Saturday, April 7, 2012

The buzz word

This post may seem a little discombobulated. I have several things I’d like to discuss in terms of muffins, breakfast foods, and the latest health-buzz words. Are you excited? I am!

First off, coconut seems to be in everything these days. Coconut water. Coconut oil. Shredded coconut. Coconut for your hair, for your tummy, for your skin. I did a little google searching on coconut oil to find out how and why it might be good for you. My searching was rather inconclusive. It seems coconut oil is just like every other fat, ok in moderation. Shocking, huh? Don't worry, I'm still going to use it, just you know, in moderation. Moderation is eating only 2 muffins, not 3, see moderation!

The other day at work I was looking at a muffin recipe that spoke to me. Literally. It said “MAKE ME NOW!!!! OR PERISH!!!” What’s a girl to do when she’s stuck at work and something like this happens? One of my favorite charge nurses happened to be walking by. I showed her the picture of the muffins. I explained that I could quite reasonably go home, make these muffins, and return with said muffins freshly baked in hand, and go back to work. She took one look at the recipe and said ok, yeah. So, guess what I did?

Nope, no luck kids. I did not go home and immediately make said muffins. Sadly, the babies demanded that I stay right where I was. Rather rude of them, I think.

Several days later I was again perusing one of my favorite cooking blogs and stumbled upon a muffin recipe that I had seen a couple of months before. I was intrigued. This second recipe was healthy, unlike the first, and involved coconut. Mmm, coconut. Ideas started forming...And the world came to an end! Well, not exactly.

I’m always in search of new breakfast foods. Everything always seems so, so, so done, muffins, pancakes, eggs, eh. Somehow it’s a different funk from the hum-drum dinner repertoire funk that we all fall prey to at times. My other complaint when it comes to breakfast is that breakfast foods can often become incredibly unhealthy with oddles of delicious fat and sugar lathered and sprinkled on. Now, I was in a quandary, because one muffin recipe was quite reasonable utilizing things like coconut oil and Greek yogurt. The other, not so much, but there was this sugary-crunchy-lemony-buttery topping that was irresistible. I mean, come on, who can say no to lemon butter? Not me, that’s for sure! I decided a marriage of the 2 recipes was an order. 

Coconut Muffins:
Makes 10-12 muffins

½ cup virgin coconut oil
¾ cup flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup Greek yogurt, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
½  cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced strawberries

½ cup melted butter
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup sugar

1.   Oven to 325F. Line and grease a regular muffin tin.

2.   In a small sauce pan melt the coconut oil, once melted, set aside to cool slightly. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients. If you didn’t let the yogurt and egg come up to room temperature you will find that the coconut oil will begin to solidify again. This is ok, don’t panic! The batter will simply be thicker and slightly more difficulty to spoon into the pan. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Then add the shredded coconut, any fruit, nuts, or zest you desire.

3.       Spoon into muffin tins about ¾ of the way up.

4.   Bake for around 17 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

5.   While muffins cool on a rack, mix the lemony-buttery-sugary topping. In one bowl mix the lemon and melted butter. In a separate bowl place the sugar. Once the muffins are cool, dip in the lemon butter and allow excess to drip off (while starring at longingly), then roll in sugar. Allow sugar to fully set.

6.       EAT!

Changes I made:

1.   1 cup sliced strawberries

2.   1 tbsp grated lemon zest

3.   I was an idiot and didn’t realize that I didn’t have more Greek yogurt in the massive container that had been sitting in my fridge for probably a week too long! Opps! Luckily, I just happened to have bought some vanilla yogurt. I added 1 cup of vanilla yogurt and left out the vanilla extract and all was still well in the world, or at least my kitchen.

As with most muffin recipes this can be altered in a hundred-million different ways. I simply had lemon and strawberries in the fridge at the moment I went to make these. These muffins would be great with just about anything, banana, lime, mango, nuts, blueberries, heck, any berry! You could be a purist, skip the lemon-butter-sugary topping, and sprinkle some additional coconut on top. Though, I will think you are a slightly crazy for skipping the lemon-butter-sugary topping. Honestly, the sky is the limits with these.


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