Thursday, 24 October 2013

Carob and fig muffins



This is an exciting recipe for me to share with you, firstly because I actually picked the carob myself in Ibiza and turned it into powder, and secondly because I discovered that you can make an egg replacement using chia seeds...totally bananas!

Your probably thinking wow this is totally kickass, or wondering what the hell carob is and also how chia seeds can resemble an egg?? Well I will tell you...

Carob is a funny looking pod that grows off the trees in hot places, I had no clue what it was until a month ago when I saw Sarah B's recipe for these muffins from My New Roots. She was inspired to do the recipe from smelling the carob growing off all the trees in a visit to Ibiza. Well, I saw this and it just so happened I was off to Ibiza that week, so being the new forager that I am, I picked as much as I could fit into my carry on case and brought it home, it was not hard to find there are carob trees as far as the eye can see.

Some people say carob is like chocolate...those people are a little bit mad, I'm afraid it doesn't taste anything like chocolate, but you can use it as a healthy alternative in cakes and get a different kind of taste, it's more caramelly, earthy and lots of yummy things, just not chocolaty.

The pods are the part you want to eat. I thought maybe it was the seeds but after feeding them to my boyfriend and Dad and them nearly cracking their teeth open, I googled and discovered that its the pods that hold all the goodness. And what goodness is this....well Carob is one of those prettily packaged powders that you can find in health shops and is high in insoluble fibre meaning that it acts like a broom in your digestive tract, so it cleans your colon. It is high in antioxidants helping to defend your body from free radicals, and its also high in calcium and iron....go carob!


Now onto the pretend eggs you can make with chia seeds! I already knew that if you soaked chia seeds they create a gel and are super healthy. They are a great seed to add to your diet that give you omega 3, fibre, fatty acids, stabilise your blood sugar, boost energy and aid digestion, and these are just a selection of their benefits! However, I did not know that the gel is a bit like an egg so you can use it for baking. I'm not going to lie, it does not have the wonderful properties that eggs have in that they can go all fluffy and make you an amazing light airy sponge. But it does glue everything together and it did actually make the muffins a bit bouncy, and just think of all the amazing goodness and none of the guilt when you scoff away on one of these.
"Little superman shot with my sister from the holiday and above what carob pods actually looks like"

I have already told you not to expect fluffiness, these muffins are not like the airy kind that resemble more of a cupcake, they are a bit more dense and manly, perfect for breakfast or as a snack, I am going to be making them to take up the mountain this winter as my ski snacks. Also I used figs because they were in season but since it's getting wintery try grated apple, carrot, banana, raw cacao nibs, cinnamon and add seeds and nuts...I'm pretty sure that they will still work if just chuck in whatever you like.

Makes 10-12 muffins

2 cups/200g ground rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup/25g carob powder
½ cup/75g coconut sugar

zest of 1 lemon or orange
½ cup of nut milk
½ cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp chia seeds with 6 tbsp water

1½ cups chopped figs, about 5/6 whole figs

Firstly stir the chia seeds with the water in a glass and leave aside for at least an hour and turn your oven on to 175˚C/ 350˚F.

Ground the rolled oats in a food processor until they are like flour, then transfer into a big bowl with all the other dry ingredients and mix.

In another bowl combine all the wet ingredients and the chia seeds together. Then gently mix with the dry ingredients until it's just combined and then fold in the chopped figs.

Dollop the mixture into your muffin cases so they are about 2/3 full and bake for about 20-30 minutes until a poker comes out clean. Leave to cool. They can be kept in an airtight container for about 4 days or stick them in the freezer. 

Photo credit to my lovely neighbour Melody Sky

1 comment:

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