Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Breakfast muffins

Since there still isn't a lot of seasonal fruit available yet I like to put plenty of chopped apple in my muffins, along with a little cinnamon. You can also use about 1/2 cup of chopped spring strawberries if you like, but make sure they are very well-drained. This recipe (adapted slightly from my cooking bible, Nourishing Traditions) will make about 8 good-sized muffins; the original recipe is twice this big, but if you don't plan on eating 16 muffins in one week you should probably make it the way I write here. Also it's okay to leave the muffins out on the countertop, provided they are in an airtight container; however, make sure they are completely cooled before storing, and transfer to the refrigerator after 2-3 days to avoid spoilage.

**Mix these first two ingredients together in a big bowl, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave out on the counter overnight (this step is important--don't skip it!):
-1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (they sell this @ Whole Foods and other places)
-1 cup buttermilk or soured milk
**The next morning add:
-1 egg
-1/4 tsp. sea salt
-2 tbsp. maple syrup
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1.5 tbsp. melted butter OR coconut oil (also sold @ Whole Foods and health food stores)
-1/2 apple, cored & chopped small (or 1/2 cup chopped strawberries, well-drained)
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Pour into buttered muffin tin (8 muffins in all). Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when you insert it in the center of one muffin. Muffins should be golden brown on top. Let them cool a moment, then pop out of tin using a knife and cool on a plate or wire rack. Reheat in the oven by slicing, spreading butter on (always eat flour products with plenty of butter to slow the breakdown of carbs in your body!), then wrapping in tinfoil and baking at 200-250 degrees for about 10-20 minutes, just to warm them up. Be sure to eat them with something high in protein, like a serving of yogurt, hard cheese, or a handful of nuts. Also, be forewarned that these muffins are not very sweet; if you're used to really sweet stuff then you might want to try doubling the maple syrup first, and gradually decrease it each time you make the recipe.

Keep in mind that the first step of combining the flour and buttermilk/soured milk and leaving it to sit overnight is very important. This allows the time and necessary bacteria to begin the process of breaking down and neutralizing the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors present in all whole grains (including their flour form). If you include this step you will be rewarded with an exceptionally fluffy, light muffin (especially since whole wheat pastry flour tastes nearly identical to white flour). Furthermore, "soaking" the flour this way creates an end result that is far more filling and nourishing than muffins prepared the typical way -- it's as if your body is finally really extracting the nourishment from your food. See my entry on "Waffles with Staying Power".


  1. hannah, can i use regular flour here? i made this delicious buttermilk dressing last night and i have a TON of buttermilk left over. I also happen to have some delicious real maple syrup in the fridge, so I might try these! Let me know.

  2. Yes, you could use regular flour but there won't be much point in soaking it overnight in the buttermilk. You would just skip the soaking and proceed with making the muffins. They will not be filling, nutritious, or healthy! Just have to throw that caveat in there. If you have a "ton" of buttermilk keep it around because it lasts very well. It can be used for marinating chicken or beef (such as before you make fried chicken or pot roast) overnight, which begins to break down the meat and make it delicious, plus highly digestible and tender. Or take a little walk to a grocery store and pick up some whole wheat flour! :)

  3. and i'll find it really easily at whole foods? I might go for it hannah :)

  4. Yes - it's in the flour section. The bag says "Organic 100% Whole Wheat Pastry Flour." I get the 2 lb. size, 365 Organic brand to save money, but there is also an Arrowhead Mills brand that costs a little more. It's whole wheat flour ground very very fine. Let me know what you think!