Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday: World Food Day Entry - Apple Maple Corn Muffins

Please go to Shan's place for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

Bellini Valli of More Than Burnt Toast and Ivy of Kopiaste had a wonderful idea: put together a blogging event that would honor World Food Day, October 16, 2008.

The basics of the event are the following:

*Create a dish that would serve 6 and have it represent your country.
*Send your creations (virtually, via photo) back to Val and Ivy and see how far our dishes will spread back to back. Maybe we can feed the world, eh?

To get the full details for participation in this worthy event, please go here.

When I think of the world's food needs, I immediately think of sustainable agriculture. I also think about world as a basic need, not a luxury. The areas I feel are most important as we try to solve the world's hunger issues are encapsulated in a very important document: The Food Declaration. If you agree with the principles listed, you can sign this document and help to make it a reality.

Sustainability comes with treating our environment well, taking care of our local agriculture, buying locally, and supporting those who follow sustainable agriculture principles.

For that reason, I wanted to come up with a dish that not only reflects my country, but also reflects my own principles in terms of hunger. So I wanted to create something that reflects local products and can be made with food stuffs produced within Michigan, preferably, within a 50-mile radius and by farmers who follow sustainable agriculture practices.

Now... the tough part - what on earth would represent the United States? Native American foods are traditional, but they certainly don't represent the United States, since the U.S. took away the lands and lives of the original inhabitants.

Okay, so scratch that.

So now the choice is "just" narrowed down to.... oh, I don't know... every culture in the world? Okay, and we have the regional issue, cultural issues, ethnic backgrounds... hmmm.

This brought me back to the original sustainability issue. Thinking seasonally, I began to put together ingredients. For my final dish, I used Apples from Nemeth Orchards, eggs from Ernst Farm, buttermilk from Guernsey Dairy, whole wheat flour and cornmeal from the Ernsts again, Michigan maple syrup and Clabber Girl products. With the exception of salt and vanilla, everything is local. Not too bad.

I decided to make a breakfast dish because a good breakfast is solidly tied to a stronger ability to learn, a subject near and dear to my heart (learning, that is, not breakfast).

My final result was a batch of muffins that taste like pancakes - and at two muffins a serving, local ingredients, all the important food groups, and a frugal breakfast, I was pretty happy. Here are:

Apple Maple Corn Muffins


2 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces
2 eggs
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatbran
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Grease 12 muffin tin with spray.
3. Beat eggs. Add buttermilk, vanilla and syrup - beat well.
4. Mix dry ingredients, except for the apples.
5. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Whisk until well blended.
6. Stir in chopped apples.
7. Using an cookie scoop or equivalent, fill the muffin cups with batter.
8. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.
9. Remove to cooling rack.
10. Cool muffins in tin for 2 minutes, then remove and leave to cool on rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Number of Servings: 6

Nutritional Info

Fat: 3g
Carbohydrates: 38.0g
Calories: 193
Protein: 6.2g

Nutritional info provided by www.sparkpeople.com.


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Núria said...

A great breakfast for a great event! I like your facts exposition and what you came out with... muffins. For me is soooooo American :D. I bet all American bloggers have made their own muffins at least once! I still have to do mine ;D

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Mmmmm....That looks Yummy!! I love apple muffins.

thailandchani said...

Oh, yum yum yum! :)


Jen said...

Nuria, I'd love to know what ingredients you'd choose for a Spanish version!

Widney, these were so easy. Chani, this easily fits in with sparkpeople - I just stick with one, rather than two.

BTW... all those comments were weird things from some excavator site - has anyone else experienced that? It was pretty darned annoying.

Momisodes said...

Oooh, these really do sound wonderful :) A perfect breakfast on the go!

World food day sounds like a great event. I have so little experience feeding more than 3-4 people. I think the only thing I could come up with is fried rice :) Rice, assorted veggies, salt and egg!

Mikaela said...

Send some to Uppsala, please! Although that'd kind of kill off the whole "local" idea. It's just that my kitchen can't take baking and I can't fit more than one type of flour in my cabinet!

Jen said...

Sandy, fried rice would be a great entry!

