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Friday, May 15, 2015

Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins

Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins
I'm super excited about two things today: delicious muffins (I'm super picky about muffins...weird, right?) and an amazing giveaway—both of which are related to a book that you have to get your hands on if you don't have it already, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. As you may have guessed, this comes from the same people who brought us The Flavor Bible, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.

If you're not familiar with either, they are both very useful, working books. Not so much cookbooks, because they don't contain recipes, but rather tools. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible has around 550 pages...the first 90 or so are an introduction to a proper vegetarian diet. You'll find vegetable protein sources. as well as tips on how to maximize flavor. Plus, there's an extremely cool timeline of Vegetarianism Through the Ages. Even if you do not adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, there is so much to inspire in the first 90 pages alone.

Moving on to the remaining 450+ pages, you'll find ingredients listed alphabetically from Acai to Zucchini Blossoms—this is where you'll turn to match flavors. Under each ingredient is listed most (or all) of the following things:
  • Season: peak growing season for ingredient
  • Flavor: ingredient's primary taste
  • Volume: relative flavor, or "loudness" of ingredient
  • What it is: a brief description of less common ingredients
  • What's healthful about it: nutrients, health benefits, etc

...and that's just the beginning. You'll also find out whether or not the ingredient is gluten free, its nutritional profile, calories, grams of protein, common preparation techniques, timing and ratio. Plus tips for preparing and using an ingredient, its botanical relatives, and some possible substitutes. If you're not sure of how to use or pair a particular ingredient, or just need a little push in the right direction (and don't we all from time to time), you want this on your shelf.

If you don't have a copy, you'll have several chances to win one during our #VegFlavorBible giveaway starting today! Our grand prize winner actually gets 1 copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, 1 copy of The Flavor Bible, and 1 copy of What to Drink with What you Eat. But that's not all; six runners up will each receive 1 copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. How cool is that!? We'll also be giving away a couple of copies during out live twitter chat with the author next Thursday (more info at the bottom of this post).
Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins
So, that's my first source of excitement...the second is the muffins you see here. As a way of spotlighting The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, each of the participating bloggers chose a single ingredient, then used its listing in the VFB to develop a dish. I chose BLUEBERRIES!

Listed under most ingredients is a set (or several sets) of Flavor Affinities, which are meant to get you started on complex flavor combinations. I chose to go with the flavor affinity of blueberries + cinnamon + nutmeg + peaches.

Initially I thought I'd make a pie. Pie is always my initial thought. But after thinking on it for a few more days...okay weeks...I decided instead to take my favorite muffins (Browned Butter Blueberry) and tweak them by adding peaches and spice (that cinnamon and nutmeg). I also switched out my regular all-purpose flour for some whole wheat flour. They. Are. Scrumptious.

As a nod to the third book by Page and Dornenberg in our grand prize giveaway What to Drink with What You Eat, I'm also including a drink pairing suggestion for these muffins (based on a recommendation from that book). Said to pair well with blueberries and blueberry desserts (as well as apples and apple desserts), and made in Austria, Germany, Canada, and New York's Finger Lakes Region, Eiswein (or Ice Wine) sounds like a delicious...if somewhat decadent...choice. Ice Wine is made from grapes that have been naturally frozen on the vine before being picked; it's very rich with flavors of pear, apricot, and apple.

Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins
Muffins infused with browned butter and a hint of spice, studded with fresh blueberries and peaches, then topped with streusel.
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Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 18-22 mins
Keywords: bake bread breakfast snack vegetarian soy-free berries blueberries peaches butter American

Ingredients (11 muffins)
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh peaches, diced (see notes)
for the streusel:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease or line 11 wells of a muffin tin.

Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it melts and starts to bubble and froth. Once the crackling sound of the water evaporating stops, the milk solids will turn golden and the butter will smell nutty. Remove it from the heat immediately and pour into the bottom of a large glass measuring cup with spout.

To that same measuring cup, whisk in the milk, egg and yolk, and vanilla until combined.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices together in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture all at once and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries and peaches.
Divide batter between prepared muffin cups.

Combine all of the ingredients for the streusel in a bowl and use your fingers to rub them together until crumbly. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter.

Slide into preheated oven and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set pan on a wire rack to cool entirely before removing the muffins (see notes). Enjoy at room temperature.

Store completely cooled muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

I don't recommend using frozen peaches because of the excess moisture content. I haven't tried using dried peaches, but I bet they would work really nicely here.

These muffins are extremely delicate. If you try to remove them from the pan (or papers) while still warm, they will just crumble. If you baked them directly in a greased muffin tin (no papers), I recommend running a thin, flexible paring knife around the outer edges about 15 minutes into the cooling process; once cool, use a large spoon to help scoop them whole out of each well.

-inspired by my favorite Blueberry Brown Butter Muffins from the Joy The Baker Cookbook

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Giveaway #VegFlavorBible

Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
Meet Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, creators of the critically acclaimed book The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, which has been cited as one of the five best cookbooks of 2014 based on 300+ reviews in media including Bloomberg, The Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

They are not only the two-time James Beard Award Winning authors of The Flavor Bible and Becoming a Chef, but also coauthored What to Drink with What You Eat, which was named the IACP Cookbook of the Year and the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year, while also winning a Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

It goes without saying that Karen’s credentials are exemplary. In addition to holding degrees from Northwestern and Harvard, she earned a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell, so it is little wonder that critics are praising her invaluable knowledge and contribution to a healthier and more flavorful approach to food and nutrition!

Karen and Andrew are teaming up with 9 food bloggers to be able to reach out further and share their knowledge and talents with an even greater audience. They have offered to partner in a giveaway in order to educate and make accessible not only their latest creation, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, but also copies of The Flavor Bible and What to Drink with What You Eat! ALL of these resources are treasures that would grace the presence of any home cook’s library, but already hold places of reverence within the commercial kitchens of many chefs.

Connect with Karen & Andrew: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to addresses in the USA only, including APO addresses. For a complete set of giveaway rules, see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget.

For even more chances to win, join us for our live twitter chat on Thursday, May 21 at 7pm ET. We will be talking with the authors and giving away two more copies of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible! Follow hashtag #VegFlavorBible and watch for our secret hashtag announced during the chat for your chance to win one of the two copies up for grabs.

Interested in seeing what the other #VegFlavorBible bloggers chose as their ingredient and Flavor Affinities? Here's what everybody came up with:

This giveaway is sponsored by Little Brown & Company, along with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, along with Little Brown & Company publishing. I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of testing and review, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Giveaway #VegFlavorBible