Posts Tagged ‘muffins’
The sun is out again, it’s almost the weekend, and we got in beautiful purple carrots from Johnson’s Backyard Garden. All signs point to a good day.
Here’s a fun fact about carrots. Before the 17th century, almost all carrots cultivated were purple. The orange carrots we’ve grown to know and love weren’t cultivated until the late 16th century.
Dutch growers took mutant strains of the purple carrot, including yellow and white carrots and developed them into the sweet, orange variety we have today.
Some people say that the orange carrot became so popular in the Netherlands as a tribute to the emblem of the House of Orange and the struggle for Dutch independence.
They may have also become popular due to the fact that they were sweet and provided more food per plant than their purple counterparts. Either way, the orange carrot took the main stage, but we’re glad the purple variety is making a come back.
In researching the wonders of carrots we came upon a list of fun carrot facts (who knew there were so many?) We’ve all heard the story that eating carrots improves your eye sight. It turns out that this myth started during WWII. British gunners were able to locate and shoot down German planes at night due to the invention of radar, which the Germans knew nothing about. To cover up the invention, the British air ministry spread the word that a diet of carrots improved night vision and helped their pilots see German bombers attacking at night.
You learn something new everyday.
Although carrots don’t magically improve your eyesight, they are nutritional power houses. Purple carrots have even higher antioxidants than orange carrots, and have anti-inflammatory properties. These purple beauties contain high doses of Vitamin A, which helps in the prevention of blood clots. They also contain vitamin B, C and are a good source of fiber. Medicinally, they’ve been used in treating intestinal parasites, indigestion and constipation.
Bottom line, purple carrots are beautiful and good for you. Win, win.
We’re offering up a recipe that features them in a baked good. Perhaps not the healthiest way to eat the carrot, but we like to give you a variety of ways to eat vegetables. And if you have a picky kid who baulks at the idea of vegetables, this can be a way to sneak some extra nutrition into their diet.
Purple Carrot Muffins with Coconut and Currants
From: A Meandering Mango
- 1.5 cups flour (half millet, half plain)
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/3 cup raw sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 medium purple carrots (grated)
- 1/3 cup dried black currants
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, sift in flours, add coconut, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, add wet ingredients. Add in eggs, yogurt, vanilla, oil and combine well. Add wet ingredients into dry and mix well but be careful not to overwork as it will toughen the texture of the muffins. Add in grated carrots and currants. Mixture should be thick but not too dry. Place into the muffin pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Take out and let cool. Keep in the fridge and they will keep for 2-3 days.
One of the things we have on sale this week is black quinoa. This little seed has gotten the spotlight lately, being pushed to the forefront of the health food movement.
Quinoa gets lumped into the grain family, but is in fact related to beets, chard and spinach. The leaves of the plant can be eaten as well as the seeds, although the seeds are what most people commonly eat.
Quinoa grows on stalks three to nine feet tall, with large seed heads that come in a variety of colors – red, purple, orange, green, black or yellow.
A half pound of seed can plant a full acre, yielding 1200-2000 pounds of seeds per acre. This hearty plant is drought resistant, and grows well in poor soils without irrigation or fertilizer. The United Nations have designated it a super crop for its potential to feed the world.
Quinoa is native to the Andes, and sacred to the Incas. They referred to is as the mother of all grains. The harvest starts in late March, with farmers gathering for week long celebrations, with representatives from 4,000 family farms coming together to harvest the seeds.
Not only does this little seed have an awesome history, it’s packed full of nutrition. With more and more research coming out about quinoa (it’s in the spotlight, remember?) studies show that it’s a great option for a gluten free diet as it reduces the risk of diabetes and helps you feel fuller longer. For those who don’t eat meat, this is one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, offering up all the essential amino acids for a healthy diet.
On top of all of this awesomeness is the fact that unlike many grains, it cooks in only 15 minutes. With a subtle nutty taste, it pairs well with a variety of ingredients. You will want to make sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking, as the seeds have a bitter coating called saponin that fends off pests and makes quinoa easy to grow without pesticides.
As you can tell, we’re excited about quinoa. If you haven’t delved into the world of this wonderful little seed, here’s your chance. This recipe is from one of our favorite bloggers, My New Roots. This recipe is gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, soy-free AND delicious (we promise).
Black Quinoa Corn Muffins
From: My New Roots
- 1 cup organic corn meal
- 1/4 cup organic corn flour (finely ground corn meal)
- 1 cup cooked black quinoa
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup almond milk (any milk will work)
- 3 tbsp chia seeds + 9 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp ground chipotle
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Start with the quinoa, rinse the seeds well. Quinoa increases four times in size when cooked. For one cup, you’ll only need 1/4 cup of dry quinoa. To cook quinoa, you use a 2:1 ratio, so you’ll want to use 1/2 cup of water.
Put the water and the quinoa in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat up to high, and bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Once it has reached a full boil, turn the heat down to medium, place the lid on and simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line or grease 8 tins in a cupcake/muffin pan. Mix chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Add the cooked quinoa.
Check the chia gel to make sure it is thick (it should take 15 minutes or so to obtain the desired texture). In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients together, including the chia gel.
Add the wet to the dry and combine in as few strokes as possible. Fold in the cilantro and chipotle. Spoon batter in to muffin cups and bake until the edges are golden brown and they pass the toothpick test (insert the toothpick, and it comes out clean.) This will be about 25 minutes.
Enjoy your healthy, and very allergy free cornbread.
The dark green, grainy tops of broccoli (known as “florets”) are a well-known classic at the dinner table, making frequent appearances in soups, salads, casseroles, and various other dishes. But broccoli doesn’t grow solely of florets, just as muffins don’t always bake as caps. Every muffin has a stump, and every broccoli has its stalks and leaves. Now everyone knows that in baking stumps are inferior to caps, but in the broccoli world this rule doesn’t apply. Broccoli stalks and leaves are delicious, even preferred over florets by some!
So next time you find yourself with a head of broccoli sans florets, save your remaining components because we’ve got a plan:
Here’s a great recipe for broccoli stalks (called stems) that just calls for a little bit of butter and nutmeg. It’s very easy and relatively quick! For a vegan recipe, try substituting coconut oil in place of the butter.
And for those broccoli leaves try this recipe to roast them to perfection. Great for broccoli leaves, but could be done with cauliflower leaves, kale, or even chard.
Hope this helps fans of broccoli and zero-waste kitchens out there!
(image: Photos Public Domain)