Tag Archives: Almond

Muffin Monday: Blueberry, Almond, Choc. Chip (Vegan)

Blueberry, Almond, Choc. Chip muffins fresh from the oven.

Blueberry, Almond, Choc. Chip muffins fresh from the oven.

You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging, just because we’ve started the Summer Writing Challenge did you? We writers need our muffins too, am I right?


  • 3/4 cup fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/3 cup Sugar (Vegan Sugar if you’ve got it)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Almond Slivers
  • 1/c cup Dark Chocolate Chips



1. Preheat the oven to 350 and prep 12 muffin cups by spraying with baking spray.

2. In a BLENDER process the Blueberries and Banana into a slurry. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar, Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract and Vegetable Oil.

3. In a large bowl mix together the Whole Wheat Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Sea Salt and Baking Soda.

4. Combing the wet with the dry and mix well.

5. Fold in the Almond Slivers and Dark Chocolate Chips.

6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes. Muffins are done when they pass the toothpick test.

7. Remove muffins from oven and cool 10 minutes. Enjoy.


This recipe made 12 pretty good-sized muffins. I think a nice twist on this recipe would be to switch WHITE choc. chips for the dark choc.

My taster Maggie thought these were “Delicious” just as there were. She liked the chocolate the best.

We both thought the banana overwhelmed the blueberry, which was a smidgen disappointing given the fact that “banana” didn’t even make it into my title! Next time I make this recipe I think I’ll pump up the blueberries (to one cup.)


Happy baking. Cheers,





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Muffin Monday: Almond Currant (Vegan?)

Almond Currant muffins cooling

Almond Currant muffins cooling


2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

2/3 cups Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1 1/2 cups Almond Milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Slivered Almonds

3/4 cup Currants



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep 12 muffin cups with baking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, and Salt.

3. In a large measuring cup combine Vegetable Oil, Milk and Vanilla Extract.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until well incorporated.

5. Add the Almonds and Currants.

6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.

The Almond Currant muffins before they went into the oven.

The Almond Currant muffins before they went into the oven.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until muffins pass the tooth pick test.

8. Cool on a wire rack.

Yum. The final product.

Yum. The final product.


I have a friend who is trying to follow a Vegan diet, so I wanted to do a few more Vegan friendly recipes. I think this one works. I hope my Vegan readers will let me know if I missed anything!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to put in these muffins, but I had the currants left over from some Irish Soda Bread and I thought… why not? They are really nice with the almond (which is another left over ingredient.)  Hope you like them!


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Muffin “Monday” — Zucchini Fig Almond

Zucchini Fig Almond muffins from the ritaLOVEStoWRITE test kitchen

Zucchini Fig Almond muffins from the ritaLOVEStoWRITE test kitchen


  • 2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon Peal
  • 1 cup shredded Zucchini (fresh or frozen/thawed)
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup Fat-Free Milk
  • 1/3 cup Fig
  • 1/4 cup  Almond Slivers
  • Water to smooth the tops of the muffins
A note on the Zucchini — So Sunday was a  lovely day here in Northern Maryland and I finally got out into the garden to do some rehab and bit of planting. Being an optimistic kind of human, I planted Zucchini — yes, I’m one of those people who thinks you “can NEVER have too much Zucchini.” So I started a packet of seeds, knowing full well that I’ll get Zuke in my weekly box from the farmer co-op come summer. With this in mind I went to the freezer to free it of some of last year’s crop. I let a bag thaw over night than (after cracking the ziplock seal) gave it an assist in the microwave for a minute. Then (over the sink) I pierced the bottom of the bag in several sections and squeezed the water out. I got 1 cup of compacted Zucchini.
Frozen Zucchini. On the left is an unthawed bag straight from the freezer. On the Right is a thawed bag that has been drained of excess water.

Frozen Zucchini. On the left is an unthawed bag straight from the freezer. On the Right is a thawed bag  drained of excess water.



