Lemon zest and ground cardamom give these muffins a dreamy flavor and aroma. Oat and millet flours produce a muffin that is hearty and filling while dates and applesauce lend sweetness and moistness without refined sugar and oil.
- 8 ounces pitted dates(12 to 14 Medjool or 24 to 28 Deglet Noor), chopped
- 1¼ cups unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup dry/uncooked millet
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (or see Notes)
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (see Notes)
- 1 cup fresh or unthawed frozen blueberries (to go into batter)
- 2 ounces walnuts, chopped (about ½ cup; optional)
- ½ cup fresh or unthawed frozen blueberries (to go on top)
- Place the dates and nondairy milk into a small bowl, and set aside for at least 15 mintues (so the dates can soften).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tray with paper cupcake liners (parchment paper liners are preferable).
- Grind the rolled oats and millet into flour with a blender (30 to 40 seconds; millet is hard). Transfer to a medium bowl, and whisk in the baking powder and cardamom.
- Pour the soaking dates and milk into the blender, and blend until smooth.
- Pour the date mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, add the applesauce and lemon zest, and mix just until all the dry ingredients have disappeared (the batter will be thick).
- Gently fold in the blueberries and chopped walnuts (if using). Don't overmix or you'll have purple muffins.
- Fill each muffin cup with an even amount of better. Use the ½ cup of extra blueberries to top each muffin with a few just before baking (make sure to push them in at least halfway so they won't roll off during rising).
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the tops have begun to brown. (these are hearty muffins, so they will not rise very much.) Set aside to cool before serving.
To zest a lemon, use a very fine-toothed grater (like a Microplane), grating or "zesting" only the yellow outer skin, avoiding the white pith below it.
Above: These muffins are hearty, and ideal to take with you when you want a quick bite that will fill your belly for a while, such as when traveling or hiking.
Above: Silicone bakeware is made from food-grade silicone plastic to withstand the heat of the oven and does not harm food. A silicone muffin pan is especially convenient since oil should be avoided (to grease the muffin cups). To remove the muffins, simply press up from the bottom of the pan to pop each muffin out. They also make single-serve silicone muffin cups (right), as well as silicone muffin papers.
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