After taking a week off to enjoy time with family–getting back to my routine has been… difficult (and by difficult I mean it’s been a real bitch). I just want to drink wine and be surrounded by the people I love all the time 😥
Then again, I suppose that is what makes the time you share with the people you love (and wine) so magical. They are mindful little treasure troves that remind you why it’s so important to be your best self in life. I digress…
While the fam was in town we took them to our favourite local coffee shop. This place is amazing. They roast their own beans next door to the cafe, they host a slew of local artists and performers on the reg, and they have a scratch bakery on site. Their motto is “Art for the sake of art. Coffee for the sake of coffee” (although I think it should be “This cinnamon roll will change your life”).
I love everything about this place. The aesthetic, the smell when you walk in the door, the team serving you the elixir that fuels your brain, it’s all good. Their espresso is so ridiculously (really, really, ridiculously) smooth. Their signature roast is dark, rich, and even a little sweet. My would-be sister in law proclaimed it was some of the best coffee she’d ever had. Including that she was surprised it was so good with just a touch of almond milk and cinnamon. It’s one of the few spots I feel I can get a cup of coffee better than I make at home (and I have mastered how I take my coffee at home).
Aside from the mind-altering cinnamon rolls, this place offers up a whimsical blueberry muffin. I’ve always shunned muffins. Not quite dessert, not quite breakfast, they just made me a little bit frustrated. Loaded with sugar and typically no better for you (if not worse) than a donut, I simply didn’t see the point.
Boyfriend is a fan of blueberry muffins. His mom made them for him growing up and I’ve heard his sister talk about serving them up to her kiddos. On a recent trip to our spot, I caved and we ordered a blueberry muffin (warmed with butter, duh). I set aside the guilt I was feeling and decided one blueberry muffin wasn’t going to turn me into a muffin (that’s dumb). One bite in and sure enough, I can see why people love blueberry muffins! If they’re anything like what I was experiencing at that moment, it would be hard not to. It was pillowy. It was sweet. It was like snuggling under the covers for five more minutes without making yourself late for anything. The little crevices– they were holding onto chilled pieces of butter and slowly letting them melt away into rich, fatty goodness. I couldn’t believe how perfectly it paired with my coffee! Of course I knew deep down one of the reasons this little morsel was so addictive;
So! I set out to make a more wholesome muffin. A grab and go breakfast option we could feel good about. One with more whole grain and less sugar than the delectable little blueberry temptress we’d succumbed to at the coffee shop.
And guess what!? I have in fact managed to perfect what I think is the perfect, wholesome little blueberry muffin (And! it only took me three tries!)
I started by choosing buckwheat flour as my base. Buckwheat flour is a whole grain flour ground from the Fagopyrum esculentum fruit, more commonly known as buckwheat. Although treated as a grain buckwheat is not a cereal or grass, and, is not related to wheat. It is suitable for those with a gluten intolerance. To distinguish it from grains, it is sometimes called a pseudo cereal. Other pseudo cereals include quinoa and amaranth.
Buckwheat is an excellent source of fiber. Fiber keeps you fuller longer and keeps your gut happy. A happy gut makes for a happy body because it means you’re eliminating waste effectively. Cool!
I use buckwheat flour in my homemade pizza dough as well as other goodies. Anytime I can choose ingredients that are more nutrient dense than their more popular counterparts, I do.
Once I knew I wanted to use buckwheat flour I did what anyone curious millennial wanting to get things done would do; I turned to google.
My google search boasted a slew of results. Mostly gluten-free (which I anticipated) I was having a hard time finding a basic recipe to jooge and recreate. Then, I struck gold. Cooking.nytimes.com . I love the Times cooking section. It’s solid. The contributors are honest to goodness cooks and bakers who create great food for the sake of great food (see what I did there? 😉 ) The recipes are easy to follow (and easy to modify). The frame work for my muffins came from this recipe here ⇒ Gluten-Free Buckwheat, Poppy seed and Blueberry muffins. I never did make these, but one day perhaps I’ll try.
So! Recipe inspo in hand (on screen) I opened my fridge to see what I had.
I was going to have to make some swaps and modifications (duh). Kefir for buttermilk. Avocado oil for grapeseed oil. Lose the poppy seeds. Add more blueberries… and perhaps a dash of nutmeg? Cardamom? Idk.
