Maybe it’s weird but I never ate polenta before, so on my last online shopping trip I grabbed one pack to my basket without any idea how to use it. That’s very common for me: buying food items without particular reason and then looking for a way to use it. The same was with polenta. Boiling it with water or broth would be to easy, so I was scrolling internet looking for something more complicated and found this recipe on BBC Good Food. And I wouldn’t be myself if I would not make any changes to this recipe. Original recipe required adding plain flour, but I skipped this and used only polenta. Instead of butter I used olive oil and because I haven’t got any buttermilk I used almond milk (and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice) instead.
And that’s how I got this sunny morning muffins, a bit grainy in texture but very tasty with a hint of warming chilli flavour. Great when hot straight from the oven or on the second day, sliced in half, toasted and smeared with some butter or cream cheese of your choice.
Where actually polenta comes from?
The dish was created during the Venetian republic. Peasants fighting in the army had a limited ability to cultivate the land, but they had to find some source of food. The answer to their demand was corn, which was then imported from America. Corn was hardy and easy to grow, so it was used as an ingredient in the daily diet, including the base of polenta. Unfortunately, due to the low nutritional value of polenta, many cases of avitaminosis, i.e. extreme vitamin deficiency.
It’s not surprising as polenta contains mainly carbohydrates, a bit of proteins, some pottasium, sodium, a little bit of vitamin A and Iron. So it’s not something I would include into my everyday diet, but as a weekend breakfast, from time to time it’s a quite good idea, especially that in compare to white flour, polenta has lot less carbohydrates. Serving of 100 g of polenta has around 15 g of carbohydrate, bread in 100 g contains about 50 g of carbohydrates. Polenta also doesn’t contain any gluten, so if you have issues with gluten, that’s a good choice for you.
Actually I was quite surprised, because I had couple of them for my breakfast and I was afraid that after an hour I will be hungry again but they kept my belly full for couple hours, so it’s a nice surprise. Moreover if you want to go the whole hog, add to them some crispy fried bacon. I’m sure your loved ones will be very happy with this kind of weekend breakfast.
polenta & cheddar breakfast muffins
NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass
INGREDIENTS for 12 muffins:
- 1½ cup polenta
- 1 cup almond milk (use any milk you like)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tinned sweetcorn
- 1 tbsp fried onion (about half of an onion)
- 1 tsp natural rock salt
- 100g extra mature cheddar cheese (grated)
- 2 eggs
- pinch of chilli flakes
- 2 tsp baking powder
Finely chop half of a brown onion and fry until golden with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
In a pot or a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients: grated cheddar, polenta, baking powder, salt, chilli flakes. In a separate bowl whisk 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, milk and lemon juice. Pour wet ingredients to dry ones and using a spoon combine them all together. Then add drained sweetcorn, fried onion and give it a good stir. It will be quite liquid, but that’s absolutely fine – polenta will soak all the liquid while baking. Set aside and prepare muffin tray.
I encourage you to use muffin liners, if you don’t have any, simply cut baking paper in squares, using a cup or a glass give them a shape of a muffin liner and place in a muffin tray. It will be much easier to remove the muffins after baking.
Heat the oven to 180°C. Place 2 tablespoons of polenta batter in each muffin liner. Place them on the middle shelf of you oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
After baking let them rest for couple minutes, and they are ready to be eaten. They are great on their own or on the next day, sliced in half, toasted and smeared with some butter or cream cheese.
You can store them for 2-3 days in airtight container.
Source of knowledge: