Never get me down
Rainy Sundays mean no bike ride! Rainy Sundays mean we can clean the attic! Rainy Sundays mean I can write a blog post without guilt.
Even Remy finally calms down and acquiesces to the fact that the wet stuff that pelted her when I took her up the road might be a legit reason to skip the hike. She gives in and goes back to sleep while I admire her peripherally and type away as I’m doing right now on a chilly, rainy Sunday morning. In the world of cozy, the only situation that would beat this one would be if the rain were snow and if the day were the Monday or Tuesday between Christmas and New Years Eve. But the aromas coming from the oven today are perfect. Bertrand’s making healthy muffins.
Nice ring to it, no? Not Bertrand’s Healthy Muffins?? YUM! Trust me, they’re magic.
About a year ago, after being frustrated with not being able to find an almond milk that wasn’t either overly sweetened or unsweetened and palatable, he began making his own. Ordered a nut milk bag on line, pulled down the Vitamix, then got a little clever with his own sweeteners. Each week, often twice, he makes his almond milk. After a while, he started thinking about the leftover ground pulp that remained. That’s when I came in. Ever the weakened sweet tooth, I proposed muffins. “But with no sugar,” I added, in an attempt to add virtuous to my selfishness.
Back to the drawing board. He mixed and tweaked and experimented and substituted. He used almond flour, then decided he didn’t need it. So long sugar! See ya, almond flour! (not that there’s anything wrong with almond flour, but just using B’s own almond detritus made it feel even more homemade!). At the last minute, I plonked a jar of matcha powder down on the counter. “Can you try adding this?” I requested.
I’m not a huge green tea fan, but there is something quite wonderful about the flavor of matcha in a muffin. Years ago, the Korea-based skin care brand Amore Pacific held an event for beauty editors where they served matcha madeleines, and that flavor has never left me. Every time I find a matcha muffin, I nab it. Now the search is over. Fire up the oven.
Bertrand’s Almond Milk
- 1 cup whole raw almonds
- 3 cups water
- 3 pitted dates (deglet or mejdool)
- 1 T vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
Soak almonds in medium-sized bowl, fully immersed in water, for 8-12 hours. Strain, and set bowl aside. Place almonds and other ingredients in a blender, food processor or Vitamix. Blend on high for 60 seconds (blender) or 45 seconds (food processor or Vitamix). Pour freshly blended mixture into a nut milk bag, resting over a strainer inside the bowl. Squeeze bag to release the almond milk. Transfer milk from bowl to lidded jar, then store in fridge. Warning: Milk will separate after sitting in the fridge for a few hours — and look rancid/vile/unappetizing. Simply shake jar vigorously to restore proper creamy texture before using.
Bertrand’s Almond Meal Blueberry Macha Muffins (makes 8)
- 2 cups almond meal
- 2 eggs
- 2 added egg whites
- 1/4 cup agave
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 2 T matcha powder
- 1 t apple cider vinegar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 3 T coconut oil
- 1 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries
Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 7 ingredients, plus 2 T of the coconut oil in food processor. Mix until smooth, then delicately stir in blueberries. Coat muffin pan with remaining tablespoon of coconut oil, then scoop batter evenly into muffin molds. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until muffin tops have a slight hardened crust. Remove from oven and let cool.
Or don’t. I grabbed mine immediately and we both survived. Oh, and speaking of surviving, don’t forget to vote on November 8th!