Lemon poppy seed muffins
If you think about it, lemons are an amazing fruit. They are always available (despite not being local, unfortunately), reasonably priced, long-lasting, vibrant and beautiful. They are just as useful in cooking as in baking, and they have an outside peel and inside juice that are equally useful. Lemons are also used as a natural stain remover, a household cleaner, and a remedy for sore throats, upset stomachs, asthma and even rheumatism. At work, I often sip on a mug of warm water with fresh lemon juice, which is known to have a number of health benefits, including eliminating toxins from the body.
In my kitchen, lemony desserts are always welcome, no matter what time of year it is. There’s something about that fresh citrus fruit that is just as refreshing on a hot summer day as it is after a warm winter meal. My most trusted lemon recipe comes in the form of muffins that are full of vibrant, fresh lemon and crunchy poppy seeds. I reduced the sugar significantly from my original test recipe, and when I took them to work the next day, they were a hit. They stay moist for several days and also freeze well, so feel free to double the recipe and freeze them for morning snacks or unexpected company.
On another note, if you live in the Toronto area, you might be interested in checking out the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-off coming up on October 2. I have officially registered for the first time, and I am excited to put together my submission (hint: it involves the subject of this post). Taste testers are needed to devour and rate the hundreds of samples that will be prepared and judged within five categories, including gluten-free and raw desserts, so come and join the fun if you can! It’s a great excuse to gather with like-minded vegan foodies and celebrate World Vegetarian Day.
Lemon poppy seed muffins
Yield: one dozen
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1/2 cup Sucanat
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup nondairy milk
- 1/4 cup sunflower or canola oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Grind the Sucanat briefly in a spice or coffee grinder. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, Sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, nondairy milk, oil and vanilla extract.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and mix just until no large clumps remain. Don't overmix.
- Spoon the batter into an oiled muffin pan, filling each muffin cup almost to the top. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar or Sucanat if desired.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes before carefully transferring the muffins to a cooling rack.