Mom and her sister are here, both from warmer climates, muttering about how cold it is here in Northern California. “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Fransisco,” Mark Twain said of our weather too, so they are in good company.
I root around in the pantry for something to satisfy mom’s request for a “hot breakfast cereal is too cold do you have any oatmeal?” She says without stopping as I turn over the Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal package I’ve pulled from beside the flours.
Mom is mostly gluten free, so I say, “Muffins?”
“Oh, good then we can turn on the oven…”
“…and the heater when everyone is upstairs, otherwise we cook them.” Even though heat rises, our house has two climates: upstairs frozen tundra and downstairs scorching desert.
I’m scanning the ingredients and making mental calculations; eggs, yogurt, brown sugar, soy flour, how can I replace those? Mom is off soy too, at the moment. I have a plan. Not gluten free, but warm and very tasty served with nut butter or jam.
I bake as an experiment, using the recipe as “guidelines,” for quantities of liquid, sweetening and binders to replace eggs. Sometimes it works, oftentimes not so much. Today it did.
Dry ingredients- combine well in a large bowl.
2/3 cup medium grind organic cornmeal
2/3 cup garbanzo flour (replacing soy flour)
1/2 cup toasted wheatgerm
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic white flour
1 cup ground raw hazelnuts (pulse chop in blender or Cuisinart)
1 cup ground raw pecans
1 cup organic raisins
1 package (about 1 cup) Trader Joe’s frozen semi dried apricots, chopped roughly into 1-3 centimeter pieces
2 teaspoons of baking soda
Liquid ingredients- mix together in a quart sized measuring cup or bowl.
1 cup vanilla almond milk (I like Trader Joe’s refrigerated brand)
1 small container of coconut vanilla non dairy yogurt (about 1 cup)
1 cup of honey or agave
2/3 cup of canola oil
Juice and grated zest from one large orange
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chia seeds (to replace the egg, you can also use the same quantity of ground flaxseed)
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Gently combine wet and dry ingredients, fill paper lined muffin tins with a generous 1/2 cup of batter. Bake in a preheated 350degree F oven for 25 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out clean.