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Filed under: Breakfast, Vegetarian, Yummy

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When you hear the word "mesquite," you probably think of barbecue. But the mesquite we're cooking with in this issue bears no resemblance to the wood that adds a smoky flavor to grilled foods. Rather, mesquite flour (or mesquite powder) is ground from the pods of the mesquite plant, also called algorroba, which is found in dry parts of South America and the American Southwest. It has an earthy, fruity sweetness with a hint of caramel.

Mesquite has long been an important source of food for Native Americans. Now word of its superfood status is spreading—and with good reason: It's high in protein, low on the glycemic index, and a good source of soluble fiber, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, and potassium. It’s also gluten-free.

The texture of mesquite flour is not as fine as conventional flour but is thinner than the texture of a meal. It has a very soft texture when cooked, so it doesn’t lend itself to baked goods that require firm structure. But it works perfectly in breads, pancakes, waffles, and tortillas. Here, we mixed it into apple-cinnamon muffins for a morning treat everyone will enjoy.

Active time: 15 Minutes

Total time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • Baking spray
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup mesquite flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4-5 grinds of nutmeg
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with the baking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, yogurt, and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and combine. Add the apple and mix.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Fill the prepared pan with the muffin mixture. Sprinkle each muffin with the brown sugar mixture.
  6. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted into a muffin, comes out clean. Set the tin on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins and serve.

Variation

  • pineapple carrot
  • banana coconut
  • cranberry orange
Makes 12 muffins

Per serving: 72 calories, 3g fat, 2g protein, 11g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 3g sugar

 

MORE WAYS TO USE MESQUITE
SIP IT: Mix a spoonful into smoothies, or add it to coffee or tea.
SPRINKLE IT: Use it as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt.
SAVOR IT: Add it to soups, stews, and sauces, or mix it with herbs and spices to rub onto fish or meat.

WHERE TO GET IT:
Mesquite flour is available at natural food stores and online. We used The Raw Food World Raw Organic Mesquite Powder ($11 for 16 oz., amazon.com)

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