Farmer’s Market Friday: Blackberry Lime Mini-Muffins

It’s blackberry season folks!

Funny thing, we discovered we have a field of wild blackberry bushes on our property. As if I did not already absolutely love my yard, now I love it even more!

In the past 3 weeks we have filled about 3 sandwich bags full of those sweet, tiny wild blackberries. Wild blackberry picking is not for the faint of heart…let me tell you.  Between all the thorns and the snake scares out there yonder in the yard, ’twas a but of a harrowing experience, but sooo worth it.

These muffins are oozing with berries in every bite and so moist you could eat them with a spoon. The almond flour streusel adds a nice crunchy topping.

Blackberry Lime Muffins

Almond flour, honey, almond butter, grass-fed butter and lime zest  and fresh eggs make this a wholesome muffin I don’t feel guilty about eating as a quick snack!

In other news here on the urban farm, about a week ago my husband told me to come outside.  It was 6 a.m., but I figured, ok, I am guessing he has something to show me. There in our little coop of 4  chicks was one of the “ladies” making a scratchy crowing noise while ruffling “her ” feathers.

Oh, it could be a coincidence , we thought. So, the next morning, we went back outside , and again, faint, scratchy, baby crowing sounds.

I believe  have an impostor on our hands. Isn’t he pretty, though? He better be a nice l’l rooster or he will quickly become a stew.  On to the rooster adventures!

rooster

Speckled Sussex Rooster

 

In Love and Health,

Lydia

Blackberry Lime Mini-Muffins

Serves 12
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 27 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Tree Nuts
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Misc Freezable
These vibrant blackberry lime streusel muffins are packed with hidden, healthy ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons grassfed butter (room temperature)
  • 1-1.5 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 2 small limes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup turbinado or raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond butter(can be replaced with 4 more Tablespoons of butter)

Streusel

  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup turbinado/raw sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons grassfed butter (cold)

Note

This is a forgiving recipe. Substitute the blackberries for blueberries or the lime juice for lemon juice for a different twist. The streusel topping is optional, but adds a nice crunch and texture to these muffins.

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a few mini muffin tins. Zest the limes and keep the zest and juice together in a small bowl. Beat together the butter, almond butter, sugar, and sour cream for 2 minutes. Beat in honey, then eggs for another minute. Stir in lime juice and the zest of both limes.
Step 2
Stir together the flours, salt and baking powder in another bowl to combine. Stir these dry ingredients with a wooden spoon into the wet ingredients until just combined. Toss the blackberries with 1 extra Tablespoon of extra flour in a separate small bowl, then carefully fold the berries into the muffin mixture.
Step 3
Combine the dry streusel ingredients in a small bowl. Cut in the 3 Tablespoons of cold butter with a fork or pastry cutter. The mixture will be crumbly. Keep in the refrigerator covered until ready to use.
Step 4
Spoon the muffin mixture in to the muffin tins and top with streusel topping. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Eat the muffins within 24-48 hours. You can store any extra streusel in the freezer.

 

 

PMS Bread

I am pissed off for no reason other than that it’s time of the month . This happens to us ladies once per month. No, no one has done anything to me. I am just pissy. The man keeps asking what he did. Poor thing. If only men could understand what it feels like to just be moody ….crave chocolate… and cry for no reason.

I want chocolate.  I want butter. I do not want to work out.

I have the desire to eat that entire $2.00 bag of mini Reese’s cups hidden in the back of the pantry .That bag I never should have bought at Big Lots a week ago.But it  was on sale. And I love Reese’s even if I only eat them a couple times per year. Sigh.

I decided to resist that  temptation for a healthy, wholesome, yet decadent tread: Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

The word “zucchini” is misleading, because, friends, you will not even know it hides in the folds of the dark, creamy batter.Promise. I have tested it on numerous non-health-food-eating friends in the last month, and everyone says the same thing,

“MMM…That is good. So rich. What is that..that flavor?I can’t place it?”

It’s actually NOT the zucchini you taste when you bite into the moist, rich, warm chocolatey goodness, but just a hint of allspice.

This loaf holds up incredibly well for days  because e it becomes more moist the day after you bake it, and is the perfect treat to bring to your neighbor’s house, your coworkers’ party, or  you can slather a thick layer of almond butter on top  and eat standing up in your kitchen when you come home starving from work.( Not that I have done that.)

Your friends will think they are eating an unhealthy chocolate loaf, when in reality they will be eating mostly superfoods like coconut oil, honey, cocoa powder, almond butter, zucchini, and whole grains.

BAM!

You can’t beat  that.

Numerous studies show that people think foods taste worse if they are healthy or vegan. In a recent study, a  group of people was given different energy bars and asked to rate flavor between  them.

They were first given a Powerbar, the chocolatey kind that tastes like a Snickers, and told it was  just an energy bar. They were then given another bar, and told it was a vegan energy bar.

