Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Basil and olive oil muffins (vegan version)


In my series of vegan muffins I had to come up with something savory sooner or later. My dad is especially fond of low sugar food, but everybody else also seems to enjoy savory cookies, pies etc. That's why quiches got so much traction with us. Anyhow one day I thought about something like pesto muffin. Intense green and with mind blowing basil aroma.


My obsession with fresh green basil never lets me go, so it pups up on a regular basis in this or that form in the food I cook. However I never really got much further than Caprese salad and Pesto pasta before. When the idea came I couldn't help Googling the "basil and olive oil muffin" and "pesto muffin" and, yes, it seems to resonate a lot with people.

I did think about adding pine nuts. However this time I chose to add some Italian sun dried tomatoes instead. The muffins came out really fragrant, perfectly soft and moist. The pieces of sun dried tomatoes added sparks of intense sweet and savory flavor without interfering with the texture. Pine nuts are first in line for the next time though.

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As it always plays out with muffins, these took a 20 minute effort and made everybody happy. So here is the recipe in case you would like to try them.

Basil and olive oil muffins (vegan version) (recipe adapted from classic muffins by the Joy of Cooking)

makes 10 standard muffins

250 g all purpose flour
1.5 table spoons baking powder
1 tea spoon salt (it is better to use some good tasting sea salt or Fleur de Sel / Maldon salt)
1/2 tea spoon freshly ground black pepper
2 table spoons light brown sugar

340 ml soya milk or thin coconut milk
90 ml extra virgin olive oil

50 g (3 handfuls) of fresh green basil leaves
6 pieces of Italian sun dried tomatoes
handful of pine nuts (optional)

Soak the tomatoes in warm water for 15 minutes, then dry slightly with a paper towel and chop into 1 cm squares. Process basil leaves with olive oil to get a fine paste.

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Combine the dry ingredients and mix them well to make sure the baking powder is spread evenly. Add soya milk and basil paste. Mix till the flour just gets wet. Add in the tomatoes and mix gently till there are no more big lumps of dry flour. Do not over-mix the batter. This can easily make the muffins too dense in texture.

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Fill the oiled muffin cups to 3/4 of their hight and bake at 200C for 15 - 17 minutes. Check with a toothpick - should come out clean if inserted into the center of a muffin. Let cool on a rack for 2 minutes and take out of the muffin cups.

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The muffins are great when just baked. In case you need to store them - they keep well in an airtight container or plastic bag in a fridge for 2-3 days. For longer time they perfectly freeze. I love this ability of them. I can just take a muffin out of the freezer, put it in a microwave and get it back fresh as if just baked in 30 seconds.

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Right after we got done with these muffins, my brother said he now wanted "chocolate muffins with caramel pieces". So the series of sweet muffins is going to continue soon.

Related posts and pages:

Pumpkin and walnut muffins (vegan version)
Banana upside down mini cakes (vegan version)