Do you have a happy place? Somewhere you can go to relax, recharge, and be at peace? A place where you feel present in the moment and good in your own skin?
My happy place is the farmer’s market. I’m filled with such an authentic feeling of pleasure whenever I visit, like I’m catering to the wishes of my true and natural self, and I feel so content being surrounded by like-minded individuals, knowing I’m contributing to an ethical, sustainable, and natural mode of food production. I become part of a community, connecting with the people whose hard work and passion helps to put food on my table. I love being able to get in touch with the rhythm of the seasons, buying food at the peak of its freshness and nutritional vitality. It’s just so exciting!
Am I a little bit geeky about vegetables? Absolutely.
I always come away from the farmer’s market inspired, my creative juices recharged and recipe ideas tumbling through my head, and the recipe for these muffins is no exception. I found some beautiful rhubarb and cute little beets on my last trip to the market, and as I admired their pretty pink hues it occurred to me that, should they combine forces, together they could make something pretty magnificent. And let me tell you, these muffins definitely fit the bill!
The texture is just perfect – moist and fluffy on the inside and delightfully crumbly on the outside. The batter is not too sweet on its own, while the more overtly sweet crumb topping offsets the slight tartness of the rhubarb perfectly. And the hint of fiery ginger in the crumble, well… if you can resist eating two of these in one go, you’re a stronger person than I.
These would be perfect to bring to a spring picnic or barbecue, and they make a great mid-afternoon snack. I made several batches of these until I got the texture I wanted – both while still warm and after they had cooled – with the most nutritionally dense flours possible. They’re chock full of protein and fibre, slowing the release of glucose in the blood and helping you feel satisfied until dinner time. I am trying to avoid starches where possible, and fortunately batch #2, which had potato starch, was the one which dried out after it cooled down. This combination worked the best and, luckily, is the best for you!
P.S. I got a new lens for my camera! And I’m learning to use it in manual mode! Can you tell the difference? I’ve been wanting to achieve this look in my photos from day 1, but didn’t have the right equipment for the job. Thanks to my longtime friend Adam for lending me the lens! Stay tuned for (hopefully) even better photos as I work on improving my skills!
Rhubarb + Beet Muffins with Ginger Oat Crumble (makes 12 standard muffins)
~ gluten free, dairy free, soy free, ~
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 3 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried ginger
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1.5 tsp baking power
- .5 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 cups shredded beets, excess juice squeezed out
- 1 cup diced rhubarb
- 1/2 cup vegan buttermilk (1/2 cup almond milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 large organic eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the crumb topping
- 3 tbsp gluten free rolled oats
- 3 tbsp gluten free oat flour
- 3 tbsp sucanat (or brown sugar)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.
- Make your vegan buttermilk: Add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk and give it a stir. It should curdle pretty much immediately.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the honey, applesauce, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and buttermilk.
- In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the crumb topping.
- Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Fold in the rhubarb and grated beet.
- Portion the batter evenly into the muffin liners, then top each with a spoonful of the crumb topping. Use your finger to spread it evenly across the top of the muffins.
- Bake in the middle rack of the oven for approximately 25 minutes. The edges should be golden and a toothpick should come out dry.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. The muffins will firm up a bit during this time.