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and Prep muffin cups with cooking spray. (I used 12 medium-sized muffin cups).

2. In a large bowl, mix the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Cardamom, Sugar and Lemon Peal,

3. In a medium bowl, combine the Zucchini, Lemon Zest, Canola Oil, Egg and Milk and stir well.

4. Add the wet to dry and mix until combined.

5. Chop up the Fig into small segments. Cut off the tops of the figs. Cut fig in quarters length wise, then dice.

Important Fig Cutting Diagram.

Important Fig Cutting Diagram.

6. Add the Fig and Almonds to the batter

7. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. With a wet spoon smooth out the muffins.


8. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins pass the toothpick test.

These babies would pass any test.

These babies would pass any test. Bring it on tooth pick.

9. Cool on a wire rack.

These came out perfectly. Dense, but not gummy. Crunchy at the top. Just sweet enough, but not overly so.  I think they’ll keep and travel well because they weren’t moist. But they weren’t so dry that you’d need to add butter or apple sauce to enjoy them. Yum.

While last week’s Strawberry Peach Minis were a bit on the dessert-y side,  these darlings fit nicely into the breakfast category. Taster Kathy agrees. She thought the muffins were healthy and hearty and really liked the fig and almond addition to the zucchini. She added that they were “Just delicious.”



Beauty shot.

Beauty shot.




Muffin Monday: S’mores & Mandarin Orange Choc. Chip

Special Snow Day: Nutella Zucchini

Muffin Monday Top Blog Honor

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Muffin Monday: Stawberry Almond Banana Muffins

Running a little late in posting my Muffin “Monday” blog. I picked up some voice students and wanted to share the muffin lovin’ with some friends at the studio. Here goes…


Fresh from the oven.

Fresh from the oven.


  • 1¼ c. Whole Wheat Flour
  • ½ c. + 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 2 large Bananas mashed
  • ¼ c. (4 tbsp.) Butter melted
  • ¼ c. Buttermilk
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Almond Extract
  • 3/4 c. diced Strawberries
  • 1/2 c. sliced Almonds


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prep muffin cups spray.
  2. In a large size bowl, combine together Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt.
  3. In a medium bowl mix together Sugar and Butter. Add Egg.
  4. Mash Bananas on a plate using a fork. Add Bananas to the Butter-Sugar mixture.
  5. Beat until smooth.
  6. Add the Buttermilk and Almond Extract.
  7. Add the diced Strawberries.

    Looks like soup, doesn't it?

    Looks like soup, doesn’t it?

  8. Add the wet to dry and mix until well incorporated.
  9. Fold in Almond slices.
  10. Divide evenly into muffin cups.

    Ready to bake.

    Ready to bake.

  11. Bake for approximately 23-26 minutes, until muffins are golden brown and pass the toothpick test.
  12. Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer muffins onto wire rack to cool completely.


I was worried that these would be too moist. (The batter was very moist.) But they turned out great. I think letting them finish on a rack (verses in the baking cups) helped, so definitely do that.

Kathy, one of my new testers, really loved these. I believe her reaction was “amazing.” I’ll take that. 🙂 Bill really liked them too. So I guess this recipe will go in the cook book.


Give them a try and let me know what you think.




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Muffin Monday: Apple Cranberry Almond

Apple Cranberry Almond Muffins ready to go into the oven.

Apple Cranberry Almond Muffins ready to go into the oven.


  • 2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup plain Yogurt
  • 1/4 melted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Chopped Cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped Apple
  • 1 cup choppedAlmonds


  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare 18 muffin cups with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine Flour, Brown Sugar, Baking Powder, Ground Cinnamon, Salt, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and Baking Soda.