They rated the vegan bar as having a funky taste. Except…… THE VEGAN BAR WAS SECRETLY THE SAME!

PERCEPTION about health foods can easily become your reality. It just goes to show, you don’t need to tell anyone this bread is healthy or includes zucchini.

It will be our secret.

All that your health-food- hating friends or husbands or boyfriends  will notice about this bread is how flavorful and decadent it tastes, not the list of , gasp, “healthy” ingredients.

 

And with that, I guess I will pick myself up off this chair and head for workout # 2 today. This 90 -day challenge will be the death of me.  The man  is just behind me by 5 points. I can’t miss a workout this week!

 

To Your Health,

Lydia

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (PMS Bread)

Serves 15
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes
Allergy Egg, Tree Nuts
Meal type Bread, Snack

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Almond Butter, creamy
  • 4 tablespoons butter, preferably organic or grassfed
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar in the raw or sucanat
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 4 cups zucchini, grated finely
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Directions

Step 1
Combine and whisk together all the dry ingredients except chocolate chips and zucchini.
Step 2
Beat the honey, sugar, butter, coconut oil, and almond butter well until combined and foamy. Beat in 1 egg at a time.Add vanilla.
Step 3
Stir dry ingredients into liquid ingredients and beat until just combined.
Step 4
Stir in zucchini and chocolate with a large spoon carefully.
Step 5
Bake at 350 degrees in a large loaf pan for 45 minutes or until center is not liquidy. Test with toothpick in center for doneness. Can be made in 2 medium loaf pans, as well, as this makes around 15 servings.
Step 6
Slather with almond butter and eat warm out of the oven!

 

 

NCCC Day

NCCC Day.

You do know what that acronym means right? No? Well that’s because I made it up just now. Its stands for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, which just so happens to be today.

I try to eat healthy most of the time, and the indulgence happens usually on a weekend and is in the form of dessert, alcohol, or every once in a while some good ‘ole soul food. I do live in the South.

BUT I guess I will take one for the team today and break my general habits of  avoiding sugar and flour during the weekdays. If it is NCCC Day, so be it.

 

My  problem with chocolate chip cookies lies in the fact that every cook, baker, and blogger  has beaten it into the ground. Everyone seems to have discovered the “best” recipe or be on a quest for it. I am not in any way saying  there is anything wrong with those people, but I just feel there are enough chocolate chip cookie recipes in the world to feed every hungry child in Africa if we all made a different recipe.

 

I was not even planning on creating my own recipe, but rather pointing you to my personal favorite recipe on Eat Live Run or to the one in the  Back in the Day Bakery cookbook , which is similar. I prefer a chewy, thick and gooey cookie myself.

My creativity got the better of me when I pulled out the butter, and I decided, “NOOOO!” I do not want  to use white flour and sugar because that is not what I represent and that is not what this blog represents!  I can  make a recipe that tastes sinful and chewy, but is made with healthier ingredients. A recipe that will not make me feel like taking a nap afterwards . A recipe  that will energize me for a run or make a worthy snack.

I scoured the pantry, pulled out a hodge- podge of ingredients,  and hoped for the best, eagerly watching them as they baked to see if any disaster befell them: flattening, exploding, burning..you know… all the usual things that happen in my kitchen when I make up recipes. That’s when they go to the chickens.

The cookies looked surprisingly…perfect.Wait…Do I even dare use that word in the same sentence with anything asociated with me?

But they were very smooth, fluffy, round, oozy, and  looked  appetizing and bakery-like.

I waited in anticipation for the taste test, which happened exactly .2 seconds after I pulled them out the oven and burned my mouth eating it.

Verdict:Uh-maz-ing-ness

Did I mention that your friends will not even know they contain no white flour, white sugar, and very little butter?

I test every recipe with one simple question: Does it taste healthy? Because, to me, the answer should be a resounding “NO”.

These are decadent and rich. Exactly the way I like them.

 

Excuse me while I pour a glass of almond milk and dip in my cookie.

Wholesome Chocolate Chip Cookies

Allergy Egg, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Freezable
These chewy, rich chocolate chip cookies pack healthy punch.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat Pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (fine)
  • 1/2 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sucanat or natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (large size)

Optional

  • 3/4 cups cherries (dried)

Directions

Step 1
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda.
Step 2
Cream almond butter, butter, coconut oil, sucanat, and honey together.
Step 3
Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla.
Step 4
Add flour mixture to wet egg mixture. Beat until blended.
Step 5
Carefully stir in chocolate chips and cherries.
Step 6
Scoop 2 T of dough into a ball(should be a large ball) onto a pan lined with parchment paper and repeat with remaining dough.
Step 7
Bake cookies at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. The cookies should be soft when taken out of the oven.