The top 3 questions that I am asked on a sometimes daily basis are, in no particular order:
~ are you single?
~ why don’t you straighten your hair everyday?
~ how did you learn how to cook?
While I could wax poetic about questions 1 & 2, I’ll save your eyes from reading about my personal life and instead tell you the answer to #3, since I know that food is the reason 95% of you read my blog. For those of you that haven’t read the story already, here it goes!
When I was a very young child, my mother would go through her cupboards, fridge, and freezer and pull out random ingredients. She’d set out bowls of whatever she could find, and let me play. After I had measured, felt, sifted, poured, and mixed to my hearts content, she’d bake my experiment creations so that I could proudly present them to my father for a snack when he got home from work. As a result, I learned at a very young age that muffins containing 20 limes may turn out a pretty colour but they do not always taste so good, that cookies bake better when they’re all the same size, and that leaveners are very useful unless you want to sharpen your teeth on your baked goods. Fast forward a few years, and I graduated from this style of “cooking” to being on a first-name basis with Martha Stewart. Funny how time changes everything, huh?
Now, before we move on, I just want to state on public record that while I am sorry for subjecting my poor Father to my culinary experiments when I was 3, I’m pretty sure he isn’t too scarred. For reasons unbeknownst to me, he was often “too full’ to eat whatever I made him when he first got home, but I’m sure he enjoyed his treats later on in the evening with his nightly cuppa tea.
Also, for those of you that are wondering whether or not my Mom is crazy for letting her children use her pantry like a sandbox, the answer is no. She was full-on crazy, but I’m glad she was (is?).
Anyways, even though I’ve long since gone from making muffins with 20 limes (ask my Mom – I dictated my recipes to her and she still has some of them), I still like to open up my cupboards and play every now and then. I started pulling stuff out of the pantry, fridge, and freezer, and with a notebook close by I started combining.
Curious what I made? Come join me!
You’re looking at spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, ground flax, apple, pear, kabocha squash, 1/2 banana, oil, eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla.
Grind up 1/2 c of blanched almonds in your food processor until they go from this…
I know what you’re thinking – do I have to go to the trouble of making almond meal? No, of course you don’t – you can buy it but this is my experiment, remember?
Pulverize 1/2 c of oats in your food processor until you end up with oat flour. Or just buy oat flour. Doesn’t matter to me!
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to assemble the rest of the dry ingredients:
Besides the almond meal and oat flour, you’re also looking at 1.5c of whole-wheat spelt flour, 2 t baking powder, 1 t baking soda, 2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t salt, 1/2 c coconut, 1/4c sunflower seeds, 1/4 c pumpkin seeds, and 1/4 c ground flax.
Whisk everything together and set it aside for a few minutes while the rest of the ingredients get their act together.
Mash up 1/2 banana and 1/2 c cooked kabocha squash (compliments of the depths of your freezer):
If you don’t have any squash kicking around, just add more bananas or canned pumpkin. I’m pretty sure no one will die if you do so.
Grate up a few carrots until you end up with about 1c worth:
While grating, remind yourself to put a new food processor on your Christmas wish list, right below the Vita-Mix.
You may not know this about me, but I hate grating things manually.
There – I said it. I know I’m going to sleep better with that off my chest.
While you’re at it, either grate or finely chop an apple.
Why use your hands when there is a perfectly good appliance at your disposal?!?!
It only took me grating my knuckles approximately 27 times to learn that lesson.
Do the same with the over-ripe pear that is begging to be put out of its misery.
All together now!
Besides the carrots, apples, pear, squash, and banana, I also threw in 2 eggs, 1/4 c canola oil, 1/4 c maple syrup, 1/4 c brown sugar, and 2 t vanilla.
Whisk everything together…
Such pretty colours! That right there is why you don’t peel your apples or pears.
And also, I may be a tad lazy.
Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones:
Scoop the batter into greased muffin tins – I made a dozen regular size, and 6 jumbos.
And bake @ 350-degrees (or 325 convection) for about 20 minutes.
Check out the great texture!
I love the different colours and textres in every bite of these muffins. I also love that they are delicious with butter, which I may have laid on a little thick in my earnest attempt to prove once and for all to Paula Deen that I am her long-lost niece. They’re not overly sweet, but they’re not overly “healthy” tasting either. I guess I have no excuse for not eating breakfast for the next few days now, huh? And now that my produce drawer is slightly less full, I also have no excuse for not eating salad for lunch. Awesome. Can’t wait.
P.S. Need some more muffin ideas? Try these!