I love spring! This year I have been super excited to see all of my flowering bulbs arrive. The first crocuses were up amid the snowflakes in February, quickly followed by grape hyacinth, regular hyacinth, daffodils, and tulips. I didn’t put in any new ones last fall, but the bulbs that were already in the ground must have multiplied like crazy last summer because I have a profusion of flowers. And I’m certainly not complaining!
Not quite so pretty but equally prolific is my rhubarb plant. It has burst forth from the ground with ruby stalks and enormous leaves. I shied away from cooking with it last summer because it takes a fair bit of sweetener to offset the sour-tart acid of rhubarb. But rhubarb is also full of good for you fiber and vitamins, so this spring I’m working hard to find healthy ways to use it.
The simplest way is to throw a few chopped up stalks into a smoothie, along with some other fruit for sweetness. But when you’re in the mood for a little baking, try my healthy strawberry-rhubarb muffins on for size. Not only are they packed with fruit, but I’ve also eliminated the added fats and the majority of the added sugar. By swapping out refined white flour for garbanzo bean flour, these treats stay grain-free and pack an extra punch of protein. Since they are made for beans, I ate them for dinner. What, that’s not a good idea? 😉
Vegan Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins
1 3/4 C garbanzo bean flour (look for it with the Bob’s Red Mill products at a larger grocery store or at your favorite health food store)–or use white whole wheat flour if you prefer
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3T stevia (check your package… you want the equivalent to 1/2 C sugar)
1/2 t salt
1 T ground flax seed plus warm water to equal 1/3 of a cup
1/2 C applesauce (natural/sugar-free preferred)
1/3 C nondairy milk or juice of choice (I was out of milk and used cran-apple juice… )
3/4 C minced rhubarb
1/2 C sliced strawberries
6 small strawberries sliced in half vertically
about 3T flaked coconut (I used sweetened because it’s what I had, but unsweetened would be better)
Heat oven to 400. Mix dry ingredients together. Add in wet ingredients and stir. Add a little more liquid if needed to create a batter. Don’t overstir. Fold in rhubarb and strawberries. Fill 12 paper lined muffin tins about 2/3 full. Top each with a strawberry half and a sprinkle of coconut. Bake until golden about 20-25 minutes and until a knife inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.