Coming home from my European adventure felt good and, all clichés aside, there really is nothing like lying down in your own bed after three months of sofa fold-outs and hostel bunks. That being said, it’s been tough going from getting up every morning in an exciting city (Stockholm, I love thee) to waking in my own room. Leaving at the end of Summer on the continent I was greeted (well, smacked in the face) by the drop in temperature here. While I’m fortunate that it’s spring and I missed the worst of this years winter, I can see my tan fading already… Who am I kidding, my tan comes from a bottle 😉
Being spring, I’m in fresh produce heaven. Dad and I go to the local growers market every Saturday morning (Mum comes too, if it’s not raining) and pick up our bounty. Every week we tend to buy a bunch of fresh beetroot, normally roasting it or grating it into salads, but this week it’s the star of the show in a batch of muffins!
In a throwback to my hummus post, I’ve opted for a Persian twist, adding in a splash of deliciously tart pomegranate molasses and a sprinkle of rosewater to up the anti. Middle eastern cooking is taking over this household at the moment, so it seemed only for to apply these touches to the muffins!
SPRING BEETROOT MUFFINS – makes 8-9
While the more “exotic” ingredients can be easily found at your local ethnic/bulk foods store, if you would rather opt out of the Middle Eastern theme you can definitely go the carrot cake route here – adding in a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of cloves instead.
300g beetroot (about 3 medium sized)
1 egg, or 1 flax egg
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup buckwheat flour + 1/2 cup whole spelt flour (or 1 cup flour of your choice)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
a pinch of both ground gloves and cinnamon
4-5 dried figs, diced into small pieces
butter or oil, to grease
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Grease a muffin tray and set aside. Peel and grate the beetroot and mix it all in a bowl with the egg, sugar, apple sauce and oil (I find it easiest to do this by slipping on a pair of rubber gloves, placing a bowl in the kitchen sink and grating directly into that – it helps to minimise any magenta splashes and stains). Fold in your dried fig pieces.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and soda, and the spices. Add to the wet mixture and fold together until there’s no more visible dry flour in the mix.
Spoon into the greased muffin tin, about 1/3 cup in each hole. If you have a 9-hole tin, perfect. If you have a 12-hole like I did, pour about 2cm water in each of the unfilled muffin tins to stop the muffins next to the empty spaces burning. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer/toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean.
In the photos you can see that I’ve drizzled icing over the muffins. It’s made from couple rows of dark chocolate, melted, and mixed with a teaspoon of pomegranate molasses – I haven’t included a proper recipe for that yet, as it didn’t set like I’d hoped. Feel free to make your own and let me know if you have a winner!