Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Fresh-baked muffins make me all warmy inside. They feel like home and like family. To me, muffins are a breakfast comfort food equivalent to the dinnertime bowl of macaroni and cheese. They feel like someone who loves me wrapped me in a cozy soft blanket and a big hug. A muffin straight from the oven is like a little gift I get to open up and savour. With butter!

This morning I made myself muffins. I used the recipe that one of our dear teachers in the Bauman Natural Chef program shared with us years ago. These muffins ~ although delicate and light in texture ~ eat more like a meal than a snack. They are wholesome, nourishing, and grain-free. And unlike their sugar- and white flour-laden commercial counterparts, are actually a perfect solid start to a productive morning.

The recipe is quite versatile and open to add-ins. This is the way I made it today:

Lizette's Breakfast Muffins
Preheat the oven to 350.
1 cup raw almonds*, soaked overnight**, then chopped finely in a food processor or blender
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix all ingredients. Pour batter to fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake until golden.
Smear with more butter, and jam, as they're hot from the oven.
Additions, substitutions: you can use coconut oil in place of the butter, applesauce or ripe banana in place of the yogurt (though without the yogurt, I'm wondering if you'd need to add 1/2 tsp of baking powder. . ), and you can add just about anything you would to a normal muffin ~ chocolate or carob chips, frozen berries, a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, dried coconut flakes. . yum!
*It is important to buy organic almonds. Since last year, all almonds ~ *except* for ones you buy directly from the farmer, at the farmers' market, for instance ~ must be either irradiated, fumigated, or pasteurized. Organic laws ensure that almonds will only be pasteurized (heated) instead of undergoing the other toxic manipulations. But organic almonds you buy in the store are no longer raw ~ as in, you couldn't plant them and grow a new plant, no matter what they say on the bin. (bummer!!)
**Almonds, like all seeds including nuts, grains, and beans, have their nutrients locked away so that they can be deposited in the ground and make new plants. In order to make their nutrients available to us, and to neutralize inhibitors that protect the seed and challenge our digestion and nutrition, we must mimic the germination process for these seeds. This means giving them a warmish, moist, slightly acidic environment like they would experience if they were placed in soil. It's easy to do, but takes a moment of pre-planning. For nuts ~ cover raw, organic nuts in filtered water with a little salt and let them sit out on the counter overnight. In the morning, you can either use them still soft like I did for this recipe, or dry them in a dehydrator or oven on a very low temp until crispy.

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