polenta & cheddar breakfast muffins

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

DIRECTIONS

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:

https://www.natureword.com/tag/polenta-glycemic-index/

https://www.med-health.net/Polenta-Nutrition.html

https://www.pyszne.pl/foodwiki/wlochy/polenta/

linseed flour peanut butter muffins #keto

If you’re on keto and don’t like coconut flour taste and/or can’t use almond flour, this linseed (flaxseed) flour peanut butter muffins are a great option for you. Quick and easy to make, can be treated as a snack or quick lunch when you’re in a run. Made with just couple ingredients, that if you’re on keto diet you probably already have in your kitchen.

Due to high fiber content, it has a laxative effect – it eliminates constipation, and thus accelerates the cleansing of food residues from the intestines, contributing to the elimination of heaviness. These muffins are great option if you tend to have cravings – thanks to large content of fiber, we feel a psycho-physical feeling of feeling full, which makes us less hungry, eat smaller amounts of food and do not eat snacks so often. Linseeds are often compared to chia seeds, as it’s cheaper option. There is a lot of similarities between this two seeds, although they are not the same. Comparing the composition of both products we will notice some differences. Linseed contains about 20% more Omega-3 than chia seeds and a much larger amount of lignans (human health-promoting molecules). Thanks to this, it improves blood parameters, affects the proper functioning of the kidneys, prevents depression and improves the appearance of the skin. Chia seeds, on the other hand, has 50% more fiber, and also contains more magnesium and iron, and also has lower calorific value than flax seeds (source).

So it is impossible to clearly determine what is better: linseed or chia seeds. Both products carry a number of beneficial properties resulting from their consumption. Regardless of what we choose, it will be a healthy and good decision.

Although they don’t look very pretty, they taste batter than they look. Of course they are not going to taste the same, as the one made with regular flour. I hope, if you’re on keto, you’ve already noticed, that keto replacements of regular snacks like muffins, cakes or pizza, will never taste the same, as the regular one made with wheat flour and sugar. And because of the large content of fiber, muffins made with linseed flour won’t be as fluffy and light as the one made with wheat flour. Also I’ve added four tablespoons of xylitol and they are not very sweet, I like them this way, for my partner they were not sweet enough, so keep in mind that you might need more sweetener.

linseed flour peanut butter muffins

INGREDIENTS (for about 12 muffins):

  • 1 headed cup linseed flour
  • 3 large eggs (or 4 small)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 4 tbsp xylitol (or other sweetener of your choice)
  • smooth or crunchy peanut butter (I’ve used smooth)

DIRECTIONS

I always use freshly made linseed flour. I use coffee grinder to make the amount of linseed flour I need. Because grounded linseed oxidise quickly, they should be used fast, not lose its nutritive value. If you make your own linseed flour it’s good to keep it in a airtight container and in a dark place.

Muffins are very easy to make. Just combine together all dry ingredients: linseed flour, baking powder and sweetener. Melt coconut oil, whisk the eggs. You can also beat the eggs with handheld mixer, it will make the dough more fluffy, but it’s not necessary. Also you might need to add more sweetener, as for me it was enough, for my partner they were not enough sweet, so please keep it in mind.

Add eggs to the dry ingredients, then add coconut oil and stir to combine. The dough will be quite thick.

Prepare muffin liners or make them using baking paper, like I did. Cut baking paper in stripes and then in squares (it doesn’t need to be perfect squares). Take the cup, put it upside down, and shape the piece of baking paper so it reminds the muffin liner. Place them in the muffin tray.

Add some dough to each muffin liner (you’ll need to help yourself with a finger or another spoon), then place a teaspoon of peanut butter and some more dough on the top.

Heat the oven to 180°C and bake the muffins for about 20-25 minutes, depending of the oven. After baking let them rest for couple minutes and they are ready to eat.

Store them up to 4 days in room temperature, in airtight container.