Alas here it is, final exams season. This calls for some serious comfort: a blanket, a muffin, and some Chai perhaps?
By Chai, I don’t mean that overpowering tall-extra-hot-no-foam-blah-blah-blah-chai-tea-latte you get over at Starbucks (the Cinnamon Dolce Latte however, is a magical concoction). I’m talking about the warm, gingery chai that my mom makes. Question: since chai literally translates to tea, why do cafes call their drink a tea tea latte? Chai can honestly cure everything! It’s raining outside (in December?!), and you’re feeling gloomy? Here’s some tea and a samosa! Sore throat? Solution: tea and Vicks VapoRub! None of your lab experiments worked today? Ok, I think you get the point…
I’ve included a recipe below; in case you’re in dire need of some Chai today!
I’m a stress baker, and when I feel like things are getting out of hand, I like to make muffins. I’ve made a LOT of muffins since I started university! So, in the midst of some intense studying, I baked some Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins, for you. These muffins are super healthy and also moist and delicious! They have lots of whole wheat, and according to my Science education, this will keep your blood glucose levels stable-which is important! And it also has ground flaxseed, which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your brain and your heart! Cinnamon will keep you alert and the bananas are high in potassium! Basically the only thing left to do is actually study…
The original recipe is from The Kitchn, which is a great resource for young kitchen aficionados, but of course I tweaked it according to what I had on hand at the time. Feel free to experiment with different additions: maybe some shredded carrots instead of zucchini, nuts instead of pumpkin seeds, or even chocolate chips (for the antioxidants, of course!).
Combine the two, by adding wet to dry, and folding them together gently. If you over mix your muffins, you’ll end up with a tough texture, and especially since there is no butter in this recipe, you want to be as gentle as possible with the mixing.
Pour the batter into a prepared 12-cavity muffin tin, and bake for 22-24 minutes. If you don’t have any muffin liners, do not despair! Just butter and flour each cavity of your muffin tin, and bake as usual.
As usual, the recipes are included below.
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1/3 cup water
2/3 cup milk
1 tbsp loose tea or 1 tea bag
3 cardamom pods, broken so the seeds are exposed
1 knob of ginger, about 1 inch in size, smashed
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
1. Heat up 1/3 cup water in a saucepan with the tea and spices, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
2. Add milk and bring up heat until the tea comes up to a boil, then reduce again and simmer for a few minutes.
3. Strain, add sugar, and serve!
Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins
Makes 12 standard-size muffins
1 cups + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
4 tbsp quick oats
½ cup white sugar
5 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and grated
6 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
½ to ¾ cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
2 large eggs or ½ cup yogurt
1 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed
6 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 12-standard size muffin cups or fill with liners.
In a large bowl, whisk the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, ground flaxseed, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Add the zucchini, apple, coconut, and pumpkin seeds and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs/yogurt, bananas, vegetable oil, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.
Bake the muffins for about 22-24 minutes, until golden brown but still just slightly undercooked in the center (they will finish cooking while cooling). Rest the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.