Thursday, October 7, 2010

Muffins for Giants

After going to a couple of games, I started mildly caring about baseball this year. Then The Giants started to actually win and started caring a little more.

At the ballpark, I did what any somewhat self-respecting spectator would do: ODed on chicken tenders, garlic fries, regular fries, Ghiradelli hot fudge sundaes, and even a hot dog. Not to mention the BBQ, chips, and beer consumed among my fellow cable-less citizens at local bars while watching the game.

The Giants won the west (whatever that means) and now it's time to make some (admittedly most likely very temporary) post-season changes. We're talking major cut-backs on refined flour, sugar, dairy, fried foods, and all that is good in the world but bad for you. I turned to these muffins from Chocolate & Tea to get me through it all.

These are amazingly not whole wheat tasting and, minus the small amount of sugar, actually good for you. I got my roommate stoked on them and then dropped the WWNF-bomb (whole-wheat non-fat) on her. Plus, the basic batter is so versatile, I included a Carrot-Walnut version. Feel free to experiment with spices and different fold-ins!

The use of whole wheat PASTRY flour, which contains less protein than regular old whole wheat flour is what makes these fiberlicious things beyond edible. Most major grocery stores carry it, and your local health food store should definitely have it. I got mine in bulk from Rainbow Grocery for $0.79/lb.

Fluffy Whole Wheat Anykine Muffins
slightly adapted from Chocolate & Tea
makes 12 muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk in one batch and low-fat plain yogurt in another)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and spices if using them.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the liquid ingredients: milk, applesauce, honey, and vanilla.

Next, pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until completely incorporated.

Fold in any mix-ins (berries, nuts, chocolate chips, carrots, etc).

Divide batter into 12 greased muffin tins, lined or unlined -- your call!

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes*, or until tops turn golden brown and you can pull a clean toothpick out of the center. Let muffins cool before removing from pan. Keep in mind baking times are loose since ovens vary greatly -- I had to bake mine for about an extra 10 minutes.

For Blueberry Muffins, fold 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) into batter just before baking.

Carrot-Walnut Muffins:
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup walnuts, preferably toasted

Mix spices with dry ingredients. Prepare batter as directed and fold in carrot and walnuts before baking.

Note that these are not sweet like your usual store-bought muffin (which, c'mon, is really just a euphemism for a cupcake without frosting).

Let's go Giants!

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