The draw to pick up a muffin with your coffee on the way to work can be hard to resist. But what’s really in that muffin?
Baking at home allows you to choose your ingredients, avoid allergens and incorporate your ethical choices about food. I know it can seem overwhelming, time consuming and sometimes tedious, but I have a simple fix for you: a good base recipe!
Just like setting the foundation – hands and feet – in yoga allows you to build from the primary poses into more advanced variations, having a good base muffin recipe allows for a reliable quick cake that can handle varying flavours and textures. You can ensure you always have the ingredients you need on hand, so when the urge to bake arises, you’re ready to go.
To save time, make a double or triple batch every few weeks, then freeze them. Take a few out of the freezer whenever you want and pop into the toaster oven. You’ll pull out perfectly baked muffins every time!
Here’s my favourite base muffin recipe. I’ve included variations I like to do in brackets and flavour combinations at the end. This recipe can easily be made wheat-free, dairy free, or vegan.
3 cups all-purpose flour (or spelt flour, or 1/2 spelt and 1/2 all-purpose, or other combos of flours you like)
1 1/2 cups bran (or oats)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
In a separate bowl combine:
3 cups applesauce (or 4 apples, blended smooth in food processor with 1/4 cup water)
7 oz grapeseed oil (or melted unsalted butter)
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup water)
3/4 cup sugar (or maple syrup — add only 2 1/4 cups apple sauce)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Scoop into muffin cups using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon. Bake at 375F for 18 minutes. Makes 20 muffins.
Sweet potato and date – Add 2 cups cooked sweet potato (cubed 1/4″x1/4″) and 1 cup chopped dates to dry ingredients. Save 20 pieces of sweet potato to decorate centre of muffins before baking.
Apple walnut – Add 2 cups apple (cubed 1/4”x1/4”) and 1 cup chopped walnuts to dry ingredients.
Zucchini cranberry walnut – Add 2 cups grated zucchini to wet ingredients (add only 2 cups applesauce). Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1 cup chopped walnuts to dry ingredients.
Banana chocolate chip – Add 1 cup chocolate chips to dry ingredients. Replace applesauce with 4 ripe mashed bananas.