Friday, November 21, 2008

Meet Terry.

Meet Terry. After passing out a dozen pumpkin muffins (which Terry turned up his nose at), I finally convinced him to let me take his photograph. And I mean finally. He was concerned, among other things, that his picture would end up in the AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution). It wasn't until I told him that my mom wanted to see his picture, that he recluctantly agreed.

I'm not really sure if this dude was homeless, but he sure did enjoy the muffins!!

Oh, and by the way, this picture is for sale....any takers??

Thursday, November 20, 2008

But for the grace of God, there go I...

Ok, so this is the history of the muffins...

After graduating from college, Mallory moved home from Alabama to begin the second leg of her college schooling...her Master's Degree. Since we live 30 miles or so north of Atlanta and there was a raging gas shortage going on, she decided to start taking mass transit - MARTA. Walking to and from the train station, Mallory would pass many homeless people. Having been blessed with a caring heart, an extra peanut butter and jelly sandwich was made and served with a bag of chips or whatever was abundant in our pantry. However, it didn't take long before there were more homeless people than a student can afford peanut butter for.

Then, one day, Terry happened. Terry was a regular recipient of whatever leftovers Mallory could find. He showed his appreciation by singing to her and chaperoning her on her walk to keep her safe (from the other homeless?). He also spoke to her heart about the plight of the homeless in downtown Atlanta.

Mallory shared, with me, her desire to make a difference. Together we decided that we can't solve world hunger, but we can make a contribution toward the betterment of mankind through something a muffin. Who doesn't like a homemade muffin made with wholesome ingredients and lots of love?

To date, we've made a batch of fruity granola muffins with a little too much applesauce. One good thing about baking for the homeless - they love it all! Our second batch was a recipe from the Food Blogga ( These were de-lish-ous! We followed that up with another of the Food Blogga's recipes for healthy scones. Only problem is we were getting a little too full of ourselves, as potential world class bakers, and forgot the sugar....and the vanilla. Still, we thought they were OK. We'll see what Terry thinks tomorrow.

Tonight, we made sugar free pumpkin muffins. All the recipes are below. Don't forget the sugar and vanilla!


Health Nut Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. flaxseed
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup low fat buttermilk
3 tbsp. honey
1 cup light brown sugar
4 tbsp. smart balance butter substitute, melted
1 large egg
2 egg whites
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
2 tbsp. sunflower seeds

Place rack in center of oven. Preheat to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffin pan. Combine flours, flaxseeds, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in large bowl and stir well. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, honey, sugar, smart balance, and eggs. Whisk well. Add to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in raisins, walnuts, and half flower seeds. Spoon batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining sunflower seeds on top. Bake 16 – 18 minutes or until tops are golden and cake tester comesout clean. Transfer to rack to cool.

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes


Heart Healthy Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp Smart Balance, chilled (butter substitute)
1/4 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh Medjool dates, coarsely chopped (about 10-12)
1 Tbsp fennel seeds, toasted
1/4 cup pistachios

Optional egg wash for top of scones: 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. To toast the fennel seeds, add to a dry skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk cottage cheese, buttermilk, and vanilla; set aside. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add chilled butter (in small pieces), and mix with a pastry blender or fork, until a coarse meal forms with tiny pea-sized butter pieces. Mix in orange zest, dates, fennel seeds, and pistachios. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and, using a fork, mix until just combined. Do not over mix or the dough will become leaden.

Using a floured surface, shape the dough into a disk, about 1/2-inch thick. With a wet knife (to make slicing easier) cut the dough into 8 triangular shaped scones. Place scones on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet leaving about 2 inches between them.

If using, then brush egg wash over the tops of the scones before baking. Otherwise, place in oven.

Bake scones 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Once baked, transfer to a rack to cool.


Sugar-Free Pumpkin Muffins

1 and 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten ( or 4 egg whites)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup raisins (or coconut, seeds, nuts)

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix together until combined. Bake in muffin cups at 350 for 20-25 minutes.