Mikaela - one type of flour would definitely take away from this. ;-( BTW... did you get my message via Facebook about skype? If not, let me know.

anno said...

What a great idea! And a great recipe, too -- I'd love to smell those baking in the morning!

peter said...

Those look really good. I made dinner almost entirely out of ingredients from a 50-foot radius tonight. But I doubt I'll get ti together to enter it.

Goofball said...

oh I was already wondering whether you got nasty comments. I've deleted comments before from people I don't know that are totally irrelevant to my post and only try to refer to their own blog.

I love this world food day concept! I should have posted my waffles later on? :p I'll check out the rules.

your muffins look delicious but I don't know what cornmeal is and oatbran.

Jen said...

Anno, they're incredibly easy - I was pretty pleased.

Peter - you've been way ahead of me in both getting great meals together AND posting them.

Goofball - cornmeal is polenta (the dry form). Oat bran... you'd need a natural foods store and they'd know. It's the germ of the oats, so to speak. Wheat germ would also work, but oat bran is more tender. Ground up oatmeal could also be used. And YES! Do waffles!!!

Goofball said...

repost my waffle post wich is only 2 days old or alter it with to add the world food day entry referral in it? Not tooooo stereotypical Belgian?

Anonymous said...

Muffins that taste like pancakes? OMG. I just have to figure out how to substitute something non-dairy for the buttermilk and I'm totally there.

Off to experiment....

Jen said...

Goofball - go check out Val's or Ivy's sites to re-edit., and no, not too stereotypical - you enjoy them, right?

Ben, thanks so much!

Amy, I might do 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk and 1 TBS canola oil. I *think* that would work.

Anonymous said...

I'm really impressed at your identification of local foods that enable baking. Are these grains actually grown here? Oats?

I think of Kellog cereals as local, also.

Anonymous said...

Yummy - and I have to say, as someone who LOVES breakfast but can't cook, I'm almost tempted to make them!

Liz Dwyer said...

How can I be down and get somebody to make these for me! They look absolutely delicious!

Actually, these look pretty simple. I just worry about making stuff like this because I worry I'll eat them all by myself.

Jen said...

Mae, the oats I haven't found yet, but I figure that I could easily swap out wheat bran or spelt bran for the oat bran, and I can get those from Jennings at the Farmers Market. So, yeah, that one was a miss...

Jerseygirl, these are REALLY easy. Truly.

Los Angelista - one thing I do with tempting stuff is make them, freeze them and thaw them one at a time. That helps in terms of keeping consumption reasonable.

Heather said...

Yum! And low-calorie to boot. I actually do pay attention to these things, you know. :)

I'm really glad you used maple in the recipe - that makes it so much more American to me.

Peter M said...

I love that grittyness and texture cornmeal gives and healthier too!

Jen said...

Heather, I agree - maple is such a uniquely North American taste. For me, too, it's reminiscent of childhood.

Peter, I also agree about cornmeal - I really love using it in a variety of ways.

Shan said...

oh yum! I am definitely going to make this!

Jen said...

I'm glad it looks good, Shan. You and I are in the same geographic area, so all those things should be readily available to you, too. ;-)

cathouse teri said...

Mmmmmm! I want some now!

Ivy said...

Thanks for participating at the WFD with this entry made with local ingredients. The muffins sound delicious and I love anything with apples in them.

Warda said...

Maple and Apple represent very well the Michigan area. It looks so conforting on a foggy day like today. :)

Jen said...

Teri - come on over! I'd love a coffee hour with you.

Ivy, thank YOU for doing this! You and Val are truly to be congratulated.

Warda - it seemed like a good, fall dish for Michigan. ;-)

glamah16 said...

Great looking fruit filled muffins. Some times I get BS message linking back to some weird site too.

w said...

You always make me so hungry :) I love your recipes :) I already have two recipes that I MUST prepare :) this one and the previous one :)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Jen today is World Food Day. Come on over and join the party. Thank you for all your help and excellent suggestions to spread the word on this global issue. Now...let's DANCE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds so appetizing... I'm liking all the bits of apple in there.