September 19, 2010

Blueberry-lime muffins | Kasha and bowties

Whenever our little granddaughter comes to our house she always asks if she can have a muffin. I gave her a muffin once when she was barely a toddler, and she never forgot it. Miss E has a fantastic memory, and a raging sweet tooth, and practically reaches cosmic consciousness when she sees a piece of cake or a cookie. I never thought I'd be the sort of Grandie who indulges sweet cravings with things other than fruit and such. I was very into natural sweets with my own children, and not much into baked sweets myself. But I swear, I am compelled to give Miss E treats. I try to respect her Mom's wishes, and I DO keep it reasonably healthy, but this is a side of me that I find surprising.

And it's not just sweets. Today I actually bought Miss E a bright yellow Dora the Explorer shirt that I found on a resale rack for $1. This deserves a capital OMG. Miss E, who knows Dora from a talking book she received from her other Grammy when she was nine months old, was ecstatic; she's sleeping in the shirt as I write this. Her Papa, when we dropped the shirt off, said, "Oh no," but too bad.

Back to the muffins. As a baked treat, muffins can have less fat and sugar than cake or cookies, but be just as much fun to eat. I always make them with whole wheat flour and other wholesome ingredients so they will be as healthy as possible while still providing a pleasurable eating experience. I know I could just give her fruit or veggies for treats, but she gets plenty of those good foods, and she loves muffins so much, it's fun to sometimes provide these baked goodies.

Now that she's 2-1/2, Miss E can help me make them, and she loves that. The muffins pictured here were supposed to be blueberry-lemon, but when I went to get a lemon from the refrigerator, there was only one lime. The little cook was waiting so I grabbed the lime and made do. The lime was so juicy, there was a quarter cup of juice in just half the fruit, so I used the zest from the entire lime and the juice from half.

My little helper thought the muffins were delicious, and so did I. But next weekend I think we'll make fruit salad, just to change things up.

Blueberry-lime (or lemon) muffins
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and oil 12 or 18 muffin cups. The recipe is enough for 18 muffins, but you can squeeze it all into 12 muffin cups and have muffin tops if you want. I actually prefer the smaller ones, but I only have a 12-cup muffin tin. I've been meaning to purchase a 6-cup pan so I can have lots of leftovers to freeze.
  • 1-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice (like Sucanot)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)
  • zest from 1 lime (or lemon)
  • 1-3/4 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup lime (or lemon) juice
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened, non-dairy yogurt
* You can use all white whole wheat flour instead of coconut flour. If all wheat flour is used, use only 1-1/2 cups of milk. The coconut flour gives the muffins a wonderful, soft, silky texture and more fiber, but isn't necessary.
  1. Stir the flour well to lighten it. Spoon it into the measuring cup and use the flat edge of a knife to level the top.
  2. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and whisk or stir well to thoroughly combine.
  3. Stir in the zest and the blueberries.
  4. Combine the milk, lime juice, oil, vanilla and yogurt in a medium bowl and stir until smooth.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine, mixing as little as possible to incorporate all of the flour.
  6. Divide the batter (will be thick but light) between 12 muffin cups if you want muffin tops, or 18 muffin cups,for smaller muffins that don't fall over the pan.

Kasha and bowties

I love buckwheat so much I could eat it all the time. Traditionally, it's a winter food, and has warming qualities. I made kasha and bowties, or kasha varniskes, last night, and was intending to include a recipe, but now I'm too tired to write it. I'll get around to my version of k&b, which uses dried shiitake mushrooms and miso, soon, but in the meantime, if you want a great soup with buckwheat and bowties, try this one.


  1. Everything looks great but I'm most intrigued by the Kasha and bowties. Looks lovely!

  2. Oh, the muffins sound so good - - blueberry and lime is a great combination. Your pics are adorable!

  3. Your muffins look delicious (and your little granddaughter is really cute :)), and the Kasha sounds interesting. I love buckwheat, but don't have too many recipes to use it in. This will definitely go into my "to-make" list - and I look forward to your version, too!

  4. I've never been able to get past the smell of kasha, so I've never tried it. Now you have me intrigued.

  5. JL,
    This was kasha and bowties with a slightly Asian slant. I made a LOT and we still have leftovers, so it will be a few days before I make it again and nail down the ingredients.

