These muffins were a pleasant surprise born of experimentation this week. I had some leftover chestnut puree, and thought I might try something like a vegan nut roast. My first attempt was quite tasty, and the same formula that I will list below, except that it was cooked at a lower temperature in the oven, which left them firm, but still soft to the fork, and kind of dangling in the realm of the unnameable. The second time around, I tried them at a higher temperature, my thought being that it might be more like a nut roast, but was kind of excited when I found them to be perfect savory muffins instead. These are somewhat dense, though not nearly as much as you would expect, and since they are flour-free, grain-free, baking soda, powder, xanthun gum, egg, etcetera, etcetera-free, they don't feel heavy in your stomach like a lot of gluten-free and vegan baked goods do. Plus, I'm always a fan of recipes with few ingredients, and love to prove to people that baking gluten-free doesn't require a million different flours and additives. Bonus that they are full of protein, iron, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin C, and other good vitamins, minerals & healthy fats. Mix this up with different herbs and spices to suit your whim. Chestnuts, at least here in New England, are pretty expensive typically, but if you live near an Ocean State Job Lot, they were recently selling bags of them for only two bucks. If not, I would recommend procuring some anyway, as it is an incredibly versatile ingredient for both savory and sweet recipes.
SAVORY WINTER MUFFINS
1 CUP CHESTNUT PUREE
1 CUP RAW PUMPKIN SEEDS (PEPITAS)
1/4 CUP FLAXMEAL
1 TSP SMOKED SEA SALT
2 TSP TOASTED SESAME OIL
1/4 CUP WARM WATER
GENEROUS HANDFUL OF FRESH ROSEMARY & PARSLEY
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. GRIND PUMPKIN SEEDS DOWN TO A MEAL IN A FOOD PROCESSOR, WIPING SIDES WITH A SPOON TO AID. ADD SALT & FLAXMEAL, MIX. IN A SEPARATE BOWL, MIX CHESTNUT PUREE WITH OIL & WATER, AND THEN ADD TO INGREDIENTS IN THE FOOD PROCESSOR. MIX, AND ADD ROSEMARY & PARSLEY THROUGH THE CHUTE. SCOOP OUT AND PUT IN SIX SILICONE MUFFIN WRAPPERS, OR INTO GREASED MUFFIN TIN. (I WOULD RECOMMEND GRAPESEED OIL OR GHEE.) IF USING SILICONE MUFFIN HOLDERS, PLACE ON BAKING SHEET. BAKE FOR 20-25 MINUTES OR UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN AND FIRM.
MAKES 6 MUFFINS