Saturday, October 24, 2015

Herb and Olive Muffins

For me, olives are a prime example of how our tastes can change in adulthood (see also: parsnips and brussels sprouts, which means there's hope that my lifelong aversion to turnip, swede, and rutabaga may yet abate). Until I was about thirty, I considered all olives - black and green alike - to be nasty little nuggets of pure evil. I liked the oil extracted from them, but olives as themselves elicited no love from me. But somewhere along the line that all changed, and now I can't get enough of the wee darlings, whether in cooked recipes, in green, pasta, and/or potato salads, in martinis (obviously), or just on their own.

This fondness is enthusiastically shared by my whole family, so a batch of these muffins disappears in about 48 hours. In fact, it seems like I'm always baking them these days, which is fine because they are delicious. Fresh-baked muffins make a perfect snack, and are welcome additions to breakfast or brunch, but they are also so simple and fast that you can easily whip up a batch to have with dinner (they make a particularly nice accompaniment to Greek lentil and avgolemono soups).

Herb and Olive Muffins
~ 1.5-2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
~ 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
~ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
~ 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, dill, basil, parsley
~ 1/2 tsp. each: baking soda, thyme, oregano, white pepper, garlic powder
~ 1 generous cup chopped black olives (I use kalamata)

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
~ In a beaker, combine 1.5 cups of the soy milk with the vinegar, flaxseed, and olive oil; whisk vigorously for about a minute.
~ In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour through garlic powder), the sprinkle in the olives and toss well to coat.
~ Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet mixture, adding up to ½ cup extra soy milk as needed to get a relatively smooth batter.
~ Spoon the batter evenly into your prepared muffin tin, and bake in the center of the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Ovens vary wildly and mine tends to be slow, so proceed accordingly.)
~ Remove from oven and allow the muffins to rest in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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