bear to let me know what might be missing. I made a variety from that one basic formula. The calorie count is anywhere from 150 to 200 each.

Hope you enjoy them :-)

Applesauce Muffins with chunks of Apple

Preheat oven 350. Get out 2 large bowls, measuring cups (dry and liquid,) measuring spoons, food processor.

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside:
1 cup Oat flour
1 cup Brown Rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
Cinnamon (I use a lot ..about 1 T or more)
Nutmeg about ½ tsp

Homemade Applesauce
In food processor, add the following and blend until smooth.. or whatever texture you prefer your applesauce.
6 apples, cored. (I just toss them in with peeling... but scrub first)
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup water
3 fresh mint leaves
You can add cinnamon and nutmeg... but remember, you’ll have these spices in your muffin recipes too.

Mix the liquid ingredients in second bowl:
1 cup applesauce
½ to ¾ cup apple juice
For a sweeter muffin... add 1/8c agave nectar

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid. Fold gently over and over until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
Fold in ¾ cup of diced apple, peeled and cored

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes depending on your oven.

Raisin Bran Muffins
Follow the same basic recipe above with these changes:
-use 1 cup Bran instead of Brown Rice flour
-3/4 cup raisins instead of diced apples
-1/8 cup of Agave Nectar

Banana Walnut Muffins
Follow the same basic recipe above with these changes:
-instead of applesauce, use 2 to 3 large VERY ripe bananas mashed up
-instead of apple juice, use fresh pineapple juice
-instead of raisins/diced apples, add 1/3 c (more if you like) walnuts

Until next time.......


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