Tag Archives: breakfast

Strawberry Goji Muffins with Mini-Chocolate Chips {vegan}

I love muffins! But unfortunately most of the muffins that call my name at the bakery are not so healthy or good for me. Imagine my delight when I bought Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton and discovered that she had 7 muffin recipes, all vegan and all packed full of nutritious goodness.

Strawberry-Goji Muffins with Mini-Chocolate Chips // Herbivore Triathlete

As I was browsing the muffin recipes, the Strawberry Goji muffins caught my eye. I recently bought a bag of goji berries and had been tossing them on my salad. Using them in muffins seemed ingenious. Did you know that goji berries are the most nutritionally dense fruit on Earth? It’s true!

They are a member of the nightshade family (Solonaceae), which contains many other common vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, tomato, eggplant, and pepper, as well as some poisonous plants like belladonna and deadly nightshade. Native to the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and Mongolia, the goji berry is now grown in many other countries as well.

Although they have only been introduced in Western countries in recent years, gojis have been used for thousands of years in Tibet and China, both as a culinary ingredient and medicinally.

Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.

This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system.

Source: The Heatlhy Eating Site

Looking over the ingredient list I realized I had every item already at home. Dreena suggested adding dark chocolate chips to the muffins, so of course I did Winking smile

Strawberry-Goji Muffins with Mini-Chocolate Chips // Herbivore Triathlete

Strawberry Goji Muffins with Mini-Chocolate Chips
Makes 12 Muffins
Recipe Source: Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup sifted spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or cinnamon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup + 1 to 2 tablespoons plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup dried goji berries
  • 1/4 pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (I used cornstarch)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, such as grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips, optional (I used Enjoy Life Brand)

Strawberry-Goji Muffins with Mini-Chocolate Chips // Herbivore Triathlete

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425º F, you will lower the temperature to 375º F after the muffins have baked for 5 minutes. I learned this trick from Sally, she calls it her sky-high muffin trick. I highly suggest you try it.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, salt, and cardamom, sifting in the baking powder and baking soda. Stir to mix well.
  3. In a blender, combine the strawberries, milk, goji berries, maple syrup, lemon juice, and arrowroot powder (you may want to let these ingredients sit for a few minutes to help soften the goji berries). Puree until fully smooth.
  4. Add the blended mixture, as well as the oil, to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Fold in the mini-chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon the batter into lined muffin tins, you want to fill them all the way to the top in order to achieve your high-domed muffin tops.
  6. If desired, sprinkle some whole goji berries, sugar, or mini-chocolate chips on top of the muffins.
  7. Bake at 425º F for 5 minutes then lower the temperature to 375º F and bake for 14 to 19 minutes, until the muffins are set in the center.
  8. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes in the muffin tins, and then transfer the muffins to cool on a cooling rack.

Strawberry-Goji Muffins with Mini-Chocolate Chips // Herbivore Triathlete

Have you ever tried goji berries?

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Swedish Lucia Day

st. luciaI was born in Linköping, Sweden and moved to Rochester, New York when I was eight years old. Growing up my parents continued Swedish Christmas Traditions, many of which I continue in my own family with my kids. One of my very favorite Swedish traditions is December 13th, St. Lucia Day.

The Swedish celebration begins very early on Lucia Day when the eldest daughter becomes “Lucia”. Dressed in white and wearing a crown of lingonberries, or myrten, with lighted candles, she sings the Lucia Song-an old Italian air known as “Santa Lucia”. She then serves her family freshly baked lussekatter (saffron buns), pepparkakor (ginger cookies) and steaming hot coffee.

This celebration is dear to my heart. It is not only celebrated in homes, but offices, schools, hospitals, churches and public places where Lucia, “Queen of Lights”, appears. Oftentimes Lucia is followed by a procession of young girls dressed in white also, wearing halos of tinsel and carrying a lighted candle. Boys take part in the procession as well, playing different roles associated with Christmas. Some may be dressed in the same kind of white robe, but with a cone-shaped hat decorated with golden stars, called stjärngossar (star boys).

Lussekatter (Lucia Buns)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 c water, warm
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp powdered saffron
  • 4 c flour

For brushing: 1 egg & 2 T water

Method:

Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. Warm milk, add butter to melt. Place all above ingredients in a mixing bowl using 2 cups of the flour. Mix for 3 minutes using mixer. Add rest of flour and bet with wooden spoon. Work dough on board, adding a little flour for easy handling. When smooth and shiny put in a bowl and let rise to double in bulk. Turn out on floured board and shape into Lussekatter. Let rise on cookie sheet and brush with egg and water mixture before baking. Put a raisin in each curl and bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen rolls.