Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Broccoli Brings It! January 8, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,dessert,easy,leftovers,muffins,thrift,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:33 pm

muffins askew

The kindergartner’s show-n-tell/snack day at school done snuck up on us.  On game day to boot!  Local broccoli stems saved me again, investing mini-muffins with the good nutrition necessary for all that learnin’ the kids are up to.  Although I had none left over to enrich the (orange!) carrot cake (see Broccoli Bonus) I made for Longhorn viewing, a cake full of local carrots tastes just as sweet.

These muffins might not fool the herbiphobic adult or teenager, but kids won’t notice the jolly green goodness in these tasty treats.  The students wolfed ’em down!

(SWEET) BROCCOLI BITES makes about 3 dozen mini muffins

  • 227 grams (2 cups packed) finely shredded well-peeled local broccoli stems.  You can substitute half or more shredded local carrots for especially finicky palates.
  • zest of one local an/or organic lemon.  Ask your neighbors!
  • 2 local eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt.  I like Real Salt.
  • 163 grams (¾ cup, firmly packed) organic light brown sugar.  Central Market’s organic brand sells for $2.99 for a 1½ pound bag.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 170 grams (about a scant 1½ cups) organic all purpose flour or King Arthur cake flour blend (unbleached!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted Texas pecans, optional.  I omit these for the classroom.
  • 107 grams (½ cup) organic coconut oil or other oil suitable for baking sweets.  Whole Foods 365 brand virgin coconut oil is a good value.  Coconut oil will solidify when it’s chilly, so warm it up if necessary.

Get your oven going to 350º and grease up 3 one dozen cavity mini muffin tins, or whatever configuration you have.  I find Spectrum baking spray to be the easiest greasing  option, but I’ll leave that choice up to you.

Whisk together the shredded broccoli and the next five ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the next four ingredients.  Whisk the oil into the broccoli mixture, blending it in very well, then top with the flour and the pecans, if using.  Stir it all up quickly to blend completely.https://savortheearth.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=3782&message=1

Fill the prepared tins (I like to use a spring-loaded scoop) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the muffins test done.  Let cool in the pans on a rack for a couple minutes before gently releasing the muffins from their wells (I use a bamboo skewer, the same one I test them with) and letting the muffins cool obliquely in their cups.

Frost with organic cream cheese frosting if desired.  Whip together ½ stick organic butter, ½ block organic cream cheese (CM organics brand is the best buy at only $1.99 per ½ pound), 100 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar (CM organics again), 1 teaspoon local honey (I like Good Flow—we have many honeys to choose from around here) and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.

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Oatmeal Muffins–by request August 18, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,easy,fast,muffins — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 2:53 pm

LM is hankerin’ for some delicious muffins.  I’ve made these morsels a staple around here for years, usually for late breakfasts.  Back in ’98 I baked dozens of batches for the crew of Rock Opera.  Director Bob Ray claims that’s what kept folks coming back!

OATMEAL MUFFINS makes 12

  • 1 cup organic old-fashioned oatmeal.  Whole Foods carries a respectably-textured brand in bulk for $1.79 a pound.
  • 1 cup yogurt.  Local is best and homemade from local milk is the bestest.
  • 121 grams (1 cup) organic all-purpose flour.  WF 365 brand 5# bag goes for only $4.69.  That’s a deal!
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, local please
  • 104 grams (1/2 cup packed) brown sugar.  I prefer dark brown.  WF sells Wholesome Sweeteners brand but the best bargain is Central Market’s organic brand light brown sugar @ $2.99 for a 2-pound bag.  You choose.
  • 1/2 cup good oil for baking.  I frequently use coconut oil, although you will get a slightly heavier result here.  Nut oils are great, especially toasted versions, and ‘specially if you can find organic.  Otherwise any neutral-flavored organic oil is fine.
  • turbinado sugar–CM sells this gorgeous less-refined sweetener in bulk for $1.49 a pound.
  • medium-fine to finely chopped toasted Texas pecans, optional

You’re gonna need a 400º oven for these muffins.  You can cut this recipe in half and employ the toaster oven (1/2 an egg is about 1 1/2 Tablespoons), but 6 of these toothsome treats is never enough at our house.  Grease your muffin tin–two 6-cups or one 12-cup–with the lube of your choice or use muffin liners.  If You Care® makes unbleached “baking cups”.  I’ve purchased these at Central Market and they should certainly be available at Whole Foods.

Stir the oats and yogurt together and let them sit-n-soak.  You can take care of this the night before, but a half-hour submersion will get you by.  Stir together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Stir the salt into the oats, then the egg, next the  brown sugar, and finally the oil.  Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and quickly but gently combine the two mixtures until almost mixed.  Go ahead and leave some streaks of unblended flour.

Fill your muffin tin(s).  I recommend using a spring-loaded scooper.  Fast and efficient!  Deck the tops with turbinado sugar and optional pecans to taste.  This is a good time for the younger baker in the family to help out.  Kids will most enjoy dousing a particular scoop of batter with as much topping as they’d like and claiming that one as their own.  Trust me.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  You’ll have to rely on your familiarity with your baking appliance to decide when to check on these guys.  The tops should get a little brown and of course the centers of the muffins will test done (no raw batter showing up on a skewer or wooden toothpick poked into one.)  I never need to check these muffins anymore.  At this point I just know.

