I think I've been reading too much into the hotly anticipated christmas meal, seriously have you seen what Jamie Oliver cooks. Having kids around the table seems to spur me into the fantasy of a picture perfect gathering with an extravagant spread laid out to be feasted upon. That kids will appreciate, yes beyond pizza and pasta. A christmas meal should be when you pull out all stops right, for that special dish made perhaps once or twice a year. Except that isn't really me, I don't wait for festive occasions to eat something that tastes good and so I don't have a favourite go-to recipe for christmas. These last few days have got me in a bit of a pickle as I weigh the pros and cons of various dishes. It should not be a gargantuan undertaking and it should be easily apportioned to avoid left-overs. Don't get me wrong I love left-overs but we are due to fly out early on the 25th bound for Sweden.
The reality of the meal will turn out completely different I know, instead of a civilised meal among adults and kids where the latter sports exceptional table manners will proceed with singing, humming from Sofia, throaty cackles from Emilia, uncontrollable giggling, bickering, food landing on the floor and general whining. For once I wish a meal at our table would proceed without the unfolding dramas.
So when my head is a mess I find myself turning to comfort foods, in particular this baked treat. A sweet high to escape the everyday. It reminds me of the famous orange and almond gluten free cake by Claudia Roden. This isn't gluten free as it contains spelt flour. And I've thrown in some lemon to complement the blueberries, it's a citrusy mess of blueberries that holds rather well together given that there aren't any eggs. Like the orange and almond cake it's incredibly moreish and would serve well as a gift when attending dinner parties, just bake them in mini loaf pans.
I'm rubbish when it comes to writing meaningful sentiment in christmas, birthday cards and the like and so I will simply say Merry Christmas from my family to you and yours. I hope your day is filled with laughter, good food and the wonderful company of loved ones.
Tangy Blueberry Muffins
These are incredibly moist, hard to believe they are made using a wholegrain flour.
Coconut oil for brushing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup rice milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup whole spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup almond meal
1 cup blueberries
Place the orange in a saucepan and cover with lots of water. Bring to the boil before simmering for about 1 hour or until the orange is soft. Turn off the heat, drain and cool the orange.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit. Lightly oil a 12 cup muffin tray with some coconut oil.
Quarter the orange and remove any seeds, place the orange, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, maple syrup, milks, vinegar and vanilla into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Sift the whole spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. And the almond meal and combine well. Add the citrus and milk mix and combine to achieve a wet batter. Then gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Spoon into the prepared muffin tray and bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested. Makes 12 muffins.
Adapted from the "Orange raspberry almond muffins with sprouted flour" recipe by the talented Amy Chaplin as featured on her blog www.coconutandquinoa.com