Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kamut Mulberry Muffins

Featured Ingredient: Mulberries and Kamut flour

Well, this will be last Muffin Tin Mania post for a few weeks as Tabi and I get ready to depart on Saturday for a self-supported cycling trip in the mountains of Thailand and Laos. So I thought I would go out in style and feature two really cool ingredients you may want to work into more of your baked goods.

Most people know that silk worms love to nosh on the leaves of mulberry trees, but not a lot of North Americans have sunk their teeth into the delicious fruits they produce. You won’t find fresh mulberries here, but the dried ones are increasingly popping up in stores. Among their many nutritional highlights is a bonanza of vitamin C. With sniffle season in full-swing, you’ll want to make sure that you load up your diet with vitamin C rich edibles. Mulberries are also a surprising source of iron to keep energy levels up.

Each bite unleashes an amazing burst of sweetness – truly one of natures candies. I’ve seen dried mulberries at my local bulk shop but turn to the fine folks over at Navitus Naturals for a reliable source. Add them to baked good batters, oatmeal, pancakes and yogurt.

Khorasan wheat, which is most often sold under the brand KAMUT®, is an ancient Egyptian wheat and a great alternative to standard wheat flour. It is a heirloom wheat with a natural sweetness that contains a higher percentage of nutrients than today’s hybridized standard wheat. Though it contains gluten, some with wheat sensitivities have reported better tolerance to KAMUT® flour. It is also grown organically and never genetically modified to further up its health cachet.

You’ve probably seen KAMUT® pasta, which is truly one of the more delicious options out there, but look for the flour as well at well-stocked bakery and health food stores.

It tends to absorb more water during cooking, so make sure your batter is nice and moist. For this reason, I added the additional water in this recipe. You can peruse http://www.kamut.com/ to learn more.

I incorporated some pear mash to add natural sweetness and moisture allowing the highly spiced muffins to have less fat and added sweetener. You can also use pureed apples, if desired.

Try one or both of these unconventional items and let me know what your judgment is.

Kamut Mulberry Muffins

2 pears, peeled and diced

1 cup Kamut flour or other flour of choice

1 cup quick cooking rolled oats

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup palm or other sugar of choice

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup dried mulberries

In a small saucepan, cook pears until very moist. Mash pears with a fork or potato masher and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.

In a separate bowl, light beat eggs and combine with pear puree, sugar, vegetable oil, water and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into wet and fold in 3/4 cup mulberries. Divide mixture among 12 muffin cups and top batter with remaining mulberries. Bake for 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool before unmolding.