Can muffins balance you?

March 10th, 2009 · Lisa · book review, Review · Comments

Two of my lovely brothers stopped by for a visit before a job interview in the city. That’s right, I’m the big sister in the big city! They were staying the night and I wanted to be sure that they had some yummy food to ensure they were satiated for the interview process.

I turned to Renee’ Loux’s recent book The Balanced Plate to test out some new muffins. I love muffins. I enjoy baking them, thinking of new combinations and they happen to be my very favourite treat to eat.

My brothers are pretty particular about their muffins. My youngest brother does not enjoy chocolate banana muffins so I always make him a different combination when I make the rest of the family their favourite. So I decided to try Renee’s recipe for Crumbly Lemon Blueberry Cupcake Muffins (his favourite muffin flavour combination)
Here are the basics (with my variations-made based on what I had in the pantry)!
Batter:
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut butter (softened)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp lemon zest
2 TB lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup fresh blueberries
Topping:
1/4 cup almonds
3/4 whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 TB coconut butter
1 TB agave nectar
1 TB maple syrup
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 35o degrees
Lightly grease your muffin tin. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together the coconut butter, agave, maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and vinegar (add some liquid if it is too dry).
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until nice and smooth. Do not overmix your muffins! Gently fold in the blueberries and fill the muffin cups half full with the batter.
Now make the topping. In a food processor, grind the nuts into a fine meal. Add the flour, salt and cinnamon and chop until well mixed. Add the coconut butter or oil, agave, and maple syrup, and lemon zest and chop in pulses until just mixed and crumbly. The texture should be like sand. Sprinkly the streusel topping evenly over the muffins.
Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let them cool before serving.
My other brother enjoys a good banana muffin. So, I stuck to this classic favourite and tried out Renee’s variation. She adds a streusel topping to her version. It is very similar to the topping recipe above.

Both recipes were simple to pull together and resulted in a perfect muffin texture. They were not too sweet, had lovely fruit flavours and nice whole-grain substance.

I love Renee’s recipes. I have already tried a few of her raw recipes in Living Cuisine (a favourite raw recipe book) and Balanced Plate. This recent book includes a lot of information about homemade cleaning products, eco living, ayurveda, macrobiotics, gardening, composting, houseplants, herbs and spices. Seriously, it is an amazing resource. I am hoping to follow her houseplant advice and continue to work toward balancing my plate and in turn, my life.

Thank you Renee. My brothers enjoyed the muffins. They were energized by this delicious and nutritious treat. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that it results in a job offer that they can’t refuse.

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