GLUTEN FREE, VEGAN, SUGAR FREE, LOW GI, HIGH FIBRE, …….whatever you want to call them, these muffs are very cool.
The worlds healthiest muffin? Almost, possibly not. The worlds strangest muffin? Quite possibly. The worlds tastiest muffin? (Probably) YES!
These are muffins if Doctor Parnassus made them in his Imaginarium (any Terry Gilliam fans out there?) Containing what can only be described as pscycedelic pulp (great name for a surfer rock band). This is what you could call a classic Beach House post, we woke up and all of a sudden made some pink-ish muffins with turmeric in them, then thought we’d write about the experience. I trust you don’t think any of these posts are planned or orchestrated in anyway. This is adventure is all the food we are eating right NOW. Steaming on the plate/ wire rack. You can probably tell by the rushed looking photo’s, a hungry camera man is a complacent camera man. Thankfully these freakish muffs are totally delicious, have an almost succulent texture and are happily brimming over with health giving properties and the main thing (that we almost forgot) is that they are a pleasing receptacle for your leftover juice pulp.
Yes,these sweet thangs are ‘sugar free’, although I don’t quite get this new movement. The whole sugar free thing seems mystifying; you can’t eat one type of sugar but can eat other types of sugar. Its like being vegan, but you can eat goats cheese because its lower in fat???? Can someone please explain the ‘Sugar-free’ craze? Anyway, these are sugar free as they only contain dried fruit and maple syrup, which are not classed as ‘sugar’ by some. They are of course, much better than processed, bleached, alien sugars, meaning all white sugar (which isn’t even vegetarian as it can contain bone meal!!!!). Low GI seems the way forward, or eating fructose with fibre (like a banana) which naturally slows he absorption of sugar into the blood stream.
Jane and I would be nowhere without juice. Our lives have changed since we got our first juice machine and we are now a happier shade of orange (too many carrot and ginger juices, you have been warned!). We have been curious about juice pulp muffins for ages. How can we use up all of this wonderful looking chaff. Its almost pure fibre and we’re not eating it? Quite a conundrum! How can we utilise this excellent commodity, other than adding to the ever grateful compost bin. What better way that baking with it! We discover a great webpage that gives ‘20 smart uses for using up leftover juice pulp’ from making ‘pulpsicles’ to a face mask, there are so many creative ways of putting pulp to work. Check it out! We also like to add it as balast ie replacing, rice, lentils etc, to vegan burgers and patties (falafels, sausages, frisbee…….or whatever shape is being moulded), it can also be incorporated into a wholesome and frugal soup. No doubt, more pulp-based Beach House posts are coming this way….watch this space for Pulp Gazpacho.
PULP NUTRIENTS VS JUICE NUTRIENTS
The leftover pulp from juicing is primarily fibre, although there are some other good things in it as no matter how good your juicer, dry pulp is virtually impossible to extract. Too much pulp is not great for the system as the high fibre content may lead to ‘blockages’. Some would say, and this makes perfect sense, that juicing inundates the body with concentrated nutrients that it may not be quite ready for and eating whole foods is the way forward. We’d agree with this. The enzymes needed to extract the nutrients of most foods can be found in the food you’re eating. How cool is that!!!! When we juice, we seperate the ‘whole’ food, so eating the pulp later means that all of the nutrients are not necessarily available to the body.
Another theory is that the nutrients from vegetables is in the juice and the nutrients from fruit is in the pulp. Meaning, juice your veggies and eat your fruits. This is due to the flavanoid content in the skins of especially citrus fruits.
This is not in anyway us angling against juicing, just give some differing opinions. Juice is the finest way to start any day and we’d whole heartedly recommend it to anybody. For us, it is the cornerstone of healthy, vibrant diet. Juicing is a truly awesome way to offer our bodies potent nutrients and is a sublime wake up call to our system first thing. How often would we normally eat 4 carrots, 2 apples, 1/2 beetroot, 2 inches of ginger and loads of kale (our juice ingredients this morning) in one sitting, especially one glassful! You can just imagine what good that is doing our bodies and it shows the effect of bags of energy and a sense of ‘fullness’. Normally after a breakfast juice, I won’t eat again until at least lunchtime.
