Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rhubarb, Ginger & Honey Muffins

It isn't the season for rhubarb, so why am I talking about these muffins? Well, I found the recipe in a great book I just got in the mail, The BloggerAid Cook Book: Changing the Face of Famine. It isn't a bread book, not even a regular cookbook which I might ordinarily have bought but it is an important book because it helps each of us do something about world hunger. When we buy the book, all the proceeds go to the World Food Program' School Meals Programme, which benefits an average of 22 million hungry children a year. In countries where school attendance is low, the promise of at least one nutritious meal each and every day boosts enrollment and promotes regular attendance and we all know what difference education can make in preserving the world for our own kids and grand-kids. If you have read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, you have learned this fact first-hand and if you haven't, you are in for an eye-opening experience when you do (that book was one of the best ones I read last summer). In the poorest parts of the world, school feeding programs can double primary school enrollment in one year and among the principal beneficiaries are girls, who otherwise may never be given an opportunity to learn. Four hundred millions of kids (many more than the 22 millions WFP is currently in a position to help) suffer from hunger around the world, so it is tempting to think that our purchase of that one book will not make a difference. But it will. Sometimes pennies are what stand between a child going to bed hungry and a child going to sleep as we want our kids to go to sleep and anyway, if all our purchases combined only helped feed one single child, wouldn't it still be worth it? So please consider purchasing the book, for your relatives, for your friends but most of all for the millions of kids who need help. If you were in their parents' situation, you'd beg us to buy the book for your children's sake. So let's just do it! Because we can... Most of us food bloggers really can. Right? Back to the book. What I love about it - besides the fact that it helps hungry children everywhere - is that it is a compendium of recipes gleaned from fellow bloggers around the world. If I had known about the initiative, I would have gladly participated. But I hadn't and I didn't. The only thing I can do now is let others know about it, so that they can purchase the book too. I won't list the contributors, there are too many and quite a few of them have gorgeous blogs which you'll enjoy discovering. I find moving that so many are from developing countries, especially India. Hunger is in their backyard in a way that it is not here in North America (even though we have our share of poor kids) and they rose to the occasion by bearing testimony to what they see every day of their life and by inviting us to make a difference. Let's do it! This blog is mostly about bread and there aren't a lot of bread recipes in the BloggerAid book but there is another muffin recipe that I will make (avocado corn) and a baked cinnamon apple pancake that sounds really delicious, and then there are recipes for many other dishes which have nothing to do with bread. My copy of the book is full of little flags for recipes I intend to try. The rhubarb, ginger and honey muffins drew my attention because I love ginger with a passion and I am also extremely fond of rhubarb. I have in my freezer some cut up rhubarb from last year's bounty but I also have rhubarb jam which I had made in early summer and that's what I used here. If you don't have access to rhubarb in any shape or form before spring, I would use applesauce, sweetened or not according to taste. The recipe has been contributed to BloggerAid by fellow blogger David Hall from Book the Cook. I adapted it somewhat.
Ingredients (for 6 big muffins or 12 small ones): 100 g rhubarb jam (or applesauce) (David uses fresh rhubarb simmered in honey) 125 g unbleached all-purpose flour 120 g white whole wheat flour 60 g rolled oats 5 g baking soda 25 g crystallized ginger, roughly chopped 200 g plain yogurt (I used wholemilk, not no-fat or low fat) 50 g grapeseed or other neutral oil (David uses melted butter) 35 g liquid honey bran for topping, if desired (I had spelt bran left over from hand-milling some spelt and I used that) Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF/177ºC
  2. In a large bowl, sift the flours and baking soda
  3. Stir in the oats and ginger
  4. In another bowl, mix yogurt, egg, oil and honey
  5. Pour into the flour and oat mixture
  6. Combine thoroughly. If the mixture looks a little dry, add a little milk until it falls easily from the spoon (I did add some milk)
  7. Pour into muffin liners, sprinkle with bran (if using) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until risen and golden brown. Eat slightly warm.
David says his daughter loves these little muffins. I tried them on some of my youngest grandchildren (age 3 and 4) and they gobbled them up in spite of the (slightly) spicy ginger taste. Since they are nutritious, I was quite happy to see them disappear. These rhubarb, ginger and honey muffins go to Susan, from Wild Yeast for Yeastpotting where I hope they'll convince many more people to buy the book!

4 comments:

  1. Lovely and tempting, even if they are yeastless!

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  2. These muffins look fantastic! I love the ingredients in the filling. I wish that rhubarb were still in season!

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  3. @Susan, thank you for hosting them on Yeastspotting!
    @Joanne, some groceries carry frozen rhubarb...

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  4. Nice recipe and variations. Thank you for sharing it.

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