Is it spring yet?
Seriously, could these muffins BE any more springy?? And, people, WE ARE SO CLOSE! Yes, the temperatures are back to normalish (sigh), but this past week of 70-degree days has really put me in a springtime mood. And even if the official start of spring is a few weeks off, why not indulge those springtime feelings with muffins? (In fact, I say indulge ALL feelings, good, bad or otherwise with food, am I right? 😉 )Light and fluffy to be sure, these strawberry cilantro muffins are bursting with sweet strawberries and earthy cilantro. Close your eyes, take a bite and you are suddenly reclining on a cushioned deck chair, warm sun in your face and fragrant breeze tossing your hair! For realz!
The secret to strawberry in every bite
Just like a chocolate chip cookie should have chocolatey goodness in every bite, a fruit muffin-whether it be blueberry, strawberry, apple- should offer the bitee a taste of the the aforementioned fruit in every mouthful. So often, a muffin can have some disappointing less-than-flavorful morsels because all the fruit has sunk to the bottom. The solution? Mix the fruit with the dry ingredients before adding the wet.
The flour clings to the fruit and more or less keeps it in place until the baking is done. Voilá!
Ok, so why the cilantro? What if I don’t like it?
Aside from adding a beautiful touch of color, this little herb is a powerhouse of goodness, high in Vitamin K (think bone health and blood clotting when skin is cut) and boasts abilities to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol. All good stuff, right? Honestly though, I happen to like the flavor it imparts…kind of earthy and fresh and a great compliment to the sweetness of the strawberries. Apparently, there are (gasp!) some people that think cilantro tastes like soap…18% of the population , in fact! If you are one of the unfortunates who are genetically predispositioned to this herb-aversion, you have my deepest sympathies 🙁 But, do not despair! I suggest you add in some parsley or basil. Both of those are good for you herbs, lovely in color, fresh in flavor and rich in vitamin K.
Vegan muffin tips. How to make them light fluffy and moist without eggs!
In an earlier post for muffins, Vegan Apple Pie Muffins, I mention two essentials that help you to achieve high-rising muffins: 1. fill the muffin cups fully, and 2. start baking at a higher temperature. I have also talked about absolutely fab-ulous aquafaba, that magical chickpea water that is quickly becoming a vegan baker’s dream come true. By using about three tablespoons of this to replace the egg in a recipe for baked goods, fluffy moistness is achieved as well as structural integrity. There is a lot of aquafaba research going on and still many unanswered questions as to why this chickpea liquid is so darn amazing. Click here for for information (you can even donate to the fund raising money for phytochemical analysis…talk about being on the cutting edge…)