3. In a medium bowl beat the Eggs, combine the Yogurt, melted Butter and Vanilla.

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

5. Fold in the Cranberries, Apple and Almonds.

6. Divide batter evenly into the 18 muffin cups.

7. In a small bowl combine the TOPPING ingredients using a pasty blender or two forks.

8. Top the muffins with the Topping mix.

Apple Cran Almond 2

9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until muffins pass the toothpick test.

These muffins were nice and moist, but not too dense. A smidgen on the sweet side because of the topping and the apples, but the fresh cranberries help bring them around with a kick of tartness.

Apple Cran Almond beauty

Muffin Monday: Rhubarb Delight Muffins

Rhubarb Delight Muffins



  • 1/2 C. Brown Sugar


  • 3/4 C. Demerara Sugar  (You could just use 1 1/4 Brown Sugar if you don’t have the Demerara Sugar)


  • 1/2 C. Vegetable oil


  • 1 Egg


  • 2 1/2 C. Flour


  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt


  • 1 C. Milk


  • 2 tsp. Vanilla


  • 1 1/2 C. Rhubarb (finely diced)


Topping Mixture:

  • 1/4 c White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Almonds
  • 1/2 C. Sugar
  • 2 T. Butter



1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Put muffin pants into the muffin tin and spray lightly.

2. Mix the first four ingredients together (the Sugars, Oil and Egg)


3. Add Flour,Baking Soda and Salt  all at once.


4. Combine Milk and Vanilla in a measuring cup.

5. Add Milk to the batter and stir until completely mixed.

6. Fold in the diced Rhubarb.


7. Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups. (This recipe made 12 large muffins.) Set aside and make the Topping.

8. In the measuring cup you used for the milk and vanilla melt the butter.

9. Grind the Almonds in a blender or nut mill.

10. Combine the Nuts, Sugar and ground Almonds together in the measuring cup. Add the White Chocolate Chips.


11. Spoon the topping onto the muffins, dividing evenly.


This is what one of the muffins looks like pre-baked

12. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Using the toothpick test to determine if they are done.


13. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring muffins to a cool surface. Let cool for an additional 5 to 10 minutes before you enjoy.


Sorry these muffins aren’t very healthy. I’m going to try to make them again with out so much sugar. But every spring the god’s give us rhubarb and you’ve got to do something with it, right?  Your house will smell amazing while these little darlings are baking. And the will power you show by not munching on them the second they come out of the oven will off set the will power you don’t show by  indulging in their sweet wonderfulness (maybe twice.)

These are simply fantastic muffins and would make a great dessert.

They are awesome on their own, but if you want the ultimate treat you could add one to a bowl of black cherry ice cream and just go straight to heaven.


Serving suggestion.




Muffin Monday: Bread Pudding Muffins

Bread Pudding Muffins



  • 1 cup Chopped Dry Dates
  • 1 cup Water


  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds


  • 6 cups Bread Cubes (you can use any kind of “bread” you have around the kitchen, including cake or muffins that are past their prime.)


  •  2 Eggs


  •  2/3 cup Dry Milk
  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 1/4 cup Butter


  • 1/4 c Demerara Sugar (or Brown Sugar)


  • 1/4 c Maple Syrup


  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  •  1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  •  1/2 teaspoon Salt


You’ll need a 12 count muffin tin and a roasting pan that is about the same size.


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter the bottoms and sides of the muffin cups in the muffin tin.

2. Combine the Dates and the warm water and set aside for 5 minutes.


3. Grind the Almond Slivers in a blender, food processor or nut mill until you get an almond meal.

4. Shred the bread into 1/4″ chunks. You don’t want the bread cubes to be too big.

5. In a 2 cup liquid measuring container add 1 cup of warm water to 2/3 cups of dry milk. Stir until the dry milk is liquified. Drain the juice from the dates into the milk. Top off with additional water (so you have 2 cups of liquid) and stir.

