Saturday, June 26, 2010

summa-time and strawberries (part 1)

It's now officially summer and that means I can't walk 10 steps at the farmer's market without seeing beautiful bright red strawberries.  Irresistible, right?

Especially when they're as big as your palm!  Check this puppy out!

Since we're swimming with strawberries this time of year, we're trying to get creative with how to use know, other than just wash-and-eat...which happens too and is the reason we purchase double the berries we plan on using. 

Every Sunday I bake a batch of muffins for us to eat for breakfast in the car on the way to work.  What better summa-time muffin than a strawberry muffin?!?  Why are strawberry muffins not more popular?  I didn't really want to make plain old strawberry muffins, I wanted to spruce them up with something.  Wanna know what else abounds in the summa-time?  Basil.  And there we have it...strawberry basil muffins.  Don't freak out.  It's amazing.  You like strawberries and mint, right?  Well basil has that same fresh flavor that pairs so nicely with sweet sweet berries.  Trust me, it's good.

See the basil???

I used this blackberry muffin recipe as a model, but you'll see how much I change things up (and make them a wee bit healthier)

Strawberry Basil Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup 0% fat greek yogurt
1 tsp milk (sometimes I leave this out if I don't have milk)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp melted butter
4 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz fresh strawberries, quartered
chopped basil (I didn't measure, but I used somewhere around 3tbsp I think)

Preheat the oven to 400deg.  Spray a regular 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Sprinkle a spoonful of sugar over the strawberries, add basil, stir.  Set aside.  (I did not do this but I wish I had.  Macerating the berries brings out the natural sugars and juices which would mix nicely with the basil)

Combine dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt) in a medium bowl and set it aside.  Combine wet ingredients (except berries) in a separate bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring gently to combine.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  You want to stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Then add the strawberries.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups (I actually use 16 cups for smaller muffins...whatever you choose).  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops look slightly brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Let cool for a couple minutes before removing from the pan.



The boy chef wannabe got ahold of some berries as well and made something interesting.  Stay tuned for that...

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