Although we’ve been visiting the farmer’s market each weekend, the variety remains limited as the spring produce season is still young. This is proving to make my quest for weekly farmer’s market lunches a bit tough. Last weekend we were able to pick out our nitrate free, boneless Easter ham, or as he has become known in our house, the “happy ham.”
This week we picked up some winter harvest red wheat berries and sprouted lentils. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the wheat berries. The lentils, the farmer informed me, were wonderful on their very own with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, making for a protein packed side salad if you will.
In all honesty, without the farmer’s outreaching of a spoonful of these wheat berries, I probably would have walked by the table as I usually do. Not because I have anything against wheat berries and sprouted lentils, I just couldn’t ever seem to find any immediate uses for them.
The farmer doesn’t know me, but he sure knew how to catch my attention, and he had me at muffins. Yes, you can add these wheat berries into muffins for a sweet little crunch he told me. Before you knew it, we were munching on them out of our hands, and brainstorming additions to future wheat berry muffins. He also shared a sweet story of the “organic gift of deer” that got him serving up venison. More on that in another post….
Though the variety of produce is still a bit limited, the conversation at the farmer’s market is not. It provides me with a sense of community and the way the farmers display and chat about their harvests always seems to captivate me. The presentation is simple, nothing fancy, but the commitment and pride is genuine.
This year, I chose to forgo the fat laden, coconut covered, bunny cake and instead, chose a fiber-rich, protein packed muffin perfect for Easter brunch or served alongside coffee and tea in the after hours of a ham dinner. I think they would also make a nice addition to Monday’s mid-morning snack too.
Wheat Berry Carrot Muffins
Lightly adapted from Natural Health Magazine’s recipe
Makes about 6 large muffins or 12 regular sized muffins
3/4 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup milled flaxseed
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup skim milk
3 carrots, grated
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup wheat berries
Unsweetened, organic flaked coconut for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk eggs and add in the remaining wet ingredients: canola oil, milk and vanilla extract. Fold wet ingredients into dry, just until combined. Fold in add-ins until evenly moist.
Divide batter evenly into a muffin tin, sprinkle tops of muffins with a pinch of unsweetened flaked coconut and bake for 30-35 minutes.