Lately, my Sunday mornings have been all about muffins. I don't know where this obsession came from, but it's here for now, and I'm more than happy to indulge it. I'm a muffin snob, so it's in the best interest of all involved that I make my own. (In general I despise bakery muffins - they usually fall into one of two unfortunate categories: the white sugar/white flour bombs and the depressingly leaden and dry whole wheat bricks). So there I was this past Sunday, just out of bed and instantly possessed by the now-familiar muffin fairy, turning on the oven and flying through fridge, freezer, and cabinets gathering the provisions, even before the filter had been plunged on the French press.
I like to start with the basic muffin recipe from Joy of Cooking and adapt as I go. It's a good blueprint -- straightforward and reliable, it tolerates lots of experimentation and always turns out good results. This time I replaced all-purpose flour with spelt flour, milk with yogurt, melted butter with olive oil, and white sugar with maple syrup. Inspired by leftover pineapple chunks in the fridge and memories of the incredible Hummingbird Cake from Buttercup Bake Shop in nyc, I decided to go with a banana-pineapple-nut combination. Shredded coconut would have been really good, too, but I was out.
The batter comes together in about 10 minutes, and before you know it a batch of golden, fragrant muffins are emerging from the oven. Little breakfast cakes that are moist, tender, and not too sweet - just how I like them.
Another bonus to these Sunday baking sessions: muffins for breakfast all week (if they last that long - need to ration!). I like to warm a muffin in the toaster oven, split it open, and slather it with almond butter (I am obsessed with the nut butters from Justin's right now). A perfect, light first breakfast to sustain me through each day's mass- transit-in-morning-rush-hour adventure. I have my second breakfast at work - lately it's been Seven Stars Farm plain yogurt with blueberries and ground flax seeds. I am a hungry girl, so that just about keeps me till lunch.
banana pineapple walnut muffins
makes 12 muffins
Shredded dried coconut would also be a nice addition to these muffins (about 1/4 cup), in which case melted virgin coconut oil would be great to use as the fat. You can also substitute pecans for the walnuts (the pecans in my freezer were of dubious age, so I used walnuts.)
1-3/4 cups whole spelt flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (or kefir, or milk with a squeeze of lemon juice added)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or melted coconut oil or melted butter), plus more for greasing muffin tin
2 bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon zest
mix-ins:1/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple (1/4-inch dice) (you could also use canned or frozen - drain well)
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients until well combined.
- Pour wet mixture into dry and stir until just combined. Stir in pineapple and walnuts.
- Spoon batter into lightly greased muffin cups (about 1/3 cup each). Sprinkle more walnuts on top, and bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.