Do you know what’s so special about these muffins? (Besides the fact that they look and taste awesome?) You can make them with whatever bits and pieces of grains and seeds and nuts and flours you have lurking in your fridge, freezer and cupboard, and they will be a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
Here’s the secret… Soaking!
Yes, if you soak your grains, seeds, nuts, etc, overnight in water with a little bit of something acidic (like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, whey or yoghurt), you will be amazed at the difference in the texture. The soaking softens the grains/seeds/nuts so that you don’t have that dry, gritty texture that can often be the outcome in gluten free baking. And it helps to break down the anti-nutrients that cause irritation to the gut, and helps to release the beneficial nutrients. Basically, it makes them much easier to digest, AND yummier!
[Note: If you’re worried about using the soaking water, don’t be. You don’t need to throw out the water that the grains have been soaked in, as the soaking actually causes the phytase to increase and break down the phytates. The phytates aren’t just leaching out into the water and staying there, they are being broken down. The only reason you would throw out the water and rinse the grains is if the water tasted sour or bitter.]
Okay, so don’t think I’m telling you this because I’ve got this soaking thing all under control. I’m the world’s worst ‘last minute’ cook – I get a sudden inspiration and have to make it right away! Which means….ummm… unsoaked. But when you can, it is best to think ahead – prepare, soak, ferment, sprout… all that good stuff.
A good way to plan ahead is to think about breakfast tomorrow at dinner time tonight. If you’d like to have muffins, pancakes, waffles or crepes for breakfast, either grind the grains up and then soak overnight with the liquids from the recipe, or in some cases (like these muffins), soak the grains & nuts whole. To use whole grains/nuts it needs to be a recipe that has quite a lot of liquid – a batter, not a dough. When you blend it, it needs to be able to create a ‘vortex’ in the Thermomix – if it doesn’t, it’s too thick for this method.
I have posted a few of these ‘blender batter’ recipes before, but I’ve been going through a lot of my older recipes and tweaking them to reduce the sugars. So here’s one of my latest versions of the Blender Batter Muffins, with a lot less sweetening, and my latest combo of grains, seeds and nuts.
By the way, if you don’t have a Thermomix, you can try this method in a really powerful blender that crushes ice. But please don’t burn out the motor and blame it on me. Unless you just really want a Thermomix, so you’re purposely breaking all your appliances so your partner will give in and let you buy one. Otherwise, you could just buy the pre-ground flours and mix them in a mixer with the liquids, then soak overnight, and continue with recipe. Your call.