Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Millet Muffins and Church
What do millet muffins and church have in common? They are both, in some way, nourishing. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in need of nourishment. After making far too many overly sweet baked goods and after missing a few Sundays of church, I felt the need to infuse my life with some nourishment. So after I made a much-needed return to church, I made these delicious millet muffins.
I am not here to preach the virtues of going to church, but for me, it is nourishing. It is quiet and contemplative. You must stand at the correct times and kneel at the correct times and sing at the correct times. It is a ritual I know well and find soothing. It's comforting to know that this ritual is shared by many, past and present. My grandmother, who is the most faithful person I have ever known, went through the same Sunday ritual for most of her life. People much greater than I, as well as friends and family I try to emulate all participate in the same ritual. In a way, that makes going to church a meaningful thing to do. Church holds many more layers of meaning for me than simply the ritual it encompasses, but even when I am at a loss and in need of answers, church can simply be a time and space for me to experience a little quiet and peace. Even though I may not get there every week due to work or my only morning to sleep in or some other excuse, I know church is there. It will be waiting for me when I make the time. And it will always be nourishing for me.
The same is true for my baked goods. Even though I simply adore making decadent cakes and addictive cookies, these types of desserts are not always the most nourishing. And so, after I returned from church that Sunday, instead of whipping up a batch of my favorite cookies or a pan of seriously chocoately brownies, I made these millet muffins from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day. They are definitely nourishing and one of the tastiest muffin recipes I have ever come across. I am not going to even try to find another recipe for millet muffins because this one is perfect. When I need something more substantial than cake or slightly more healthy than a cookie, I make these muffins.
It was a good Sunday. I got the nourishment I needed. And I hope you take advantage of whatever is nourishing to you.
Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup raw millet
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (I used table salt)
1 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup barely melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
Grated zest and 2 Tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
Whisk together the flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, butter, honey and lemon zest and juice until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until just incorporated. Divine the batter among the muffin cups, spooning a heaping 1/4 cup into each one, filling it a bit below the rim.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the muffin tops are browned and just barely beginning to crack. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then turn the muffins out of the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins.