Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fruity-herby muffiny goodness

I rubbed my fingers against a head of lavender and then brought them up to my nostrils. A sweet, elegant aroma. In a stroke of genius, I said to myself, "Imma gonna make a muffin out of that."

Just in time for late spring, with the garden overflowing with fresh lavender and the farmer's market abounding in bright red sugary strawberries, I've formulated a recipe that brings these two things together in the form of a vegan breakfast pastry. These muffins have a sweet but delicate flavor and seem to beg to be consumed alongside a soy latte (which I haven't tried yet but I'm sure they would go together amazingly).

Muffins aux fraises et lavande 
(Yeah, I'm kinda into giving things French names now; deal with it.)

• 3-4 heads fresh lavender, rinsed and dried (I dried mine in the toaster oven for 30 minutes at 150°F, but air drying is fine, too.)
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar, or white sugar)
• 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup vegan margarine
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 3/4 cup soy milk
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease at 12-cup muffin tin.

2. Remove lavender blossoms from the stem and place in a food processor with sugar. Mix until the lavender seems to be broken up and the sugar takes on a purplish-greenish tint. Add sucanat (if using), flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse to combine. Cut in the margarine in pieces and pulse until well-combined. Empty the mixture into a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce, soy milk, and vanilla. Mix well. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix just enough to combine. Fold in strawberries.

4. Fill muffin cups almost to the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before consuming.

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