It happens every year, yet it never seems to be any less unsettling. The changing of the seasons from summer to fall can bring about lots of discomfort. Maybe we come down with a cold. The weather goes a bit crazy: warm and sunny one day, gloomy and cold the next. We pack away our flip flops and bathing suits in favor of knitwear and coats. Being a food lover, however, I happen to like this particular seasonal change. I'm a big fan of butternut squash, apples, pears, and plums. Especially the gorgeous Victoria plums they grow in this country. They have a yellow flesh and a beautiful blush skin with many shades of pink, purple, and yellow. I'm definitely looking forward to many more weeks of these:
And I used this week's collection from the farmer's market to make muffins. They're actually more like mini muffins, as the plums tend to break down a bit in the oven and create a gooey consistency that could cause them to fall apart. So the smaller size and the paper cases are crucial here.
As far as the other ingredients go, I'm more and more fond of using coconut sugar (aka palm sugar) as a sweetener. It is quite low on the glycemic index and contains minerals and vitamins (which conventional white and brown sugar certainly don't!) Also, the coconut milk I used is not the typical, thick kind you can buy in a can, but rather a milk substitute that comes in a carton called Kara. However, a thicker coconut milk might add a nice rich texture to the muffins, so give it a try. Of course, the spelt flour isn't required - you can use whichever flour you want, although if you choose gluten-free, be sure to include some xantham gum for thickening.
Victoria Plum Muffins
Makes 24 small muffins (cupcake size)
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- pinch Pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 10-12 small Victoria plums, stoned and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400F / gas mark 6. Line 2 cupcake trays with paper cases.
- Mix the flaxseed with 3 tbsp lukewarm water and set aside to thicken (about 5-10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine the milk, vinegar, and flaxseed mixture. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Fold in the plums and carefully spoon into the cupcake cases.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My gas oven took slightly longer than 20 minutes, so make sure you check!
- Leave to cool slightly in the pan before removing the muffins and cooling completely on a rack.
And pretty soon, you'll be breaking that muffin apart and devouring it...