I mean, who doesn’t like a muffin?
I love muffins, and actually used to eat them all the time. However, in my older age I admit that I never eat them. I’m not big on the bakery ones because they are often filled with questionable ingredients, and aren’t the healthiest. I don’t make my own because…I don’t know why. I have no good reason, but after this week’s muffin baking, I just might be changing my tune. These are healthy and tasty, and at Boysenberry Black Walnut, they are my nod to the Northwest.
The black walnut is native to North America. While there are various black walnut varieties spread throughout the U.S., the western black walnut is unique to California, Oregon and Washington, making it quite rare. Blackness aside, California is the world’s largest producer of walnuts in general. Now, I love me some nuts of all shapes and sizes and always have at least 5 types in my pantry at any given time, so the chance to try out a new one in the form of the black walnut was high on my priority list this week.
I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find them, but the bulk bins at Whole Foods proved to be my savior. I doubted that a black walnut would be all that much different from a regular one, but one bite convinced me that I was wrong. The taste is definitely more…earthy. I don’t want to say dirty because that sounds gross, but the flavor of the black walnut definitely added a distinction to these muffins that make them more than your run of the mill walnut muffins.
As for the boysenberries, I actually wanted to use huckleberries, the state fruit of Idaho, but alas, they could not be found frozen, dried, canned or fresh. Similar in taste to blueberries, they jive perfectly with the healthy living mentality of the Northwest. I used boysenberries just to be different, so if you prefer blueberries in your muffin, I have no reason to say you’re wrong.
Fun facts about the huckleberry (according to Wikipedia): Huckleberries hold a place in archaic American English slang. The tiny size of the berries led to their use as a way of referring to something small, often affectionately. The phrase “a huckleberry over my persimmon” was used to mean “a bit beyond my abilities”. “I’m your huckleberry” is a way of saying that one is just the right person for a given job.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups boysenberries
- ¾ cup black walnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper liners and set aside.
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, less 2 TB, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) in a large bowl and stir together until well mixed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and applesauce until well combined.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined.
- To the berries, add the remaining 2 TB of the flour and coat well (this keeps them from bunching or sinking)
- Fold in berries and walnuts.
- Pour batter into greased muffin tins (about a heaping ¼ cup of batter to each and bake for 18-23 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Allow muffins to cool for at least fifteen minutes in the muffin tin. Remove, and allow them to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
- If you don't want to use applesauce, feel free to use only coconut oil.
- Use regular any milk substitute you like.
- I used my gluten free flour 1:1 for this recipe and it worked just fine.
I hope you give these muffins a try! If you want me to come over and bake you some myself, I’m your huckleberry.