Apple Beet Sourdough Muffins

My jar of newly acquired sourdough starter was bubbling to the brim, but since I didn’t yet have any whole-grain flour on hand to make bread, I deliberated over what other sourdough delicacy I could give a try. I finally decided on muffins for a special breakfast to ring in the New Year. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was sliding tins of Apple Beet Sourdough Muffins into the oven — patched together from a recipe for Pumpkin Sourdough Muffins from Reformation Acres, and successful past experiments with Applesauce Oat Muffins and Ginger Beet Bars — fingers crossed that they would turn out okay. Thankfully, they turned out more than okay, moist and subtly sweet, with the distinctly but not overpowering earthy undertones of beet. Well-received by the whole household. Here’s to a year of creativity and wholesome fun!

Apple Beet Sourdough Muffins
(Made a little shy of two dozen)

3 cups oat flour (ground up whole oats)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, to taste
1 teaspoon ginger (optional, to taste) or other desired seasonings
1 cup golden beet puree (from 4-5 medium golden beets)
1 cup sourdough starter
2-3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional, I put them in half)

Combine beet puree and oat flour, then gradually stir in the starter, vanilla, and maple syrup. Let soak overnight, or at least for a few hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F, then beat in eggs, applesauce, and baking soda just until combined. Fold in walnuts if desired, spoon into well-greased muffin tins, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, before turning onto racks. Unique and wonderful!

Posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Breakfast, Garden Originals, Gluten Free, Snacks and Sweets, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Llapingachos con Salsa de Maní

An Ambato specialty, and one of my favorite dishes from Ecuador, which I can never quite recreate. I’ve tried a few times to make them the way my host mother taught me, only to have them fall short. Today I tried a slightly different method, thanks once again to Laylita’s Recipes. Wow. These were closest I’ve gotten yet, and absolutely amazing! Definitely the best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. I served these topped with a simple peanut sauce and a chicken soup (made from the chicken and roasted vegetables also leftover from Christmas dinner), but I will have to try them again some time with their traditional accompaniments of avocado, fried egg or meat, curtido, and ají (A mild Ecuadorian hot sauce).

As a shortcut, I fried two onions with achiote and salt, then reserved some for the peanut sauce before mixing the rest into the mashed potatoes.

Chopped onion
Generous sprinkle achiote and salt, or to taste
Leftover mashed potatoes (best right out of the fridge)

Saute onion for a few minutes until soft, then add achiote and salt and cook for a minute longer, stirring constantly to minimize sticking. Mix with chilled mashed potatoes, form into golf-size balls and flatten into thick discs. Heat an ungreased cast-iron skillet or griddle and cook on medium heat until golden on both sides. Yum!

Salsa de Mani (Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup liquid (I used chicken broth from the soup, typically made with milk)
Chopped onion
Generous sprinkle achiote, salt, and cumin, to taste
Minced cilantro and green onion (optional, I didn’t include)

Whisk together peanut butter and half of the liquid. In a small skillet, sauté onion with achiote until soft (or use reserved onion from making the llapingachos). Add peanut mixture, cumin, and remaining liquid to the pan, and simmer about 3-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened to your liking. Stir in cilantro and onion if desired. Spoon over llapingachos (or papas en cascara, small potatoes boiled whole in their skins) and enjoy!

Posted in Gluten Free, Out of the Frypan, Sauces, Condiments, and Dips, Vegan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Applesauce Oat Muffins

Wanted to make Christmas breakfast a bit special, but needed something quick and easy, since we already had a lot to fit into the morning: snow shoveling (my first white Christmas!), opening gifts, attending service… These muffins, adapted from a recipe from Bren Did, were perfect for the occasion! Simple to throw together from a few wholesome ingredients, hearty and delicious. Next time, I’d like to try the toasting method she recommends, and perhaps wait to add the leavening until I’m ready to bake them.

Applesauce Oat Muffins
(Makes 2 dozen)

5 cups rolled oats (3 cups ground into a course flour in a food processor)
2 cups applesauce
3 eggs (flax eggs should also work)
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 cups milk of your choice (I used watered down yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix together wet ingredients in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (possibly excluding the leavening if soaking for several hours). Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring just until incorporated. Cover and let soak for at least 10 minutes, or if possible, stick in the fridge for several hours or overnight). Preheat oven to 350°F, stir in leavening if necessary, grease muffin tins, and bake for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!

Posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Breakfast, Garden Originals, Gluten Free, Holidays, Quick and easy, Snacks and Sweets, Vegan | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment