One more day until school starts up again! Hence I just made a batch of Ellis’ favorite muffins. He takes one to school for his snack just about every day. They’re nutrient dense with ground almonds, olive oil, eggs and flavorful thanks to both lemon and lime zest (or just one or the other if that’s all I have) and a good dollop of jam on top. I make jam every summer in great part for these muffins. I freeze them, individually wrapped, and am pleased with myself when I pop them into his lunch bag every morning. And I will be especially so on Monday morning, having gotten quite used to reading to Ellis in bed until way past school starts these last few weeks. I’ll need all the extra time I can get to get us up and out!
You could vary the flour(s), nuts, oil, zests, different jams or marmalades or add spices. They’re not very sweet at all so if you want a sweeter treat add a little more sugar or swirl more jam into each muffin.
Happy New Year!
–inspired by Smittenkitchen.com
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (I often use 1 cup whole wheat pastry and 3/4 cup apf but by all means play around with these and a whole grain gluten free mix works well too)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Scant ½ cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime (or just lemon or lime–see headnote)
1/3 cup whole milk
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup ground almonds (or other filberts or walnuts). I grind nuts in a Zyliss cheese grater with the finest blade–pictured above, which makes a very fine, fluffy nut meal.
1/3 – 1/2 cup jam (raspberry, blackberry, strawberry and blueberry are our favorites
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Blend together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer or whisk the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the milk and oil. Add the flour and nut mixture and stir just until blended. Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full. Top each one with 2 teaspoons of jam. Bake until golden, about 15 – 20 minutes. It’s a little harder to tell with these when they’re done since the jam will stay gooey. Just poke around a pit in the cake part to make sure the batter is cooked. Transfer to a wire rack and remove the muffins and let cool completely.
Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze for easy (school) snacks.