Creative Cooking: Currant Muffins

“Muffins again?”

For the past month my life has been drama, drama, drama – quite literally. A musical I wrote had its debut this past weekend so I had been busy directing rehearsals, working with AV for lights and sounds, producing, finalizing music, and everything else which goes into putting on a drama performance.

As such, the meals my family has eaten has been almost all crock pot meals because those I can throw together in the morning, and when we’re ready to eat in the evening, it’s ready for us. So stews, soups, chili, and the like have been our mainstays. To go with these dishes, I had been making muffins. Normally we only have muffins every so often, but after a week or two of eating muffins more regularly, I realized that our family was in a muffin rut. Blueberry, pumpkin, zucchini squash, and banana muffins seem to be our go-to muffins.

So, after a couple of weeks, I was wanting something different. As I perused the staples in my kitchen pantry, I found Zante currants leftover from our Christmas cookies. For folks not familiar with Zante currants, they’re basically just baby raisins. True currants, which we don’t often find in the States, are a different type of tart berry. (Anyone familiar with Anne of Green Gables knows the difficulties that homemade currant wine caused the literary heroine. *laugh*)

Because Zante currants are small and sweet, I figured they’d make for a nice muffin, so I pulled them out of the pantry and went to work. I didn’t want the currants to be hard in the muffin so I first soaked them in boiling water to soften them. Then, because I didn’t want the muffins to simply be the fruit sugars, I opted to puree cooked vegetables (we’ve now tried the muffins with cooked pureed carrots, butternut squash, and pumpkin – all three have worked well). I used a plant based oil (both safflower and grapeseed have worked well) and egg whites only to keep down the fat. I also simply used a store bought gluten free flour blend to keep things easy. I chose to use Agave for the moisture and added some cinnamon and cloves for taste. Even my middle child who doesn’t like “chunks” in muffins declared it a success.

Currant Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup boiling water

2 cups Zante currants

2 cups cooked pureed vegetable of choice (carrots, pumpkin, butternut squash, etc….)

3/4 cup liquid egg whites

2/3 cup plant oil (I’ve used both safflower and grapeseed)

1 cup Agave

3 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line 30 muffin cups with liners.
  2. Add the boiling water to the currants and let sit for at least five minutes.
  3. To the currants add the pureed vegetable of choice, the egg whites, the oil, and the Agave.  Mix well and set aside.
  4. Blend together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the vinegar and mix just until the dry ingredients are completely moistened.
  6. Evening divide the batter among the muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until muffins are puffed, golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

 

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