Lately, my mother and I have experimented with implementing frozen fruits and vegetables from the Farmers Market in our cooking to yield tremendous results. So far, we’ve stocked:
- 2 gallon-sized ziplock bags of whole strawberries from the Hilldale Farmers Market.
- 2 gallon-sized ziplock bags of whole raspberries from Blue Skies Berry Farm.
- 1 peck of quartered peaches from the Door County Fruit Market.
- 20 lbs of whole Roma tomatoes from Happy Valley Farm. (They also supply their tomatoes to Mexican cuisine genius Rick Bayless. He freezes them just like us to use in sauces!)
The strawberries have long since disappeared from numerous whirls around the ol’ smoothie masher (aka blender), and I fully intend to devour both the peaches and raspberries in simliar forms. My mother verily enjoys using the Romas in soups and stews to replace expensive canned tomatoes; they’ve retained their peak-season flavor and their skins peel easily to dissolve perfectly into slow-simmered, cold weather dishes.
Not too long ago, I came upon an intriguing recipe for Blueberry Pumpkin Hemp Muffins from Spabettie. Today’s venture to the Farmers Market in the breezy 80° weather of this year’s Indian Summer roused my culinary senses and whipping up a batch of pumpkin-y mini muffins seemed like a perfect idea. Unfortunatley, my freezer lacked any blueberries…but peaches abounded! I fathomed that succulent peaches would complement the slight sweetness of pumpkin well.
You could certainly make regular-sized muffins with this recipe; it yields 10-12 muffins and bakes for the same amount of time, according to Spabettie. I, however, am isolated to mini-muffins due to my two missing muffin tins. Where, oh where have my little muffin tins gone? Perhaps I’ll post up “missing muffin tin” fliers with a reward of free baking for a month.
A word about date syrup: made by reducing down the two simple, wholesome, completely natural ingredients of dates and water into a syrupy consistency, this is the most natural sweetnener of which I know. Brown rice syrup and agave nectar, while completely natural and much healthier than sugar, endure a much longer process of reduction (agave takes up to seven years!), removing most of their nutrition and ranking lower on the sustainability scale. Read more about brown rice syrup nutrition here.
Peach Pumpkin Muffins with Hemp and Chia Seeds (Gluten Free, Oil Free, Soy Free)—Adapted from Spabettie.
Makes about 30 mini-muffins.
- 3/4 cup amaranth flour (can substitute any gluten free whole grain flour, but I love using amaranth for its distinct nutty, slightly sweet flavor.)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup date syrup (can substitute any natural sweetener, such as brown rice syrup or agave nectar.)
- 1-1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh peaches, finely diced
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil your mini-muffin tins or line them with adorable mini paper muffin cups.
Sift the flours, seeds, spices, and baking soda into a large bowl. Fold in the pumpkin and sweetener of choice until just incorporated. Mix in the peaches.
Fill the muffin tins slightly more than completely full, then stick them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Another mini-muffin success! I can proudly add these dense little nibbles to the ever-growing list of unbelievably healthy baked goods on my recipe page, along with two breakfast breads (Quinoa Banana and Almond-Hemp Banana) and two more mini-muffin recipes (Buckwheat Zucchini and Almond Apricot).
In other foodie news, I finished the day with a delightfully refreshing juice blend of rainbow kale from Jones Valley Produce, super sweet carrots from JenEhr Family Farm, and a knob of fresh ginger (made using my non-juicer method, of course).
Comment Provoking Questions: Have you frozen any produce to use during the winter? What is your favorite natural sweetener? Do you prefer mini-muffins or their regular-sized counterparts?
Until next time, Ali.
Recipe submitted to Wellness Weekend.