Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

eggless_blueberry_muffins

I don’t own a whole lot of cookbooks (pssst… I own only 3 of them) and among them the book Joy of Vegan Cooking is my favorite. This book has helped me improve my baking skills and also let me venture and experiment with vegan cooking. I have tried many recipes from this book like Oatmeal raisin cookies, Cinnamon coffee cake, chocolate chip cookies and now this Blueberry Muffins; all with wonderful results.

 The recipe in the cookbook is originally for Lemon Blueberry muffins but in this recipe I skipped the lemon. I had tried the Lemon Blueberry muffins one time by following the recipe to a T and the next time experimented without the lemon flavor and made these Blueberry muffins. All I did was substitute lemon extract with vanilla and skipped the lemon zest. Even though I love lemon flavor in cakes and cookies, I did not like the lemon blueberry muffins but liked the one with vanilla better. It’s all personal taste and by all means try the one’s you like. 

Either way the muffins are soft, moist and because of this hard to believe that there were no eggs added in the recipe. Since there is no butter in this, it makes a wonderful low-fat snack. It is simple and a good one for beginners to try. Substitute blueberries with other berries or chopped fruit, chocolate chips or skip them altogether. Overall an awesome egg-free muffin and definitely a keeper recipe. 

Note: Please note that vinegar is used in this recipe as a substitute for egg.

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Recipe Source: Adapted from Joy of Vegan Cooking                                                                                                            

Yields: 12 muffins 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour /Maida
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3/4cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk ( I used 2% milk)
  • 1/3 cup oil(I  used vegetable oil, canola should be fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (substitute with lemon if you prefer)
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar ( I used apple cider vinegar, white distilled should work as well) [this is used as a substitute for egg]
  • 1 cup blueberry ( I used frozen and thawed, fresh should work )

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Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Lightly grease a muffin tin.
  • Take a medium sized bowl and combine AP flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In another large bowl, mix the sugar, milk, oil, extract, and vinegar. Mix well.
  • Add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients slowly and stir until combined. (I ran this through my hand blender for a minute).
  • This mixture is not thick as compared to the cake batter. Now add in the berries and stir using rubber spatula.
  • Fill each of the muffin tins until about 2/3 full. Transfer to the oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until they are puffed up and lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the muffins from the tins and cool on wire rack.

Chutney and Plain Dosa Recipe

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In our house Dosa chutney or Idli chutney gets transformed from a breakfast ritual to a Friday Dinner ritual. If it is Idli one week, then it is Dosa the other week. I soak the daal and rice Thursday morning while leaving for work and grind it in the night. So by Friday evening the batter has ample time to ferment. This is the recipe I follow for dosa with good results. Here are some more recipes for Idli and Dosa. 

I know Plain Dosa and chutney is an easy recipe for many of us, especially for the people from the South. But for many of my friends and colleagues from the North it is the opposite. So without much talk here is the recipe for Plain Dosa and Chutney.

Ingredients for Dosa

  • 1 cup urad daal
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/3 cup chana daal
  • 1 tsp methi seeds/fenugreek
  • Handful of poha/aval/avalakki/beaten rice (thick or thin is fine)

Method:

  • Soak the urad daal, rice, chana daal, methi in sufficient water overnight.
  • When you are ready to grind the next day soak the poha in little water (until it puffs up) and keep it aside.
  • In a blender/grinder grind the soaked rice, daals, methi and the poha with little water to a paste consistency.
  • The consistency of the batter should not be too thick or thin. Add more water if necessary to ease the grinding process.
  • Transfer the batter to a container and let it sit aside to ferment. It takes at least 8-10 hours in summer and about 24 hours in winter.
  • When ready to make the dosas, take the batter out and add water, salt as necessary and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat the iron griddle or non-stick tava on medium-high heat. Sprinkle some water on the tava.
  • Now pour a ladle of batter in the centre, spread with the back of the ladle to form a big circle.
  • Pour a tsp. of ghee or oil over and around it. Let it cook for a minute until the bottom part has lightly browned.
  • Turn with a spatula when crisp and flip onto the other side. Let it cook for another 30 secs.
  • Take the dosa out and serve hot. Continue making dosas similar way with the remaining batter.

