It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted, and you’ll have to forgive me, because I’ve been Busy with a capital B. Between selling AND buying a home, all in one day I might add, and unpacking all of my baking equipment, I’ve barely had a moment to think, let alone experiment in the tasty treats department. Getting used to my new oven has been a challenge as well, but I have a few new and exciting developments that led to this weeks inspiration. First, not only are strawberries in season, but I found a ripe strawberry patch in my very own back yard! 🍓🍓🍓🍓 Can you imagine how many strawberries I’ve eaten this week alone? Second, my husband and I signed up for CSA (community supported agriculture) and we have been receiving weekly boxes of freshly picked, organic vegetables. Google CSA’s in your region, or if you are near Maryland check out Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative for some amazing subscription packages, including vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats and even medicine! Between the strawberries bursting out of their patch (no thanks to the pesky strawberry-obsessed rabbit we have) and the stalks of rhubarb included in our weekly box that have started piling up in my crisper drawer, I needed an outlet and was NOT feeling making the traditional strawberry rhubarb pie. Since we were severely lacking in breakfast materials, or any groceries for that matter, I decided that muffins would make a simple grab-and-go solution and kill two birds with one sweetly tart stone.
I googled, and pinterest-ed (pin-queried? pin-searched? seriously…why don’t we have a verb for this?) for some of the best strawberry rhubarb muffin recipes and finally decided to follow the Taste of Home – Nut-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins, with my own personal touches of course 😘. In case you’ve never seen rhubarb before, it’s been lovingly referred to by my husband as “that red celery stuff” – and it does, it looks just like red celery, but thankfully doesn’t taste like it. I took a bite when I first got it and decided that, no, it wasn’t “for eats” as I like to refer to things I can snack on. It was a little too tart, and not sweet enough for my taste but I’ve had strawberry rhubarb desserts before and knew it was a great addition to add a bit of tang and brightness to a dessert. Rhubarb also has a tendency to act like marshmallow in a baking recipe, the smaller pieces disappear! There were definitely very noticeable strawberry chunks, and a nice tart tang left from the rhubarb, but there were little pockets of missing rhubarb in my muffins from the moisture leaving the rhubarb when it baked. Take a look at the my muffin process below:
As you can see, I’ve chosen to add Penzeys Baking Spice to mine, which I find to be an invaluable tool for cakes, cookies, and muffins. With two different types of cinnamon, and a slew of other amazing spices, it’s the perfect addition to have people guessing – “Just what DID she put in those muffins??” I also substituted vegetable oil for the canola oil in their recipe, as I don’t usually have canola oil on hand. Instead of buttermilk, which I also don’t usually have sitting around, I used unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk and was very satisfied when the muffins came out perfectly moist but with less fat. If you don’t have buttermilk, and also don’t have almond milk, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice to your regular milk and let it sit a few minutes as a substitute! Since I also didn’t have nuts (this one I do normally have – I definitely need to go grocery shopping) and am actually not as big a fan of nut toppings, I added my favorite topping – a cinnamon brown sugar oat streusel that adds a warm, spicy crunch to the top of the muffin which is perfect when quickly microwaved in the morning, I might add!
Take a look at those sweet, tangy, tart, cinnamon-y, crunchy…oops sorry, got drool on the computer, let me finish salivating…MUFFINS! I can honestly say I have not been more addicted to a muffin in my life. I may… don’t judge… have had a tiny bit of whipped buttercream leftover from a tiered cake, which, when added to the top of these babies in a generous glob, turned them from omg to OMG. So, if you have an hour to kill and want an amazing breakfast for your family for the week, try these strawberry rhubarb muffins! ❤
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped
- 1 cup rhubarb, chopped
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cold butter chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners or spray with non stick spray.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, and oil and add to dry ingredients mixing lightly just until combined and no dry ingredients are still showing.
- Gently fold in chopped strawberries and rhubarb.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
- In a separate bowl, use a fork or a pastry blender/cutter on the cold butter, oats, cinnamon, and brown sugar, until mixture is crumbly and butter is evenly dispersed.
- Top each muffin with about a teaspoon of oat streusel and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top lightly springs back when pressed.
- Add your own favorite spices for a unique flavor. Try chai spice for a latte inspired muffin!
- Substitute other in season fruits for fresh twists - try peaches and drizzle honey into your streusel!