These here psyco muffins are beautifully moist due to the high pulp content, we baked ours for between 35-40 minutes (37 1/2 minutes to be exact!) any more and you’d loose some of that ‘gooey in the middle, crispy on the outside texture’ that is so drop, dead gorgeous. Also, under baking vegan/ gluten free goods will not mean that you catch anything or have dodgy digestion for the rest of the day, so there is no risk going for gooey.
Maple syrup is so precious on this hill, we did a half/ half mix between malted rice syrup and the glory sap (maple syrup). Anything is better with more maple syrup, so go wild accordingly. You could use any combo of dried fruits and nuts in this recipe. With the bright purple beetroot content of these muffs, I thought at one stage that pecan and fig just didn’t go. For some reason, they didn’t seem fun enough for pink!? Peanut and cranberry seemed better, and still sounds nice. Hazelnut and dried apricot, walnut and date, almond and prune……..The dried fruit used will alter the sweetness, especially if you’re going for dried dates. I’d say this recipe is moderately sweet and would make the perfect, post juice, mid morning nibble.
If you’re not very keen on spice, omit the cardamom and turmeric (adding 1/2 teas more cinnamon), although the latter especially is one of the finest things you could ever wish to consume (health wise). Turmeric also gives these muffins a very funky colour, especially when combined with beetroot pulp (although the raw mix hue does tame slightly when baked). You can use most juice pulp here, but things like celery will take things in a more savoury, eclectic direction. Things like carrot, beetroot, greens (maybe not cabbage), any fruit, ginger are all fine pulp fodder for baking sweet things.
So if you try one muffin this morning, fill it with psychedelic pulp. Don’t worry, I’ve ate four of them whilst typing this with no obvious side effect (other than a goon like grin and a misty/ vacant look in my eyes, “Parnassus you rogue, is that you!!!!!??????”,,,,,,,,,,@). All is well in the BHK!
2-3 cups juice pulp (ours was beetroot, carrot, apple)
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (we used 1 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal/ fine polenta)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (coconut oil is also wonderful)
1/3 cup whole bean, organic soya milk
1/2 cup maple syrup (brown rice syrup or liquid sweetener of your choice. Adds to the crispy exterior)
3 tbs flax seeds (ground well and mixed with 6 tbs water. Leave for 15 minutes to become gloopy)
3/4 cup dried figs (roughly sliced)
1/2 cup pecans (roughly chopped)
1/2 tbs vanilla extract
2/3 tbs bicarb of soda
1 teas ground cinnamon
1/3 teas ground cardamom and 1/2 teas turmeric (optional but awesome)
For additional oomph! and new flavour directions (especially if you’re making a breakfast style muffin):
Add 1 heaped teaspoon of ground coffee/ wheatgrass or spirulina/ lemon or orange zest – and let us know how these go……we are trying the wheatgrass version next week.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl with a trusty wooden spoon. Form into big balls with your hands and pop into a muffin tray. You don’t need a special muffin tray for this recipe, you can form big balls with your hand and place them on a lined and oiled baking tray and then fashioned them into a muffin shape.
Preheat an oven to 180oC (fan oven) and bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the tray/ trays after 20 minutes. Our oven is a beast and can burn the items closest to the fan (do you have that problem?).
Leave to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before nobbling one or two. Best served warm and slightly steaming.
As quickly as possible. We ate ours with some homemade blackberry and apple compote, just because it was on the hob. I’d imagine some cashew cream or soya yoghurt would be pleasant. You will of course need your favourite brew (that means a cuppa tea, not a beer in these parts, we are drinking alot of ‘Iron Buddha’ tea at the minute. From China.) to hand.
Pecans. These little beauties are members of the hickory family and like all nuts, are packed with the things we need and thrive upon. Full of very good and useful fats, huge amounts of energy, good cholesterol and dietary fibre. They are also rich in anti-oxidants, especially an excellent source of vitamin E which protects our cells and skin from free radicals.