muffins

Muffins for spring: Ramp Pesto Muffins and Carrot Purée Muffins

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Spring is the time for one of my favorite vegetables - the mildly garlicky wild greens known as ramps, wild garlic, ramsons and so on in English. Ramps are still too obscure to be cultivated much, so you can only get them for a short time - which is not a bad thing really, because then you can look forward to them for the rest of the year. Carrots on the other hand are available year-round, but locally grown spring carrots just seem to be sweeter and tastier.

The best way in my opinion to capture the essence of ramps is to turn it into a pesto, a very easy thing to do if you have a food processor. And I’ve recently discovered the joys of carrot purée - finely shredded carrots that are steam-braised with a little butter just until they are tender, then mashed. And then, you can turn the concentrated vegetable paste in either case into a delicious savory muffin.

These little muffins take a bit of effort to make, since you need to make a pesto or a puree of vegetables first. But they are worth it. The muffin batter itself is very easy. Make a batch at a time and freeze the extras. If you make them small enough, you can pull one out of the refrigerator in the morning and it will be defrosted and fresh-tasting at lunch time. continue reading...

Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 510 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 25-30 minutes to decorate the muffins (muffins are pre-made and frozen)

Type: Not Japanese, theme bento, vegetarian continue reading...

Bento no. 51: Vegetarian chili and mini muffins

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 550 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 5-10 minutes in the morning with pre-made components

Type: Vegetarian, not Japanese (Southwestern) continue reading...

Earl Grey Tea Muffins

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One more muffin recipe in this unplanned muffin mini-marathon. These are a bit sweeter than the other muffins I’ve posted, so are more suitable as in-between-meal snacks perhaps, or even at home for teatime. They are still not overly sweet though, and are featherly light and fragrant. Flecked throughout with fine tea leaves, they sort of taste like an Earl Grey milk tea in muffin form. You can see the tea when you split one open.

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Since each mini-muffin is only 60 calories (120 for regular sized ones), consider carrying these along instead of succumbing to a donut or pastry. continue reading...

Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

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I am definitely in a muffin phase at the moment, so I hope you don’t mind more muffin recipes! Muffins are the easiest thing to bake, and are great to tote along for in-between meal snacks as well as lunch. And having a good stash of muffins in the freezer, ready to go at a moment’s notice on the busiest day, makes you feel a bit smug about how organized you are.

I love corn muffins, with the little crunchy grains. Here are two types of corn muffins, that are just lightly sweet and therefore perfect to accompany a soup, a spicy chili, and so on. One is a pumpkin or winter squash and yogurt muffin, and the other is a classic buttermilk muffin, the kind they used to serve in coffee shops in New York - do they still?

They can be made into mini-size or regular size; the mini muffins are about 75 calories each, and the regular size about 150 calories each.

These two recipes use eggs and dairy products so are not vegan. They do use vegetable oil rather than butter, to keep them on the healthy and light side. continue reading...

Two types of savory vegan muffins: Pumpkin-miso and Carrot-onion-hazelnuts

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I think mini muffins are great for bentos. They are tiny, easy and fast to make, freeze beautifully, and defrost naturally by lunchtime if you take them out of the freezer in the morning. They are handy snacks to eat when your energy is running low but you don’t have time to stop and eat properly, and are also great accompaniments to a soup or salad.

Here are two savory muffin recipes that also happen to be vegan. continue reading...