It all began when we came home with a handful of baby beets we harvested from our community garden.
“Let’s go pick the remaining beets before they pull everything out” said Karen who is an avid gardener and whose mother heads our community garden project. She didn’t have to tell me twice. The children and I headed to the garden five minutes later with our market basket and the excitement of a meal to come.
We walked by rows of carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, kale, lettuces, eggplants, peppers, and more. Miren ran around in circles while trying to eat every cherry tomato she encountered.
“Only pull the ones that are already peeking” I instructed Jon who carefully examined all the beets and enlisted Miren in the task.
“So red!” Jon shouted as he helped wash the beets. A stream of bright red color had pigmented our sink.
“That is how natural red food coloring is made” I explained to them.
And just like that they had me making muffins.
These red beet and poppy seed muffins are earthy and nutty with a mixture of brown rice, almond, and quinoa flour. Moist thanks to the muscovado sugar and coconut oil, and warm with a million specs of vanilla seeds. And I may add that they are gluten and dairy free.
I have made these muffins several times now and they disappear as quickly as I make them.
We even took them on a beach picnic this weekend. It was the perfect snack on that cool and sunny afternoon. Oh yes, I will have to tell you about the beach picnic too. It was a productive one.
Also, just a quick reminder that this Wednesday February 15th at 9:00am EST, we will open registration for my food styling and photography retreat in Whistler, British Columbia. For more workshop details and registration, visit Ritchie Ace Camps.
I cannot wait.
Gluten and Dairy Free Beet and Poppy Seed Muffins
makes 9 muffins
1 medium red beet
1/2 cup (125 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup (70 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (50 g) almond flour
1/4 cup (35 g) quinoa flour
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 g) light muscovado or brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1/4 cup (60 ml) melted coconut oil
In a small pan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the beet, cover the pan, reduce heat to medium, and cook until a knife can be inserted in the center. Time will vary depending on the size of the beet. Drain the water and let the beet cool enough to handle. Peel it and cut it into chunks. Puree in the food processor. Measure out 1/4 cup (60 g) beet puree and reserve. You can freeze the rest for another time.
Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
Mix the coconut milk and lemon juice in a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the superfine brown rice flour, almond flour, quinoa flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, muscovado sugar, vanilla seeds, coconut milk mixture, coconut oil, and beet puree. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk to combine.
Scoop the batter into muffin pan lined with baking papers. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.