Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Apple Cinnamon Millet Muffins & Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Rather than playing the blame game, in which I would come up with a list of reasons why I haven't blogged IN OVER A YEAR, I am going to take my own high road and jump right into a new post. So there.

A while ago, my friend Sarah and I participated in a weekend yoga retreat at Shanti on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario. I have written about the retreat in two blog posts already ( AND ).

I remember fondly the ‘silent breakfast’ in the mornings and Sarah and I trying hard to keep it together as the other guest at our table would not stop talking. All the yogis were giving her dirty looks (in a non-judgmental yogi way, of course). Hilarity. I also remember the walking meditation and me, after walking for about 15 minutes, walking right back into my room because I COULD NOT HANDLE WALKING MEDITATION. It’s just not for me, OK? Get off my back!

Since that retreat, I have tried and tested many of the recipes in the Shanti cookbook that I brought home with me. Pretty much everything has been fabulous and I make our favourites often.

Today I am sharing the Shanti recipe for Apple Cinnamon Millet muffins. On the day that Sarah and I ventured into town for a walk, these muffins were waiting for us upon our return. There was a basket on the food table just as we walked in the door and the foyer smelled like apple pie. The muffins were nestled in a plaid napkin, with preserves and knives alongside ready and waiting to be used. We each had a muffin and wondered if it would be greedy to go back for another one. Yes, yes it would, so we didn’t. Instead, I bought the cookbook and made them as soon as I returned to Toronto.

The recipe in the book is for Apple Cinnamon Millet muffins, and I am also providing an adapted recipe for banana chocolate chip muffins. As always, my adaptations to the original recipe appear in brackets.

Important to note is that if you have any kind of thyroid issue you probably should leave the millet out ( You’ve been warned.

Shanti’s Apple Cinnamon Millet Muffins

Ingredients for the muffins:

2 cups spelt flour
2/3 cup millet
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt

1 cup non-dairy milk (I use almond milk or buttermilk – all to say, you can go dairy or not – it’s all good)
½ cup apple sauce (I use unsweetened or I puree some of the baked apples in lieu of the sauce)
½ cup maple syrup (this can easily be cut back)
1/3 cup coconut oil (I melt it for easier blending)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups baked apples (Or any fruit – you can use berries if you like, or peaches, or rhubarb. Fresh or frozen, but not thawed.)

Ingredients for the baked apples:

5 apples, peeled and diced (3 cups)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cinnamon (I also add pinches of mace, nutmeg, allspice, and powdered ginger)
1-2 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup (I leave this out completely. Apples are sweet enough.)

For the baked apples:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and dice the apples into 1 inch cubes (I don’t quite make them into cubes. They are more like chunks.) Place the apples in a baking dish with the coconut oil and the spices (and the sugar, if desired). Stir and bake for 30 minutes, stirring at least once during that time.

I actually do this on the stovetop in a pot. I stir often, on medium heat. It doesn’t take 30 minutes. Up to you.

For the muffins:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees farenheit. Line muffin cups with oil, butter, or a spray of oil. This recipe claims it makes 12 muffins but I consistently get a yield of 16.

Measure dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Measure and then melt the coconut oil in the microwave (about 45 sec).

Whisk together the wet ingredients (except the baked apples) in another bowl or use a blender (I like the blender).

Combine wet with dry until just absorbed. 

Fold in the baked apples.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pans.

Bake for 25 minutes. Let them sit in the pan for 1 minute before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool. You might need the help of a knife to get them out of the pan.

Try not to eat them all in one sitting.

P.S. These spoil very quickly so I recommend keeping half the yield in the fridge, and the other half in the freezer.

The banana chocolate chip version is below:

Ingredients for the muffins:

2 cups spelt flour
2/3 cup millet (I leave the millet out of this recipe because my kids don’t like millet)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

1 ¼ cup non-dairy milk (I increase the liquid because the bananas replacing the apple sauce are not as wet as the applesauce. You can use buttermilk or almond milk.)
½ cup mashed bananas (to replace the apple sauce)
1/4 cup maple syrup (less syrup because bananas are naturally sweet)
1/3 cup coconut oil (I melt it for easier blending)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups mashed banana

The method is the same.

Measure dry ingredients into a large bowl (except for the chocolate chips), and whisk together.

Measure and melt coconut oil. Measure rest of wet ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth (including the coconut oil).

Add wet to dry and whisk together until just blended.

Add chocolate chips.

Spoon into the prepared pans (I made 12 larger muffins this time), and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool for a minute before turning them out of the pan.