  

chutney_dosa

Ingredients for Raw Mango chutney: 

  • 1 cup shredded coconut  (fresh or frozen)
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • ¼ cup raw mango cut into chunks (skin peeled) [substitute with 1 tbsp tamarind paste]
  • Salt to taste

Seasoning/Tadka

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  •  3-4 Curry leaves
  •  Asafetida (hing) a pinch
  •  2-3 red chillies broken into an inch
  •  1 tsp oil  

Method: 

  • First grind the shredded coconut along with green chillies, and salt without adding any water.
  • Then add the raw mango chunks and grind again (without water).
  • After it has blended add sufficient water and grind again. Do not grind for a long time as it will become sweet. Transfer to a bowl.
  • For tadka heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies and asafetida, and mix well. Pour this over the chutney and close this with lid immediately. Mix before serving. 

Serve this along with ho Dosas!

Kashay– Nutritional Spiced Hot Drink

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Kashay (In Konkani) is a hot milk beverage that is common in many Konkani households. It is a spiced drink that is not only potent but a nutritional powerhouse as well. This is preferred as beverage choice by many people instead of the regular tea or coffee.

Growing up I remember many elderly people having Kashay in the evening as it would aid in digestion and also have a cooling effect on the body. This was a common drink in my house as well. Many times while making this drink my mom used to add lemon grass (called Nirvale tan in Konkani) while making this drink. That adds even more flavor and aroma to this drink.

The first step while making the Kashay involves preparing the powder called as Kashay Pitto (Konkani). This involves dry roasting various spices including cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek. The roasted spices are then powdered and stored in air tight container. The powdered so prepared can be used for making the warm milk as and when desired. The kashaya powder by itself is very aromatic.

Few weeks ago, my MIL reminded of this nutritional drink and asked me to give it a try. I looked around and found the recipe here and here. Ever since I tried it, we have been hooked on to this drink.  Since in the mornings DH and I do not consume coffee or tea this drink works wonders for us. Also because of the cold wintery mornings, this drink provides a warm nourishing boost.

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(Kashay powder/pitto)

Coriander seeds: Coriander is a very good source of dietary fiber and a good source of iron, magnesium and manganese. It is supposed to reduce the level of total and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), while actually increasing levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). (source)

Cumin seeds: Cumin seeds may also have anti-carcinogenic properties. Cumin seeds have traditionally been noted to be of benefit to the digestive system. They are a very good source of iron, a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body. (source)

Fennel Seeds: As fennel seeds are rich in phytoestrogens, consuming them has a powerful effect on stomach disorders and irritable bowels. Other than that, the seeds are used to normalize the functioning of the lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys. Moreover, they are useful in comforting chest pain, lowering hypertension, easing water retention, curing heartburn, bronchial asthma and controlling cardiac problems. (source).

For people trying for first time, I suggest trying this in smaller quantities and adjust levels according to taste. All the spices that go into the drink promote good health in one way or the other and I feel it is totally worth it.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Aayi’s Recipes and Konkani Kitchen

Ingredients:

To make the powder

  • 1 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)

To make the drink

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp powdered jaggery/sugar
  • ½ tsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp kashay powder (see above)

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Method:

  • Powder: Roast ingredients separately in a small pan until light brown and powder finely. No need to add oil while roasting.
  • To make the drink: Heat a small saucepan/vessel.  Into this add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of milk and boil.
  • Add jaggery, 1 tsp powder and stir well and continue to heat for a minute.
  • Remove from flame and close with lid for 5 minutes and keep aside.
  • Transfer to tea cup by using a strainer. (optional) Serve hot.
  • Note: I do not strain the powder as I feel some nutrients will be lost. You have to keep stirring the drink while having it though.
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