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I saw some gorgeous muffins over at the Great Big Vegetable Challenge and was immediately intrigued. Charlotte, who has completed an A-Z of vegetables with her son Freddie has now moved on to healthy packed lunches for her children. Freddie is still marking dishes out of 10 and these muffins gained a massive 9 out of 10! That is recommendation enough for me.

I have converted Charlotte's recipe into cups, but it is essentially still Charlotte's recipe. I made no changes except for the buttermilk. I didn't have any, so I made some with milk and a tbsp of lemon juice, filled up to the quantity and then left for a few minutes to develop, as it were.

Buttermilk, Beetroot and Apple Muffins

1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk (or milk and 1 tbsp lemon juice)
1/2 stick/4tbsp/50g butter, melted
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
2 small beetroot, cooked and finely diced
1/2 cup Demerara sugar
1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or runny honey)
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 and a half tsp of baking powder

For the topping

1 tablespoon of porridge oats
1 tablespoon of Demerara sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180C. If you are using a deep muffin tray, cut out six squares of baking parchment 15 cms by 15 cms. Line each muffin tin with a square of paper. You can use paper cases if you prefer. Melt the butter, allow to cool slightly and in a bowl stir in the sugar, beaten egg and buttermilk. Mix well. Add the finely diced cooked beetroot and diced apple and spoon of maple syrup. Sieve the flour and baking powder and roughly stir in so the flour is distributed but don’t over mix. Spoon the mixture evenly into each lined muffin tin. Mix together the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle evenly over the top of each muffin.
Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Makes six large muffins or 12 smaller ones

We really enjoyed these muffins, but we both preferred the beetroot in these muffins, when they were still warm. I have since tried these without the beetroot and they are still great. I used the same recipe, but added more blueberries and some cinnamon to the muffins.

I encourage you to visit Charlotte's blog, which is packed with great recipes and some very amusing stories! Even better, buy a copy of her book - Great Big Veg Challenge: How to Get Your Children Eating Vegetables Happily. It is a beautifully produced book, that is a joy to flick through.

I am entering these muffins into Ruth's Kitchen Experiments. Ruth holds an event every Monday called Bookmarked Recipes .....where you can blog about a recipe you have bookmarked from a cook book, food magazine, food blog, food website or from TV and then make it and submit it to her weekly roundup.

Oh, I nearly forgot! I sprinkled these muffins with Angie's sugar topping. The most gorgeously aromatic sugar mix (another kind gift). I will post the recipe, once I have checked all the ingredients. Angie did tell me, but I was too busy sticking my nose in the tub and breathing deeply, to pay attention.
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