Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Ginger, Date and Walnut Whole Grain Muffins

Ginger, Date and Walnut Whole Grain Muffins

The frosty winter is upon us, and so we crave sweet carbs.  One way to slow down your carb consumption is to make the goodie textured, so textured you are obliged to chew for a while.  Adding protein also helps.  Also the more complex and warming the flavours, the better they satisfy.

These muffins are sweet, gooey, spicy, salty(ish) and very grainy, and filled with protein. Everything you want when you’re experiencing those cravings.

This recipe makes two dozen, and is ready to eat in about one and a half hours, including cooling time. Preheat your oven to 425 Fahrenheit.

1 cup pitted dates
3/4 cup water
30 or so scrapes of peeled ginger ( potato peeler will do)
1 tablespoon white sugar

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups porridge oats (contain oats, flaxseed, wheat germ and oat germ) You can use plain oats if you want less chewiness.
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons jaggery powder (raw Indian sugar or brown sugar)
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 heaping teaspoon dried ginger powder (more if you love heat)
1 cup chopped walnuts

1 and 7/8th cups plain yogurt (nearly 2 cups)
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee, which is clarified butter available on Indian grocery shelves)
½ cup molasses

Ginger is translucent and sticky when ready.
Combine dates, water and strips of ginger in a pot and set on medium high.  The idea here is to soften the dates and let the water evaporate till about a quarter of a cup is left.  Meanwhile, get to work on the muffin batter.

In a medium size bowl, combine dry ingredients with a fork.  Add walnuts and combine.  Set aside.

In a second medium size bowl, add the yogurt.  You want almost two cups worth, but not quite. Remove the dates from the pot, and gently pull apart.  Set aside.  Add sugar to the ginger and water, and set to boil. 

Make more candied ginger and go hog wild, unlike me!
When the syrup from the ginger pieces has reduced to about a tablespoon, add it to the yogurt to bring the measure up to two cups. Plop those date pieces into the batter.  Coming across these gooey lovelies makes eating these delightful.

Stir the date pieces and syrup into the yogurt, then stir the egg into the yogurt.  You can use vegetable oil or ghee, but I used ghee.  (The devil made me do it.) Pour oil or ghee into a measuring cup, coating halfway up the sides of the cup, then add that to the yogurt.  Pour the molasses into that cup then into the yogurt.  (An oily cup releases the molasses easily.)  Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture.  Gently stir till ingredients are combined.

Recipe adapted from my 1971 New York Times cookbook.
Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins.  Place a strip of candied ginger on top of each muffin.  Some lucky muffins get more than one, but don’t go hog wild if you’re thinking of calories. 

Bake about twenty minutes, or till a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool off a bit on racks and enjoy while still warm.

These are nowhere near as sweet or greasy as store-bought muffins, but they are lovely indeed. Fragrant, chewy, sweet in spots, oh my.  Please try them and let me know how they turned out!

Breakfast never tasted so good.

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