Monday, August 4, 2008

Muffin Mondays!

About two months ago, I was hospitalized for an infection in my gall bladder due to gall stones. I know, a twenty one year old hospitalized for something that is supposed to occur to older people (I say that with much respect!). The humor of the situation wasn't lost on me. In my hospital room, I was the youngest of three. By decades. The doctors kept asking me what a young girl like me was doing in the hospital. Well now. On top of that, although this is my third year living in Israel, I'm a citizen for only less than a year. To be hospitalized after being here such a brief time... well I'm making good use of my insurance card. I kept telling myself that G-d likes to keep things interesting. But don't worry. Every time I thought about the fact that I was in the hospital for three days, pajamas, IV and all, I started cracking up.. at myself. Anyway, all this to say that when I was finally discharged, the hospital dietician gave me strict instructions on what to eat- basically I had to avoid a high fat diet like the plague. As it was, my diet didn't include half the things on the list that I needed to avoid. With the exception of bittersweet chocolate. I don't know how I made it so long without it. So in my quest to comply with said diet and incorporate whole grains (because it's my new obsession) so that I continue baking (because I just can't live without that) I decided to make a batch of muffins a week to keep on hand for a quick breakfast and adapt them to suit my dietary needs. And then I started this blog and I decided, why not integrate that idea and let y'all know about my muffin exploits? And so, Muffin Mondays was born! And, today happens to be Monday. My very first entry is a recipe I adapted and renamed, bear with me, Almond Scented Blackberry Spelt Muffins, quite a mouthful I know, although they can easily be adapted to your palate.
Despite the lack of fat, these muffins are surprisingly moist and tender with a nice burst of blackberry and sweet spelt flavor. Feel free to add more almond extract for stronger flavor. I added just enough for the batter to be lightly scented resulting in muffin that was only delicately almondy.

Almond Scented Blackberry Spelt Muffins

2 1/4 cups whole spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
3 egg whites
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp almond extract, or more to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease a twelve cup muffin tin.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour- salt. In another bowl, combine the honey, egg whites, milk, oil and extract. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry mixture and stir just to combine. Don't beat. You don't want tough muffins. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon by quarter cupfuls into the muffin pan. Bake until risen and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about fifteen minutes.

Muffin batter all mixed.

All ready to go!

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