Friday, January 17, 2020

Beet and Chocolate Chip Muffins

I don’t always try to make healthy breakfasts. I mean, I made this bread pudding with chocolate chunks and custard sauce, but neither one of my kids liked it, for God’s sake! I don’t know if it was opposite day or what… But then I decided to make these coconut and date muffins that secretly have cauliflower in them. I was initially very put off by them, because the whole kitchen stank of cauliflower as they were baking, and I felt like I could really taste it. BUT, I froze half of the batch, and I have to say that when I got around to eating those muffins, even after warming them up in the microwave, they were quite good and I didn’t taste the cruciferous vegetable. It’s still not my favorite way to hide it (I think the savory cauliflower cake wins that hands down), but it was an interesting experiment.

The Engineer asked me to make apple muffins, so I made these with grated apple and no raisins, but they weren’t that great, and were not what he had in mind anyway. I’m still not sure what he had in mind. By that point, I wanted some great muffins, so I made these chocolate chip zucchini muffins from Kristine’s Kitchen, and they were perfect. They’re *so* pretty and are delicious to boot, the perfect combo!

We each had two, including the kids, and the Little Prince asked me to make them again. But, you know, I’ve already got similar recipes on here, I was embarrassed to share yet another one. And then I remembered something I had read in Parents magazine: switch things up by using raw grated beets instead of zucchini in bread and muffin recipes. Huh.

I tried it in my banana zucchini chocolate chip muffins, and it works! That being said, I really love the recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen, so I made it again with beets and I’ve adapted that one below. Note that you can also throw in a handful of rolled oats as a topping if you feel so inclined.

1 ½ cups peeled and grated raw beet (or zucchini, unpeeled and grated)
1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk substitute (i.e., 1 Tbsp. lemon juice + enough lactose-free milk to make 1 cup)
1/3 cup honey
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. lactose-free butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
½ cup chocolate chips (miniature will do)

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Grease a muffin tin and set aside.

If you are grating a fresh beet on the top, you probably won’t need to squeeze any liquid out of it. In my case, I was using grated beet that had been frozen and thawed, so I used paper towels to squeeze out the excess liquid. If you are using zucchini, squeeze out the liquid as well. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, honey, egg, vanilla, and melted butter.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix gently with a wooden spoon until almost combined. Fold in the grated beets and chocolate chips.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin (I like using an ice cream scoop for this). Top each muffin with a few extra chocolate chips or rolled oat flakes, if desired. Bake at 400 °F for 5 minutes, and then reduce oven temperature to 350 °F. Continue baking for 10-12 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing onto a wire rack.

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