Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green Muffins

St. Pat's day is impending, and that means Green Breakfast for Spouse 1.0.  Having eschewed artificial green coloring, each year I face anew the challenge of creating a naturally green breakfast for him.

This year's inspiration: French green lentils.  They are such a pretty dark green -- until you cook them.  Then they become greenish brownish gray. 

The first installment towards the St. Pat's muffin was the Lenten Lentil Muffins. Even with the spinach and herbs, they weren't green enough. 

So, to green it up a bit, we use Lait du Pois instead of soy milk.  Lait du Pois? Um... that's french for pea milk.  But, odds are, if you're making these for your kids, there's no way you'll get them to eat something made with pea milk.  (Can't you hear your wee ones giggling and going "ewwww" and saying "Pea milk? Pea milk!! Yuck!" over & over until you want to scream?)  So, we use Lait du Pois instead.

And, Lait du Pois is really just... super runny pureed peas.

Lait du Pois

About 1 cup of frozen petite peas
About 1/2 cup water
  1. Place peas in water and bring to a boil.  Do not let the peas cook for more than a few seconds.
  2. Using a stick blender or a real blender, puree the peas in their cooking water.
  3. Check the consistency.  It should be somewhere between whole milk and heavy whipping cream. If it's too thick, add more water.
You will use about 3/4 cup of the Lait du Pois for the St. Paddy's Lentil Muffins.  The rest can be used to round out your green breakfast by adding it to your scrambled eggs, or use it to make some green biscuits.

As we move from Lenten Lentil Muffins to St. Paddy's Lentil Muffins, not much has changed. Just the "milk," the acid, and the topping.

St. Paddy's Lentil Muffins

Vegetable Ingredients

1 cup well-drained cooked green lentils (do not overcook)
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped fine
4 oz frozen organic chopped spinach

Dry Ingredients
30 g. white rice flour
60 g. brown rice flour
30 g. garbanzo flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp each, slightly rounded: Rosemary, thyme, garlic, parsley
Freshly ground salt & pepper to taste

Wet Ingredients
A little less than 3/4 cup Lait du Pois
1.5 tsp lemon juice
42 g. olive oil
1 egg

About 1/4 to 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios

Preheat oven to 400 (f) and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.
  1. Saute onion in olive oil until onion translucent. Set aside.
  2. In same skillet, cook spinach. Cool and squeeze until very dry. Let cool.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Whisk wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  5. Add vegetables to wet ingredients and mix well.
  6. Stir in dry ingredients, and add more water or lait du pois if needed to get a nice batter consistency. The amount of liquid you need will vary depending on how much water remains in the spinach and how well-drained the lentils are.
  7. Spoon mixture into muffin liners, then top with chopped pistachios.
  8. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.

 Actually, because I don't like them to be too big, this made a baker's dozen muffins for me.  The 13th muffin is cooked in a glass Pampered Chef prep bowl lined with a muffin liner. That one usually is a little smaller than the others, and sometimes takes an extra few minutes to bake.

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