Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Increasingly I am carpooling to work with teacher pals so that Lori has the car to both transport herself around in the late stages of pregnancy and to make getting Jonah to preschool easier a couple mornings a week.

That means I have to get up early, and getting up earlier than I did when I drove to school means that I REALLY don't eat breakfast now. That is, unless I have something in the freezer to thaw and munch on my way to or when I get to school.

That something is muffins. I love baking them, and I love eating them. I have a few recipes that are standards that I make large batches of (Texas sized, of course) and keep on hand in the freezer. So, in the spirit of my Starbucks post not so long ago, I would like to offer my top muffin recipes:
1. Carrot Raisin muffins
Note: I always replace the oil with unsweetened applesauce in this recipe, and for a real walk on the wild side, substitute half the carrot with shredded zucchini. You MUST soak the raisins with this one. Always moist, always good. 5 m's out of 5.
2a. Cornmeal muffins with blueberries
This reminds me of johnnycake with my best friends Gary and Jackie, who are West Indian. Love the texture and colour of these muffins. Gotta try it- good fibre in this one too. 4.5 m's out of 5.
2b. Oatmeal muffins with blueberries, raspberries or cranberries
RIGHT ON. Oatmeal AND berries. I adapt this recipe- you guessed it. Substitute applesauce for oil and buttermilk for milk. I use a cup of berries to each cup of buttermilk, though it's not called for. Also, a tablespoon of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla. 4.5 m's out of 5 (though it's climbing in my book).
4. Applesauce Oat Muffins
This recipe is great, although a little plain. I love that it uses whole wheat flour and buttermilk. 4 m's out of 5.
5. yogurt muffins with berries au choix
We sometimes have opened yogurt that sits in our fridge for a while before it goes bad. When there is a critical mass of two or three opened yogurt containers that leaves enough for a batch, these muffins have been known to emerge from our oven. You can't replace all the butter with applesauce or these ones burn too easily.

They are a little sticky and sweet, but yummy nonetheless, and ecologically responsible (hey, finding a better use forold unspoiled yogurt is better for the earth than a toilet flush)... 4 m's out of 5.

You know how I feel about oil in muffins, but I also always include 50% whole wheat flour (in addition to using unbleached white flour). I also only use fresh frozen local Nova Scotia blueberries. Those grape sized high bush ones are an abomination.

I will also post some of my least favourite muffins:
1. Meadow muffins... need I say more?
2. Love muffins. I wonder about people who call their loved ones "muffin." It's a baked good, not a person to have and to hold. You wouldn't call them "my little love quiche," so why devalue the muffin?
3. Any of the cakey things that pass for muffins at donut shops. Yuck.

4. Costco muffins...Too cakey, and way too much muffin for one person to eat in a sitting.
5. Muffins with nuts. Not a big fan.

Hit me back people. Let us dialogue about the culinary delight that is muffins. (Hey, if we blog about muffins, are we bluffin? EEEWWW... Sorry about that one...)

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