March 2, 2012

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

One of my favourite cookbooks ever is Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family by Ken Haedrich. From soup to nuts, it's really an amazing resource for vegetarians, of course, but also for those of us that like to dip our toe (or maybe even all the way up to our hip?) into meatless meals.
At least once a month, we make our version of Ken's fantastic muffins. Nobody around here likes poppy seeds, and frozen blueberries are easier (and cheaper, natch) to have on hand, but otherwise we follow it to a T. If you're looking for a not-too-sweet, fairly healthy and easy-peasy recipe that will fast become a fave, look no further. And if you want to knock them out really quickly (on a Sunday morning, say?), set up the dry ingredients in a bowl the night before and whip the wet ingredients up and in as the oven's warming. And the Pretty-Good-For-You Butterless Streusel? Make a double batch and throw it in the freezer, 'cuz you're going to want to use it ON EVERYTHING. I kid, of course, but it is pretty awesome. Without further ado:
Stina's Blueberry-Cornmeal Muffins
  • 1 1/2 large very ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 flavorless vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds (optional)
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
Butter or lightly oil 12 muffin cups and dust them with flour (I oftentimes use liners instead). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the banana, egg, and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Blend in the oil and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the poppy seeds if you're using them. Make a well in the dry mixture, add the liquid, and stir until the batter is uniformly mixed, folding in the blueberries at the end.
Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups and sprinkle each one with a little of the toppping if you're using it. Bake the muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, until done; the tops will be resistant to gentle finger pressure. Cool the muffins in the cups for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove them and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve at any temperature.
Pretty-Good-For-You Butterless Streusel
  • 1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. instant or noninstant rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flavorless vegetable or canola oil
Put the brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 10 seconds to chop up the oats. Add the walnuts and process for 5 to 10 seconds, until finely chopped but not clumpy. Finally, pulse the machine several times as your drizzle in the oil; don't overmix. Transfer the mixture to a plastic bag and freeze until needed.