Savor The Earth

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Blueberries abound June 29, 2009

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

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Peas please June 22, 2009

Filed under: beans,Uncategorized,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 6:58 pm
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This week’s Central Market coupon (expires June 28) gets you $5 off any produce when you spend $40 total at the store.  That’s just right for picking up a 1 pound bag–at $4.99 each–of fresh blackeyed peas or purple hull peas (or cream peas or pinto beans when they show up) from Oak Hill Farms in Poteet, Texas.  These are the same folks that bring us that wonderful triple washed spinach in the cooler months.  Fresh peas and beans couldn’t be easier to cook–no soaking required.  I like to cook them in broth made with a ham bone or Whole Foods very smoky ham hocks (from humanely raised pigs).  You can make broth ahead and freeze it but it only takes 20 minutes to cook up in the pressure cooker.  Of course you save time and energy by cooking the beans and pig parts together.  Whatever suits your schedule.

I employ the usual cast of  characters when fixin’ a pot of peas:  onion, bell pepper–Finca Pura Vida at Sunset Valley Farmers Market grows the most delicious California Wonders, red or green–garlic, thyme (try to grow your own), bay leaf, parsley or celery if you have some and a healthy shot of  vinegar towards the end.  Fresh field peas take about 40 minutes or so to cook up.  I usually just cook them in a pot on the stove, regular style (no pressure cooker or slow cooker).  Salt them in the beginning if your broth isn’t robustly seasoned and add the spicy peppers of your choice then as well if you don’t have to coddle tender young palates.  Otherwise embellish your own bowl as desired.

DON’T FORGET THE CORNBREAD!!!!