I don't usually think of summer as a time to bake. In fact, if you can't take the heat of the oven and end up offsetting it with air conditioning, summer baking can be a pretty wasteful endeavor. But blueberries are in season and I had the craving for a good, healthful blueberry muffin. It doesn't hurt our energy bill that we don't have an air conditioner in this part of the apartment -- and I don't mind sweating a bit.
I like to experiment in the kitchen, especially when it comes to baking. I'm often not satisfied with a recipe as is, and like to doctor it up or combine two or three recipes. When I was a bit younger, I was apprehensive about messing with a baking recipe. I was always told it was like chemistry, one misstep and it blows up in your face -- or at the very least it won't taste like it should. Somewhere along the way I dropped this notion and decided to take a risk. I've found that, for the most part, a little adaptation isn't a bad thing, and it often turns out in your favor.
Case in point: the spelt almond blueberry/cranberry muffins I made this afternoon. Here's my recipe, adapted from Healthy Green Lifestyle and Bob's Red Mill:
2 1/4 cups organic spelt flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups almond pulp (leftover from making almond milk - sans sweeteners or vanilla)
3 organic, free-range eggs
1/4 cup local buckwheat honey
1 1/4 cup almond milk (see above)
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) local pastured butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 3/4 cups local blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. [NB - I usually do this about 3/4 of the way into prepping the ingredients so as not to waste too much gas (or electricity, depending on your oven)].
Combine dry ingredients, stirring in almond pulp last.
In a separate mixing bowl, whip eggs. Whip in honey, almond milk, and vanilla. Then add the slightly cooled melted butter, being careful not to cook the eggs.
Gently mix dry and wet ingredients. Do not over stir. The mix should be lumpy.
Fold in blueberries and cranberries. Blueberries and cranberries can be dusted with flour prior to folding into the mix.
Spoon mix into a greased or lined 12-cup muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool and enjoy!
A couple of notes:
- If you like a sweeter muffin, use 1 1/4 cups sugar plus honey, or substitute with 3/4 organic brown sugar
- This recipe can also be made with 1 tablespoon oil instead of butter