6. Transfer the milk mixture to a large bowl.

7. Put the butter in the measuring cup and melt the butter in the microwave.

8. Add the butter into the milk mixture.

9. Add the sugar, maple syrup to the liquid.

10. Crack the eggs one at time into the measuring cup and beat slightly then add to the liquid.

11. Add the softened dates, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and ground almonds to the liquid and mix thoroughly.

12. Slowly incorporate the bread cubes until they are completely saturated.

13. Prepare a water bath for the muffin tin. To do this place a couple of cups of water in the roasting pan and test by putting the muffin tin inside. When the water comes about 2/3rd’s the way up the sides of the muffin cups you have enough water in the pan. The muffin tin should sit on top of the roasting pan, so there is water at the bottom and sides of the muffin cups.

14. Fill the muffin cups with the bread pudding mixture. Using a spoon press down on the mixture to compress it into the muffin cups. (I had more than enough for 12 muffins.)

15. Carefully put the muffin pan into the water bath and place both into the center of your hot oven.

16. Bake for 25 minutes. The Bread Pudding Muffins will start to pull away from the sides of the pan when ready.

17. VERY CAREFULLY remove both pans from the oven and let rest 5 minutes. Remove the Muffin Tin from the water bath and let rest another 5 minutes.


18. Place a tray over the muffin tin and invert to release the muffins. If they stick run a knife around the edge of the muffin cups and try again.

19. Let cool an additional 5 to 10 minutes before enjoying. These are moist and dense so refrigerate any leftover Bread Pudding Muffins. (Reheat for 30 seconds in the microwave to rewarm when you’re ready to eat them.)

These are great for breakfast instead of french toast of pancakes or as a dessert. You can serve plain or with a touch of whipped cream or a splash of maple syrup.


Muffin Monday! Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Almond Muffins


Welcome to the second edition of MUFFIN MONDAY on ritaLOVEStoWRITE! I got a lot of good feed back on last week’s blog so it looks like this muffin thing might be a go. See my disclaimer on last week’s Muffin Monday blog.


Here’s my vegan (I think) recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Almond Muffins.  Let me know what you think…




Chocolate Zucchini Almond Muffins






  • 2 Cups of Flour




  • 1/2 cup of Truvia (or 1 cup of sugar)




  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking SODA




  • 4 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil




  • 8 Tablespoons of Cocoa




  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla




  • 1 Teaspoon of Almond Extract


[Image courtesy: SmellLikeFoodInHere.com]

[Image courtesy: SmellsLikeFoodInHere.com]



  • 4 Teaspoons of Vinegar




  • 2 Cups of Water





  • 1  Zucchini, grated




  • 1/2 cup of Sliced Almonds






Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Step One: Put the flour, Truvia/sugar, baking soda, vegetable oil, cocoa, vanilla and almond extract and mix. The interaction between the vinegar and the baking soda is what makes these muffins rise — it’s muffin magic!




Step Two: Add the water and the zucchini, and mix. The batter will be on the liquid-y side.




Step Three: Prepare the muffin cups (this recipe will make 18 muffins.) Put “muffin pants” into the tin and spray lightly with cooking spray.




Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. They should be almost full.


Step Four: Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top the muffins.




Place into hot oven and bake for 25 -30 minutes until a tooth pick stuck into the center of the muffin comes out clean. These are VERY moist muffins. It couldn’t hurt to bake them an extra 5 minutes.


Let cool and enjoy.




My expert college muffin testers agree, these muffins are well worth the effort. They give them two thumbs up. Ms. Lehmann says : “They are delicious and the most fluffy things I have ever eaten.” While Ms. Schmidt simply replied “Yummmmmmmmmy!” ..and was curious when I might be sending more. Ahhh girls– there’s always next week. 🙂




Question to my Vegan friends… did I do it? Do these qualify as Vegan Friendly? No diary or animal  by-product. I think I’m safe, but I need a bona fide Vegan to give me the blessing.


If you’ve got a recipe you’d like to share (with me and with the followers of this blog) please send me an email at ritaLOVEStoWRITE@gmail.com.


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