Tastes like spring (and a recipe)

When it snows, I like to bake.

When it snows in April, I like to bake things that taste like spring.

As the snow piles up outside, I preheat the oven and pull out the muffin tin.

As the streets fill with gray slush, I rummage through the produce drawer for bright yellow lemons.

As the heater whispers in the background, I rinse fresh blueberries under cold water.

 

There’s something comforting about ushering springtime into my kitchen even as ice coats the world outside. Because the reality is, it’s not winter anymore. Nearly a month ago, spring came. The sun began lingering farther into the evening. The tree outside my window sprouted buds. The fact that they are now covered in snow does not negate the fact that they’re there.

It’s easy to let my circumstances dictate my reality. To let my emotions trump my intellect. To forget that under that swirling snow, it is still spring.

Sometimes, I just need a reminder. A reset. A grace-filled reprimand that my worth is not tied to a bad day or a sad moment or something as fickle as the weather. My foundation is far firmer than that.

This spring snowstorm reminded me of that. It made me crave citrus and berries and warmth and light.

So I stood, barefoot in my kitchen, and stirred together almond meal and oat flour and coconut milk (and silently wondered when i became a hippy who cooked with these ingredients). I poured maple syrup in a thin brown stream into the bowl and zested a lemon, bright yellow and filling the air with its scent. I dropped in the blueberries and carefully, carefully stirred them. I put the pan in the oven and waited.

When I pulled them out, I couldn’t wait for them to cool. I stood by the window and took my first bite. My tastebuds hummed spring. Bursting blueberries and tart lemon and crunchy and sweet and perfection.

It was spring.

 

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Springtime Blueberry Muffins (adapted slightly from Ambitious Kitchen)

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup packed almond meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or whatever milk/milk substitute you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen, which bleeds a little into the batter, but I wasn’t bothered by it 🙂 )
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners and spray the inside of the liners with nonstick cooking spray (yes, spray the liners, or they’ll stick).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, almond meal, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together egg, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut milk, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon zest until smooth and well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over mix!
  4. Gently fold blueberries into the batter. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups, filling a little more than 1/2 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted come out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then remove muffins from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12 smallish muffins. You can fill the liners a little more full and get 9 larger muffins
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