orange, date, and walnut polenta muffins

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I’m really enjoying these weekend baking sprees I’ve embarked on recently. I finished my last scone for breakfast this morning so I knew this afternoon I’d need to work on something else to get me through my breakfasts next week. I was planning on making those amazing avocado, blueberry, orange muffins again, or modifying my orange, cranberry, ginger, avocado scones, but my avocados weren’t ripe enough yet so I had to scratch that idea. I saw some recipes a while back for polenta cake that I filed away in my head for later use, which got me onto my polenta dinner kick recently. I decided to check google to see if there was such a thing as polenta muffins, and eventually settled on orange polenta muffins.

At this point, I’m not sure it’s possible to go wrong when you bake with oranges — with the scent of the batter while you’re mixing it and the aroma that wafts from the oven while they’re baking, how could they possibly taste anything but amazing? I was a little concerned when I removed them from the oven because they looked like they might be very dry, but they were anything but! They’re slightly sweet, tangy, with a hint of savory from the different spices. Very satisfying and definitely a great breakfast option!

You could easily adapt this to your taste by substituting the spices, fruits, and nuts for almost anything you want (although I think I hit the jackpot with my choice of spices)! I think it could be really good with peaches or blueberries–I’m not sure I’d want to sub out the orange. That’s the major key to the success of this recipe. I may try it using avocado instead of the oil next time, if I have a ripe one on hand. All in all, a successful rainy day baking adventure!

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orange, date, and walnut polenta muffins

adapted from Orange Polenta Muffins

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 oranges, finely diced (including peel)
  • 1 cup dates, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup quick cooking polenta
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup wholewheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 395˚F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper or silicone liners.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, coconut oil and almond milk together in a large bowl and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Sift all the dry ingredients into another bowl.
  4. Add the oranges, dates, and walnuts to the wet mixture, then add this to the dry ingredients. Fold together gently until mixed.
  5. Divide between the 18 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave in the muffin tray for 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.

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banana bread, plant-based

It was back to school this week for me and I decided to try to find some plant-based baked goods that I could grab and go in the morning when I don’t have time to eat at home. I just finished reading through the Forks Over Knives cookbook and when I hit the dessert section, there were some fantastic baked goods in there that could easily be used as a breakfast. The first recipe I tried, since I had all the ingredients at hand, was the “Better-Than-Mom’s Banana Bread”. It’s made with whole wheat pastry flour so it’s a lot more bread-like than banana bread I’ve had in the past, which I think is closer to cake than bread. It was still very good and tasty, but I think I want to experiment with the recipe in the future to see if I can get it as moist as the banana bread I’m used to.

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better-than-mom’s banana bread

from Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook

ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup plant-based milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Have ready an 8×4-inch nonstick or silicone baking pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the mashed banana, maple syrup, applesauce, milk, and vanilla.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, mixing just until everything is evenly moistened.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Distribute the batter evenly along the length of the pan but don’t spread the batter to the edges; the batter will spread as it bakes. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. (Mine was done in 50 minutes). It’s hard to test for doneness with a knife because the banana tends to stay moist, so judge by the edges of bread. They should be golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan.

6. Let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and carefully invert the loaf onto a cooling rack. Be sure it is fully cooled before slicing.