Let ’em cool just a bit.  If you can!

 

Blueberries abound June 29, 2009

Filed under: muffins — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 10:24 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

berry blues

Still enjoying the heck out of that Logan’s Turnpike Mill stoneground Georgia cornmeal that we picked up in Atlanta.  I’m using the yellow more because that’s what I’m used to but I’ll get back to the white after a while.

Texas blueberries are all around with Central Market selling full pints of the organic jewels for $3.99.  I’ve been finding similar deals at the farmers markets and Whole Foods. The last issue of WF’s Whole Deal offers coupons for Organic Valley butters ($1 off per package)that expire tomorrow and both OV’s cultured butter (gold package) and Pasture butter (green package) are on sale right now at WF for $3.39 per half pound block.  These specialty higher butterfat butters are luscious and perfect for gilding your muffins.

BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL MUFFINS yields 1 dozen

  • 94 grams (1 cup) organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 92 grams (3/4 cup) organic all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 ounces cornmeal (2/3 cup), preferably organic
  • 1 Tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder, I use Rumford
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt, preferably local
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3  to 1/2 cup honey, preferably local
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • a cup or so of fresh Texas blueberries, preferably organic, rinsed and dried
  • optional enhancements:  lemon zest, freshly grated nutmeg, vanilla extract
  • turdinado sugar for sprinkling on top, optional

Grease your muffin tins and heat up your oven to 400°.

Whisk together your dry ingredients through the baking soda.  In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, salt and honey.  Pour the slightly cooled butter on top of the wet ingredients then dump the dry ingredients on top.  Give it a couple of stirs then pour on the blueberries.  Stir quickly and gently just to mostly combine everything.  Don’t overmix!  Fill your pans (use a scoop) and top the batter with turbinado sugar if desired.  Bake 12 minutes or more, until baked through.  Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes then loosen each muffin with a small knife or spatula and unmold onto your cooling rack.  Enjoy now or later.

This recipes halves easily so you can bake just 6 muffins in your toaster oven.

 

Yogurt–and Sour Cream May 22, 2009

Filed under: muffins — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 5:50 pm

spread the love

I make my own yogurt.  It’s easy.  My 5-year-old and I eat some every day, usually for breakfast.  I also use yogurt frequently in baking.  Most of the time you can replace buttermilk with yogurt in recipes.  Making my own saves money and allows me to use whichever milk I choose.  Go local, go organic, make fat-free, full fat or anything in between.  I haven’t tried alternative milks but check out this site for info on making soy yogurt.  I use Yogourmet starter and the best price I’ve found is Whole Foods at $3.98 for a six pack.  You can use a portion of a previous batch, instead of starter, (about 1/2 cup for a quart) to make a new batch but eventually you’ll need to refresh your stock with some starter.

I use a Salton 1 quart yogurt maker and I’ve never actually seen one at the thrift stores.  Frequently you can find yogurt makers there that make several small containers of yogurt although I prefer to brew an entire quart.  I purchased mine online for about $15 (Amazon) and it paid for itself in just a couple of weeks.

If you dig yogurt, make your own.  And if you dig sour cream you can make a yogurt version!  I usually use ½-n-½.  Whatever dairy liquid you choose, do it the easy way:  heat the milk up in the microwave.  Pour the milk into a 1 quart Pyrex measuring cup and program the microwave for 222 seconds.  Pour the heated liquid into a clean bowl and sprinkle the starter over the surface.  Go pick up the baby and come back to stir in the starter.  Next pour the milk into a clean 1 quart yogurt container and set it into the yogurt maker. That’s all!  I usually go for about a 24 hour yogurt.  Experiment to find your preference.

If you’ve made a batch of  “sour cream” try this recipe:

Pecan Muffins

  • 4 ounces (1 cup) organic white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/16 ounces (30 grams is easier for me to measure OR 1/4 cup) organic all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder–I use Rumford aluminum free
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly.  Use your WF whole deal coupon for $1 off Organic Valley.
  • 3 1/2 ounce (100 grams or 1/2 cup) sugar.  I use a little more than half granulated (Wholesome Sweeteners 10# bag at Costco is the best buy) and a little less than half light brown (CM Organics for the best deal).
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed Texas orange juice
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • turbinado sugar, optional—the bulk turbinado at Central Market is gorgeous right now and the best deal at $1.49 a pound.  The bag actually says it’s demerara (a similar, but darker and more flavorful coarse, less refined sugar) from Wholesome Sweeteners.

Preheat your toaster oven to 400°.  Lube up your 6 cavity muffin tin however you choose.  Whisk together your dry ingredients through the allspice.  In a separate bowl whisk together your wet ingredients through the sour cream.  Pour the dry ingredients onto the wet and sprinkle on the pecans.  Quickly, gently and thoroughly stir everything together just until well combined.  Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for up to an hour if you can.  Fill your muffin cups (use an ice cream scoop!), they’ll be full.  Sprinkle with the turdinado, as much as you’d like, and bake about 12 minutes, reversing the pan halfway through, until the muffins test done.

These muffins are not too sweet, delicious warm with local honey—I love Good Flow’s wildflower, and some top notch butter such as Texas’ own Lucky Layla or Organic Valley Pasture butter.