Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Strawberry Lavender Muffins and Another Cookbook



I love the idea of writing about significant - and not so significant - cookbooks and why they sit on my shelves. I've written about the ones that make their way to the kitchen by themselves and I wrote about one from a different category - the romantic trip souvenir.

Sometimes we don’t even have to leave Toronto to spend a romantic weekend. A favorite haunt of ours is Fresh on Queen Street West. It’s on the trendy, artsy part of the strip away from the traditional shopping area, where the grungy mixes with artists and those living in the “gentrified” homes and lofts built in converted warehouses. In the summer there’s a large patio giving everyone a great people watching experience in addition to the tasty dishes.

Fresh is a vegetarian restaurant we like to go to even though, as I’ve said before, we are die hard carnivores. They make some great burgers, my favorite is a Thai concoction that really makes your mouth come alive. And they are renowned for their awesome juices that cure whatever ails you. Got a cold? Need a cleanse? How about a pro athlete shake to get you ready for your workout? They have those and more.

So naturally I had to buy their book Fresh At Home. First for the juice recipes (but I never did get around to buying a juicer) and then for the rice and noodle bowls, salads and other mouthwatering recipes. Somehow the book only gets taken out rarely - too many ingredients I don’t normally keep on hand. But I did make some strawberry lavender muffins the other day and they are tasty. In fact, they got eaten up so quickly, I had to make another batch today. Stain factor 0

Strawberry Lavender Muffins

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
Makes 18 medium muffins


Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup vanilla soymilk
¾ cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp dried lavender
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
4 cups light spelt flour
¼ cup sugar (Fresh calls for raw, unrefined, but I just used regular)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup diced fresh strawberries (I didn’t think it would be enough, but I’m glad I didn’t add more)
1/3 cup canola oil

Directions:
1. Prepare muffin tins and preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

2. Heat the soymilk, maple syrup and lavender in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Watch it closely, mine bubbled over naturally!!!

3. Remove from the heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and add the applesauce. Set aside and cool completely.

4. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, add strawberries and toss to coat.

5. Add the milk mixture and the oil to the dry and mix gently until the batter comes together. Try not to overmix.

6. Scoop into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out dry.

7. Remove from muffin tins and set on a rack to cool.

Stay tuned for the next category of cookbooks on my shelf - the "Why DID I Buy This?" category.

7 comments:

Pille said...

Hi Ruth, this looks interesting and I have some lavender at my window sill, so I'd like to give it a try. But how much lavender is needed?

Joe said...

Ruth, the muffins look incredible. I love playing with different herbs, especially lavender with baking. Thanks for sharing this!

Ruth said...

Pille, thanks for pointing out my slip up. How can anyone make lavender muffins if there's no lavender in the recipe?

I've edited the post, but fyi, it's 1 1/2 tbsp dried lavender - I think the flowers from your plant should be fine.

Joe, I thought I'd try something new with herbs although I usually stick with tried and true. So lavender in anything other than a bath is a novelty. Glad I tried it.

Ruth said...

Pille, thanks for pointing out my slip up. How can anyone make lavender muffins if there's no lavender in the recipe?

I've edited the post, but fyi, it's 1 1/2 tbsp dried lavender - I think the flowers from your plant should be fine.

Joe, I thought I'd try something new with herbs although I usually stick with tried and true. So lavender in anything other than a bath is a novelty. Glad I tried it.

Pille said...

Thanks, Ruth! I've printed out the recipe now:)

Shauna said...

Well, as always, you've given me another idea for the cooking weekend! Strawbery lavender? I love it.

kitchenmage said...

Lavender and berries are sublime together, aren't they? I think I like raspberries with it best...so far at least. I use it in all sorts of places, some where you'd least expect it; have you tried a handful on oven roasted potatoes?