Espresso Chocolate Bran Muffins

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I was walking to the mailbox yesterday to post a birthday card. Through slush & ice. Down my mile-long driveway. Okay, it was an easy stroll. And on the way back I ran into my not-quite-elderly or else in really great shape & elderly neighbor. She engaged in small talk. Eventually she asked what I study & when I replied “Global Environmental Policy” she responded: “Is that like… Al Gore stuff?”

Yes, folks. It is indeed a bit like “Al Gore Stuff.”

Though, only a fraction of us study climate change. Some of us study energy, some conservation, some international institutions, some water, and those of us that are particularly cool study agriculture & food.

Speaking of which, this week we’re actually studying the EU decision making process on GMOs. Which shall serve as a transition to delicious muffins made with organic whole wheat flour. And probably GM wheat bran… but I wouldn’t know, because it’s not labeled!

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These muffins are a one bowl, three measuring cups (because I use a 1/4 & 1/2 cup for everything) , throw it together in a jiff kind of recipe.

As muffin recipes should be.

And they’re dairy-free, whole wheat, bran muffins. Hello, sorta healthy.

With CHOCOLATE in them. And ESPRESSO. Which probably explains my use of caps right there.

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And the most important part is that I now have espresso-laden, semi-healthy muffins to take to campus Wednesday & Thursday.

I usually forget to pack any food at all and survive off overpriced soy lattes & bagels sold on campus. And by the end of the day my stomach feels cramped & ready to implode/explode. And my journey begins at 6 (wake up) & ends around 10 (get home). But fear not this week! I have prepared with muffins, tabbouleh, hummus & pita! Oh me oh my!

Also, these muffins make the house smell glorious. In all their chocolatey, espresso, fresh-baked goodness.

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins

Inspired by The Kitchy Kitchen
Makes 12 Standard Muffins

WET:
1/2 Cup Oil (i use canola)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Brewed Coffee (cold)
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
2 Tbsp Ground Espresso
1 Egg (i use ener-g)
2 Tsp Vanilla

DRY:
1 2/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 Cup Bran (I used half oat & half wheat)
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
3/4 – 1 Cup Chocolate Chips*

*I used dairy-free chocolate – half Ghirardelli Semisweet Chocolate Chips & half chopped Ibarro Mexican Chocolate. The Mexican chocolate is full of granulated sugar & adds a nice sugary crunch to the muffins.  Feel free to use as much chocolate, or little as you like – keeping in mind that it may affect the volume of the batter.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tray with muffin papers.

Combine all the wet ingredients in a medium/large bowl. Add all the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
Combine thoroughly. Stir in chocolate Chips.
Spoon batter evenly into muffin papers. Should all be about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 18 – 22 minutes or until muffins spring back to a light touch (or toothpick comes out clean method).

Now, NOSH.

With a cold glass or milk or hot cup of coffee.

Contains caffeine. Please, enjoy responsibly : )

All gone!

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Lemon Poppyseed Muffins!

I can’t get enough lemon! I think it’s because citrus (although in season in winter) is very Spring. Lemons, limes, grapefruit… all so glorious. And right now we all know we can’t wait for Spring. I love the sunshine & the longer days & the tulips & the daffodils! And did I mention the sunshine? Tuesday March 20, 2012 is the first day of Spring this year! I think we should all throw Spring parties & make lemon poppyseed muffins! : )

Last night was my second “gentle” yoga class. I swear, it is not gentle. I can feel last night in my arms, my shoulders, my back, my booty, and my legs. And I love it. The instructor is really great and I’m definitely the youngest person in the class but everyone has a great sense of humor. I also can’t wait to do some yoga outside since the weather is getting nicer everyday.

In other news, Stephen’s Spring Break start this weekend so he’s coming back down to Annapolis tomorrow. We’re going to spend some time in DC & make lots of yummy food before heading up to Kutztown on Thursday (which means I get to visit Echo Hill, my favorite!). I’m excited! The weather here is supposed to be in the 50s all week and mostly sunny.

Anyway, I felt like giving myself a reward (lemon poppyseed muffins) for all my workouts this week & I wanted to make a treat for Stephen… he loves muffins. I’m so excited about them I think they deserve an exclamation point! I’ve been wanting to make yummy vegan muffins for weeks now. And today it’s 64F outside! Lemon Poppyseed is perfect. Even though it rained the last two days, I still feel like we’ve had so much sunshine lately. And today is just gorgeous. These muffins are perfect for today. They’re perfectly light & moist & flavorful. I’ve had two and I’m desperately trying to resist eating a third.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins!

Makes 12 Muffins

  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp Vegan Butter (melted)
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Soy (or Almond) Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 1/4 Cups AP Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Poppyseeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with 12 muffin papers.

Combine melted butter, vegetable/canola oil, milk, lemon juice & lemon zest. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add sugar & maple syrup & stir again! Add the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt and stir until batter is smooth. It will be a very light batter. (at least for me! I’m used to making bran-muffins). Add the poppyseeds and stir to combine.

Pour batter evenly amongst 12 muffin papers, about 3/4 full. I used a 1/4 cup to measure.

Half way through baking increase temperature to 375F. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Let cool (or not) and enjoy with butter, vegan lemon curd, hot tea, or a cold glass of (coconut) milk! 🙂

And don’t forget to enjoy the sunshine!