Monday, 17 November 2014

Dates & Orange Breakfast Muffins

Hello everyone!

Life is tasting especially sweet lately. Yes, I have been doing a lot of baking. In the less literal sense though, I have been feeling especially lucky and thankful. No particular reason - it feels like lots of amazing things could potentially happen in the not-so-distant future, and that somehow makes me appreciate the present even more, if that makes any sense. What is there NOT to be grateful for, really, when we are healthy, when our families are supportive, when I am blessed with a wonderful group of beautiful and brilliant girlfriends, when we live in a warm and cozy home?

Speaking of sweetness, this muffin recipe is sure to brighten up your mornings. I mostly used dates as a sweetener, which pair wonderfully with the brightness of oranges. And, wouldn't you know it, there is a green veggie hiding in there! You cannot taste the zucchini, but it adds moisture as well as a boost of potassium and anti-oxidants.
If you are looking for a healthy muffin recipe to grab on your way out the door in the morning, this is it!

Date & Orange Breakfast Muffins: (makes 12 muffins)

- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 3/4 cup whole pitted dates (if not soft, cover with boiling water for 10mins then drain)
- 1/2 a small seedless orange, peel and all
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1/2 a medium zucchini)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 12-muffin tin.
In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseed and water and set aside - it will thicken to the consistency of egg white in 5-10 minute.
In another small bowl, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside. The mixture will curdle and this is the desired effect. Alternatively, you can use buttermilk and omit this step (and omit the apple cider vinegar).
In a food processor, combine dates, the half orange (no need to chop or peel it - the food processor will work its magic), vanilla extract, maple syrup and olive oil.
Process until the mixture is mostly smooth, then add the milk mixture + the flaxseed mixture to it and process a bit longer to combine. 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just combined. 
Fold in the zucchini and walnuts
Bake for 16-18 minutes and let cool on a rack. 

Before adding the milk + flaxseed mixtures

The wet ingredients

Before folding in the zucchini and walnuts

Have a great week!

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