Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lemony Elderberry Muffins

Sometimes it’s a good idea to look past the supermarket and even the farmers’ market for recipe inspiration. Take for instance these elderberries. Our local part has a large plantation of elderberry shrubs and recently I ventured into the wilds and brought home a backpack full of them.

Research shows that elderberries blast past most other berries when it comes to health-hiking antioxidant power. Why? Well, they have a very high skin to flesh ratio and much of the antioxidants in the berries are found in the outer skin. This is the same reason why smaller wild blueberries have been shown to contain a bigger antioxidant wallop than their larger cultivated counterparts.

Elderberries should be cooked before consuming them. Most often, I just place a bunch in a pot with some cinnamon and lemon juice and simmer for about 15 minutes. I then use the resulting syrupy elderberry as a topping for my morning oatmeal. Many people make jams and jellies with the fruit. But this recipe is proof they are also awesome in muffins.

No elderberries? The muffins, which get a little zing from lemon zest, can be made with blueberries. If following a gluten-free diet, a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend can also be employed.

Lemony Elderberry (or Blueberry!) Muffins

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup melted coconut oil or a neutral oil like canola
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup elderberries

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, ginger powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and stir in milk, yogurt, oil, sugar, honey and lemon zest. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently. Fold in elderberries.

Divide batter among 12 standard sized silicon or greased metal muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out nearly clean. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before unmoulding and then cool further on metal racks. 

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