Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Muffins for my Muffin: Healthy Banana Nut Muffins & Herbal Coffee!

Valentine's Day is a fickle thing, you never seem to know exactly what we can expect from it, always a reminder of time and change in our life. But, like many other holidays, its an excuse to whip up something unnecessary, but delicious... to build love into our art & experiment with emotional play.

Thus, the succulent muffin was born! Well, I didn't quite birth it myself, it was inspired by the fabulous The Joy of Vegan Baking (a must read for veganization of the classics, Irish Soda Bread to breakfast scones). It was also inspired by T, who was taking me to a movie for Valentine's Day: Forks Over Knives! Yes, T obviously knows me well, giddy at the chance to sneak a peek at the newest and highly rated documentary on the benefits of a "plant-strong" diet. (A MUST see, more on this in a later post).

Being the Chocolate-in-my-Muffin-Addict I am, I did a side batch for my self (shhh)

With health and nutrition on the mind, the task began to strike a balance between comforting morning sweets (sometimes I think T's an incurable sweet addict) & a healthful diet... if there were going to be 16 muffins tempting me, they'd better not be pure sugar.

So, with a bit of reconfiguring and additional add ons, here's a quick recipe for one of the best, if not thee best, vegan muffin I've had to date (no dates involved, but a good idea!); evenly cooked, super soft, and with a gentle moistness about it:

Be Mine Muffins
* 2 C, whole wheat pastry flour
* 1 1/2 t, baking soda
* 1/2 t, salt
* 1/4 C, granulated sugar
* 1/4 C, brown sugar
* 1/3 C, grapeseed oil
* 2/3 C, applesauce
* 4 very ripe bananas, well mashed
* 1/8 C, water
* 1 vanilla bean, caviar
* 1/3 C, chopped walnuts
* 1/3 C, chopped pecans
* 1/4 C, chopped good-quality dark chocolate (*optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place muffin tins in your muffin pan and grease lightly (make approximately 16 muffins)
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugars and oil. Add in applesauce and mix. Add in the mashed bananas and stir well. Stir in the water and vanilla bean, mix thoroughly.
4. Add the flour into the wet mixture, along with the nuts and chocolate (is using). Stir to mix.
5. Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way with batter. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes (mine were done at 24 minutes each), or until they are golden brown and a knife, when inserted into it, comes out clean. Enjoy!

Of course, it wouldn't be Valentine's Day without some gifts and surprises....

HERBAL COFFEE! I was lucky enough to have won this great selection of healthy, mostly organic, non-caffeinated, herbal coffees and, lo-and-behold, they arrive on my door step with love, the day of love!

Too perfect.

The selections were chocolate, chai, hazelnut, vanilla almond, and java. With all natural ingredients such as organic carbo and organic dates, its a unique blend of some of my favorite flavors. Of course, if you're a coffee aficionado (as I sometimes think of myself as; only because of an irrational obsession perhaps), I would give a word of warning: don't expect "coffee".

T said he could've been fooled, but if you know your coffee, I beg to differ; it doesn't have the fullness and subtleties of real (good) coffee, a bit more like an strong herbal tea. Which is NOT to say that they are delicious.

I think it does its job well and if you want something richer than tea, but perhaps don't want the caffeine or the potentially cancerous decaf version of coffee, this is not only a great alternative, but its a really unique drink with some great ingredients and flavors.

Have you tried herbal coffee? How much coffee do you drink & what flavors do you look for in a good coffee? Also, anyone have a good vegan pistachio muffin recipe? :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Those muffins look delicious. I will give them a try asap. When you hear of or make a vegan pistachio muffin - PLEASE let me know. Pistachios are my favorite!!

    I'm glad you had such a wonderful Valentine's Day! :)