Saturday, April 27, 2013

Redbud-Herb Muffins

I came across this recipe on the Internet a few years ago and thought I'd try it, but never got around to it. Last Sunday, while coming home from church, I saw a lone Redbud tree growing in 'no man's land' where it didn't look like it belonged to anyone in particular, which meant I could forage the flowers buds without having to get permission. I took my 4 cup measure cup with me, drove to the area, got out of the vehicle and went over and picked my buds till I had 2 cups. It only took a few minutes.
Just take a branch in your hand and run your finger and thumb along the branch and the flower buds will fall off into your container.They strip off very easily.
Redbud flowers are high in vitamin C and edible, with a slightly nutty flavor. They can be added to pancakes, muffins, fritters or used as an attractive garnish on salads. Or you can use them to make a unique pickle relish or as a replacement for capers.  If you want to eat Redbud flowers, remember, as with the gathering of any wild edible, don't take all that you find. Leave plenty for the tree to produce seeds, for the insects to get nectar and pollen, and for people to enjoy for their beauty. The tree also makes seed pods which are edible.
These were very easy to make. I did change a lot of things as I made them the way I wanted to, and with what ingredients I had on hand. I did not add the sage or rosemary as I wanted a sweet muffin, not a savory one, and I really am not over fond of either herb for 'snacking'. I may try this recipe with the herbs at some point, but I just left them out. I actually think lemon balm would be perfect to add to these muffins as they have a lovely lemon taste which would compliment the lemon juice and rind.
I only had a 6 oz container of raspberry yogurt and used that instead of plain yogurt. I also added about 1-2 Tbls of sour cream to make 8 oz (or about 1/2 cup) of yogurt.
I did grate the lemon rind off of the lemon I was juicing. Just make sure you wash your lemons well.
I used cane sugar, but I am sure you could use coconut sugar, rapadura, succanat, or even honey.
These turned out really well, but tasted even better the next day after they'd sat overnight. If I make these again (which I am sure I will!), then I will let them sit 8 hours or overnight before eating them as the flavors develop and the muffins firm more and come out of the paper easier.
This is a fun way to forage for foods and teach your kids to forage, too.

Redbud-Herb Muffins
                                                Preheat oven to 375°
2 cups Redbuds
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage or rosemary leaves
½ cup sugar or sweetener of your choice.
Minced zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon Real sea salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup yogurt
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly reamed lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon    
Fill 18 muffin tins with paper muffin cups; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine redbuds, herb, sugar, zest. Let sit 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, sift flour, powder, baking soda, salt large bowl.
In 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl, combine egg, yogurt, milk, oil, lemon juice.
Combine the flour mixture in with the flower mixture, toss to combine.
Add wet ingredients, stirring just dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
Fill your muffin tins 3/4 full.
Combine sugar cinnamon the topping sprinkle some each muffin Bake for 25 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched.
Remove form muffin pan and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 18.