The third time was in fact the charm! The first batch was a little too dense. I started with 1 part buckwheat flour to a ratio of 3/4 Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free baking mix cut with some cornmeal. I wasn’t sure if it was my choice of flours or the way I added the fat that made my muffins dense, so, I did some reading.
Turns out I had a little too much leavening happening what with the baking powder and baking soda ratios. According to thekitchn.com you really only need 1 tsp Baking Powder OR 1/4 tsp backing soda for each cup of flour you use. I knew I needed the soda to cut to tang of the kefir, So, I cut back on each for round two, and swapped out my gluten free baking mix for organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. From what I read, pastry flour is better for breads, muffins and baking because of it’s finely milled consistency and protein content. Furthermore, my girlfriend, who’s mama has a sensitive tum, told me when she bakes she chooses organic whole wheat flour because it seems to be easier for her to digest. Armed with this information, I decided to enjoy the best of both world’s and settled on Whole Wheat Organic Pastry Flour. I got mine from the bulk foods section. I always buy baking supplies on bulk. You can get what you need and save $$$ 🙂
The second batch were in fact fluffier! But still not quite what I had in mind. I found that when I tumbled them onto the cooling rack they were collapsing under the pressure and losing they’re gusto (so sad 😦 )
Round 3. Swap 1 part of the avocado oil for grass-fed butter. Cream it at room temperature so it melts through during the bake and creates happy fat pockets for my muffins. Also, get rid of the cooling rack. Tumble them onto a clean kitchen towel instead.
Drummmmm roollllll puh-leassseeee…
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Ta dah! Good Morning Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins with Grass-Fed Butter ❤
12 cup muffin pan (or 2 – 6 cup muffin pans, like I do) I love my USA Pans bakeware a little too much.
Large mixing bowl (dry ingredients)
Medium mixing bowl (wet ingredients)
Small mixing bowl (to whisk eggs)
Sifter or colander to shake dry ingredients through ( I do the latter, like this)
Whisk or hand mixer
Basting brush (for glaze, optional)
Clean kitchen towel (to tumble cooked muffins onto<3)
1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour (organic if you can)
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (organic if you can)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 rounded teaspoon salt (meaning it’s okay if it’s a little more than a half teaspoon)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons avocado oil
(NOTE: You can use grapeseed, canola, or whatever other oil you have on hand. I like avocado oil because of it’s health benefits and ability to withstand high heat. Avocado oil can be expensive but costco has it as a great value if you or someone you know has a membership.)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons grass-fed butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup raw honey
1 1/2 cups grass-fed kefir (I keep kefir on hand for its probiotic benefits)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups organic blueberries (in summer opt for fresh although I’m sure frozen would work as well)
To glaze (optional):
1 part raw honey whisked with 1 part melted grass-fed butter
What to do:
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 with the rack positioned in the center of the stove
- Grease your muffin pan(s) with grassfed butter (or drop a little pat in each and let it hang out while you work on the batter, like I do).
- If using a sifter, place it in the large mixing bowl and begin to add dry ingredients. Sift until evenly incorporated. If using the no-sifter sifting method, place colander in large bowl. Add dry ingredients and shake your colander until incorporated. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl place room temperature butter, oil, and honey. Whisk until smooth (don’t over mix).
- In a small bowl, hand whisk eggies with a fork until white is indistinguishable. Fold into butter mixture.
- Fold the kefir into the wet ingredients.
- Season with vanilla and grated nutmeg. Fold.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing on low. Mix until flour is fully incorporated.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Make sure your muffin pan(s) are evenly greased with buttuh.
- Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, fill the muffin pan(s) to the brim with batter.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry and tops are golden.
- If using the honey butter glaze, apply to the tops the last 5 minutes of baking
- Remove from stove. Gently turn muffin pan over onto a clean kitchen towel. If muffins release easily (if you’re using a USA pan and butter, they will) tumble out to cool. If they stick, give them a few moments to cool then try again.
I store mine in a paper towel lined freezer bag. If I’m serving them straight from there, I pop them into the microwave for 45 seconds wrapped in a paper towel and they’re good as new. They would also stay in the fridge in an airtight container up to 3 days. They never last longer than a week in our house 🙂
Happy wellbeing ❤