    Thanks so much. My muffins tend to be less sweet than most and I guess I should warn people about that.

    Thanks! I'll be making the kasha again soon, so I can post a recipe.

    Taste and smell are closely related so your nose may be sending you a message. :D If you hold your nose while tasting something, you can't taste it as well. Maybe buckwheat is one of those things you won't like. For me it's anise.

  6. Those muffins sound really good!!

    Its hard to find unsweetened non-dairy yogurt where I live. Do you think I could use coconut milk?

  7. Your muffins look delish. I bet they were extra good since you had a little helper. :o) Your granddaughter is such a cutie!

  8. Such adorable pictures! I love the idea of blueberries and lime together, but have never been able to execute them to my desired tastiness in a recipe .. but have yet to try muffins!

  9. Kirsten,
    Can you get flavored non-dairy yogurt? You could use lemon or vanilla. The yogurt party stands in for fat, and partly for liquid. If you increase the oil to 1/4 cup, you could sub non-dairy milk for the yogurt. Just reduce the amount by two tablespoons.

    The little helper does make cooking more exciting.

    I actually wanted more lime flavor than I got, and will experiment with trying to increase the citrus taste. Maybe some lemon or lime extract would help. It's tricky balancing the sour lime with the sweetener, which I wanted to keep minimal.

  10. What a cutie your granddaughter is! How could you not indulge her with a muffin/baked treat?! Plus, having a helper in the kitchen is always fun :-)

    I bet the lime with the blueberries was fantastic--it sounds great. It never would have occurred to me--like you I would have thought lemon over lime--but now that you have suggested it, I know I am going to have to pair them together soon :-)


  11. Kasha and bowties! I've been craving this. You're right, it is such a fall dish, and so good. Your version with its multicoloured bowties and flecks of greenery is very festive-looking. But shiitake and miso? Someday I would like to see the recipe...Miss E is adorable, and always looks so happy in your pictures, it makes me happy too :-)

  12. Courtney,
    It's hard not to indulge Miss E, but I don't want her to think that all treats have to be sweet.

    I LOVE kasha and bowties, and I meant to provide the recipe but I lost track of exactly what I did. I'll make it again, soon, I'm sure. Miss E is usually happy, but when she's not, LOOK OUT!

  13. What a good grandma! I mean naughty. I mean... Well, my mom is a good/naughty grandma, too. Always giving those kids extra treats. I think you're great and creating special memories. :-)

  14. Awww, she's adorable! And the muffins sound good.

  15. Oh, Blessedmama, you understand. :D

    Thanks for commenting! And thanks for the complements.

  16. That kid gets cuter and cuter every day!

    I haven't had kasha and noodles in a very long time, but you make me want to have them.... A will eat anything with kasha, which both of us love.

    I miss you too!

  17. Claire,
    Yes, she does, doesn't she? Kasha tastes so good I don't know why we don't eat it more often. You and A should make some. Does he still grow shiitakes, I can't remember?

  18. Ha, I guess it#s all because you're a grandmother now. My parents' principles towards how to raise a kid changed completely now that they are grandparents.

    Those muffins look great, especially because they contain coconut flour. I rescued some from a moth invasion and should better bake with it soon.

  19. Claire,
    Yes, she does, doesn't she? Kasha tastes so good I don't know why we don't eat it more often. You and A should make some. Does he still grow shiitakes, I can't remember?

    I wouldn't say my principles have changed completely (:D), maybe they've been slightly relaxed since I don't see Miss E on a daily basis, and have to fit in all the "treats" and "specials" when I can.

  20. What a cute little baker Miss E is! Wow, that was one juicy lime! I'm lucky if I can get 1/4 cup of juice out of two of the pathetic little limes I can find at our grocery store.

    One dollar for a shirt is a steal, but one dollar for Miss E's *favorite* new shirt is priceless! :)

  21. That Miss E is just too, too adorable! I love that second photo of her stirring. What a smile! And I'm with River on the limes: I'm lucky if one entire lime yields 2 tbsp juice in my house.

    I adore buckwheat, too--kasha and bowties was a favorite growing up. I'll look forward to your recipe!

  22. River,
    I don't think my limes are usually that juicy. I didn't expect to only use a half! Hey, yeah, I like your perspective on the shirt.

    Did you notice how one hand seriously gripped the spoon while the other held firmly to the blankie?


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