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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A delicate balance

Lately I feel like my cooking experiences have been all about trying to find the right balance between healthy and delicious. I know that the two terms are not mutually exclusive, but sometimes it's tough to always choose the whole grain over the white, and the vegetable over the cookie.

Well, these muffins strike the absolute perfect balance. They are filled with wholesome grains and delectable berries, and at the last minute I couldn't resist throwing in a handful of chocolate chips. I guess I'm a hedonist at heart. The recipe is greatly influenced by the 'Berry Goodness Muffins' in Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton, but I was out of so many of the ingredients that the recipe called for that I ended up making tons of substitutions and I think the result is enough changed from the original that it's fine to post here without stepping on any toes.
Badass Berry Muffins

1-1/2 cups rolled oats, pureed in food processor until flour-like
1 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup hemp milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup fresh raspberries (frozen would probably work fine too)
1/3 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients (oats through baking soda). In a separate bowl, mix hemp milk, applesauce, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, vanilla, lemon extract, and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry, then gently fold in berries and chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin tins that have been sprayed with cooking oil* and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.

As Dreena mentions in her recipe, the chickpea flour has an odd taste before it's cooked, so don't try the batter. The taste is fabulous once it's all combined and baked though, so don't fret!

* My rant of the day - why does everyone use those little cupcake liner thingies? I can see splurging and using them for special occasions when you want your birthday party cupcakes to be festive or whatever, but the rest of the time, it seems like a total waste of paper. I know it's a small thing, but small things done by millions of people add up! I'm always surprised when my vegan cookbook instructions say to use them; I guess I expect vegans to be greener than the average Joe (or Josephina)... end of rant. Enjoy the muffins.


Robin Marie said...

These look soooo delicious! You take the world's best food pictures:) Yum.

I love healthy "unhealthy" foods. I had some of the most fabulous chocolate chip cookies the other day, spelt included, and knowing that I was eating something that someone had put the effort of health-consciousness into made them that much more delicious.

Additionally, paper muffin wrappers drive me nuts because there's no way to remove them and dispose of them without getting crumbs everywhere. If you bake your muffins without them the muffin learns how to support itself:)

Vegan_Noodle said...

Oooohhh, thanks for the recipe!! You're so right about the muffin liners. I just think they are so cute, but am vowing now to save them for special occassion. The muffins I made last night are liner-less!