“We Are Our Choices”: Blueberry-Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins

 Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins“We are our choices.”  This quote is attributed to Jean-Paul Sartre, a French existentialist and a leading figure in 20th century French philosophy. He declined the award of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age.”  While coming up with a title for today’s post, I was thinking along the lines of “Have It Your Way.” When one of America’s largest fast-food chains came up with this slogan over 40 years ago it was meant to make you feel as if you had choices. Even I bit into it that notion.  (They recently changed it to “Be Your Way”.  Sounds like poor English to me.  My friends at the English Language Institute are probably shaking their heads right about now.) Anyway, my aim is for you to realize that you have the power to adapt any of my recipes to suit your needs. I just couldn’t bring myself to use that worn-out saying since it represents an industry that does more harm than good. Since this post is about choices, I googled quotes about choices and was introduced to Jean-Paul Sartre. “We are our choices” is fitting on so many levels. It could be interpreted along the lines of “you are what you eat” to mean that whatever food we put into our bodies determines our health and well-being. So true. A deeper meaning lies in Sartre’s ideas that were filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth. This is a big part of what the plant-based and vegan movement is all about; freeing ourselves physically and ethically and searching for the truth about how food choices impact our community and our world.

My recipe for Blueberry-Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins is a good example of how you can adapt a recipe to make it fit into your lifestyle. You can choose to make the original recipe for basic blueberry muffins. If you plan on making a meal with chickpeas or white beans, you can save the cooking liquid and substitute the aquafaba for some of the milk. You can experiment with different types and proportions of flour. Sometimes I use all spelt flour; other times I use half spelt and half whole wheat pastry flour. Today I used 1 cup of spelt and 1 cup of all-purpose whole wheat flour. All good. You can make straight-up blueberry muffins or add the lemon juice and poppy seeds for something extra. If you want to reduce the amount of fat (or eliminate an extra task), you can use cupcake liners in lieu of greasing the muffin tins  Whatever options you choose, these muffins are great for breakfast, coffee break, afternoon tea or any other time of day. The choice is yours. I thank you for choosing Vegi-curious.

Blueberry Muffins
(with option for Lemon-Poppy Seed)

Wet Ingredients:
¼ cup almond butter
¼ cup granulated sugar (cane or coconut)
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons aquafaba – liquid from can of chickpeas (see notes)
3/4 cup unsweetened soy, cashew or almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups spelt flour (see notes)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1-1/2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin or line with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl cream together almond butter and sugar. Add the mashed banana, aquafaba, milk and maple syrup to the bowl.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently. Using a large ice cream scoop, fill muffins tins ¾ the way full. Bake at 350F for 23-27 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-8 minutes and then transfer muffins to a cooling rack and cool for another 15 minutes.

Notes:
1. If you don’t have the aquafaba, add 2 extra tablespoons of milk.
2. You can use any combination and proportions of flours. I’ve used spelt, all-purpose whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, white flour.
3. If using frozen blueberries, be sure to leave them in the freezer (do not thaw) until just before you stir them into the batter. This helps prevent bleeding.
4. For Blueberry-Lemon-Poppy Seed muffins, add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds.

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