Sunday, February 26, 2012

Muffins for a Cool Winter Morning

Life has been a little crazy lately, and my blog posts seem to be forming themselves more in my head,  than on my computer... So, while you wait for some new posts on food justice, urban agriculture and delicious food, you might take another peak at this healthy buttermilk muffin recipe from a while back (you don't actually need to have buttermilk to make them, check the recipe below!). I just made a batch, and they are warm and tasty, perfect for a cool winter morning.

Buttermilk Muffins with Molasses, Orange and Currants
12 muffins

1 cup unbleached white flour (I used white spelt)
1 1/3 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
1/4 cup dry millet
1/3 cup molasses*
1/4 cup agave* (or honey or maple syrup)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
zest from one orange
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk (you can substitute 3/4 cup milk or soy milk plus 1 teaspoon vinegar or 1 tablespooon orange juice)
2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup currants (or other dried fruit)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease or place muffin papers in one muffin tin (12 muffins).

2. Mix the wet ingredients together, including the zest.

3. Sift the dry ingredients together and stir in the sugar.

4. Mix the wet and dry together and carefully fold in the blueberries.

5. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

* if you don't have agave or molasses, you can use honey or maple syrup. You can also replace both ingredients by using a total of 3/4 sugar in the recipe.

What have you been baking lately?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cocoa Walnut Truffles - A Valentine's Treat

This is one of those rare recipes that you just can't believe is actually good for you, and it is simple.
Walnuts, Dates, Cocoa...end of story.

I owe the discovery of this recipe to my mother's recent infatuation with raw food. She ingeniously took a raw brownie recipe and turned it into truffles. The tiny bite sized portion is just right for this rich (but still healthy) treat!

Cocoa Walnut Truffles -
An easy, fun treat to make for your Valentine's sweetheart, or sweethearts.

1 1/2 cups Medjool dates
2 cups Walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (raw cocoa or regular cocoa)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
+ 1/3 C cocoa for rolling truffles

  1. Remove pits from dates. Put dates in a bowl and cover with warm water for 5 minutes.
  2. Chop nuts in a food processor until fine. Place in a bowl.
  3. Remove dates from bowl and reserve water. Place dates in the food processor with cocoa, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Add a spoonful or two of reserved date water if the mixture is too thick to blend. Add walnuts and pulse once or twice to incorporate.
  4. Using a teaspoon or very small ice cream scoop, portion the mixture into small scoops on a piece of waxed paper. Roll the balls between your hands gently to form a smooth ball. Quickly toss each ball in the cocoa. Place truffles in tiny muffin papers if desired. Store in an air tight container.

These truffles make a wonderful gift, or a nice treat at the end of a special meal. 
Truffles will keep well for several weeks.