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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Juicing, Muffins, and Tofu, Oh My! (Morning Glory Muffin Recipe Included)

If you haven't noticed a theme throughout a lot of my posting lately, we've been doing some experimenting with food.  For the past couple of years, we've been eating a 75% or so vegetarian diet.  After watching some food documentaries, most notably Forks Over Knives (go Netflix it!), along with some helpful advice from blogs like Kitchen Stewardship, we've switched that to about 90% vegetarian, and are working on other changes as well.

We got a juicer shortly after Christmas.  I was a little bit hesitant at first, because I wasn't sure A) that we were going to use it (we do juice 4-5 nights a week after dinner) and B) that we could afford it (The model we bought was $50, and I've designated $10/week of our budget to produce for juicing).

The juice is really tasty, and you can get a lot of the vitamins and nutrients from the veggies and fruits.  To get the fiber, most of which is "spit out" in the pulp, I've been using the carrot/apple mixture for muffins (recipe below), and the other veggie bits get added to our broth.  I don't save every little bit, because I haven't found other ways to use it all yet, and we can only eat/freeze so many muffins, but even using those bits helps to make the $10/week worth the money.  Plus, my veggie-hating almost-two-year-old thinks the juice is awesome, and he likes muffins, so any way I can get him some more produce is a plus!

In other food experimenting, we also tried tofu for the first time.  That was a less successful endeavor.  After pressing it, marinating it in a teriyaki sauce, and baking it, it was still fairly mushy and not that great.  Part of that was probably technique, and part was the marinade.  So we are trying again with a barbecue sauce we know we like, a longer marinating time, and a slightly longer baking time to see if we can get it dried out and a little crispier.  This has been more Jesse's project, because I have a mental block when it comes to tofu.  I'm not sure why - it's just beans, and we eat plenty of those!  But I have been trying what he comes up with and offering my suggestions.

Morning Glory Muffins
(makes 18-20 muffins)

  • Juicing pulp of 3-4 carrots and 2-3 small apples, about 2.5 cups grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (for now)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, mix grated fruit and veggies, eggs, oil, milk, applesauce, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Scoop into greased muffin tin and bake 22-25 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

We've just done carrots and apples so far, but you could also add in zucchini, squash, or other fruits, depending on what you have available (or what you put in your juice!).  This recipe was adapted from My Baking Addiction's Morning Glory Muffins.

On the agenda for the next few weeks of food experiments:
  • Coconut oil.  We bought a jar of coconut oil at the local co-op, and are going to try that in some of our baked goods instead of canola oil, which this post has me questioning.  If it works out well, I'll probably start using some of my Swagbucks money to pick that up online, where the prices seem to be a lot cheaper.
  • Brownies with black beans. I cooked up some extra beans yesterday, and I'm curious to see what the flavor and texture ends up being.  These are gluten-free, which isn't an issue in our family, but it won't be bad to have a good gluten-free recipe in my arsenal, so I hope this works out.
  • Reading through Better Than A Box and Easy.Homemade.  These are two ebooks I actually spent money on (as opposed to most of the free ones that I get), because they both are full of real food information and recipes.  I've only skimmed them so far, but I want to read through them and find some more goodies to try.

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