In one of my textbooks Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, for the Basic Herbology class that I am taking to earn my Holistic Nutrition Degree, the book’s author Rosemary Gladstar speaks of a mythical Greek goddess named Cosmeos who “gave to mortals the gifts of herbs, flowers, and other simple pleasures to nourish the body and soul. She personified radiant health that flowed from a core of harmony and balance.” (p. 113) On this Thanksgiving Day 2009, as we embark on the upcoming Christmas season and the busyness that it can entail, my goal is to seek out simple pleasures, maintain a sense of harmony and balance in the everyday, and nourish my body and soul so that I might embody radiant health that comes from within. These potassium-rich Banana Maple Walnut Muffins from Jane Kinderlehrer's Smart Muffins are a good start along with a soothing cup of Bigelow Organic Green Tea with Pomegranate and Acai.
Banana Maple Walnut Muffins
½ cup *plumped raisins
¼ c wheat bran
¼ cup yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
1 tbsp lemon juice (I used 1 tbsp liquid from plumping the raisins instead.)
1 1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup wheat germ
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated orange rind (optional)
½ cup chopped walnuts or raw sunflower seeds (I used ¼ c of each.) plus a little more for muffin tops
Plump the raisins. In a small bowl, mix together the bran and yogurt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, blend together the eggs, oil, maple syrup, mashed bananas, and lemon juice (or raisin liquid). Add the yogurt-bran mixture and the raisins. In another bowl, mix together the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and orange rind. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly oil 12 regular-size muffin cups or 6 jumbo-size. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and process briefly – only until no flour is visible. Don’t overmix. Stir in the walnuts and sunflower seeds. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Top each with a few chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. The muffin tops will have a golden glow.
*To plump raisins, pour a little boiling water over them in a small bowl. Let soak until plumped, about a half hour. If you do this as the 1st step in your recipe, before you even begin to gather all of your recipe ingredients together, they’ll be ready by the time you need to add them to your mixture. If you run short on time and you need to reduce the plumping time, it’s not a problem. They’ll still be soft enough in the baked product.