pin it!pin it!pin it!

It felt like it had been a while, so I made you a salad. With fragrant za’atar roasted carrots, curly + gorgeous frisée, blood orange dressing, avocado and some raw and vegan cashew labneh on the side. Yes! That delightfully thick middle eastern yogurt-cheese that brings the dreaminess to every food it touches–all plant based and vibed out for your enjoyment. I’m so excited to share this one with you.

I know last week I was talking about baking on a Saturday night like the old lady I can sometimes be, but please rest assured that I am somewhat versed in the ways of wildin’ out. When the lovely Elenore from Earthsprout emailed me and a bunch of wonderful bloggers about a week-long party put on by her and Sarah of My New Roots, all centered on fermented foods, I started to think about the possibilities for some outright uninhibited adventures in my kitchen.

As a practice, fermentation is a fun thing to acquaint your vegetables, nuts, beans etc with. It brings a whole new dimension of flavour and as a bonus: it’s rather empowering to do it all yourself/witness nature just doing its thing. Kimchi, vinegar, soy sauce, miso, wine, beer, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, yogurt… all of those tasty things are crawling with make-your-belly-happy bacteria. If you want to read a little more about fermented goodies for your health, check out Elenore and Sarah‘s posts. It’s time to populate the gut!

I’ve made kimchi, sourdough and sauerkraut a bunch of times (nerd alert! I even gave a sauerkraut making demo to a bunch of students at the culinary school I attended with one of those wrap-around-the-head-mics), but I wanted to try something a bit different. I love having a batch of cashew cream on hand for savoury applications. I started thinking about making it into yogurt… and then making the homemade cashew yogurt into labneh–that amazing drained yogurt that is so thick, tart and perfect in the corner of a mezze plate.

So I tried a batch with foggy expectations and was so excited when it turned out on the first go. I let the cashew cream come alive in a warm place for a full 36 hours for the yogurt stage. It got properly sour, so I set to work on draining it for the labneh treatment. The results were so thick and creamy, the rich taste of cashews coming through in a pleasant and fatty way, all punctuated by a big squeeze of lemon juice. Rather indulgent.

The rest of this winter salad is a breeze to scheme up. I roasted some pretty heirloom carrots in za’atar, that pungent, sharp and warm middle eastern spice blend (although it is based in the cultivation of dried and powdered za’atar bushes that grow wild in mountainous regions of the middle east), tossed them with some frisée for a whisper of bitterness, and a light blood orange and olive oil dressing, Some creamy avocado and a scoop of the cashew labneh complete the plate. This salad = pure wildin’ out. Go crazy with it, friends :)

pin it!pin it!pin it!

za’atar roasted carrot salad with frisée, blood orange dressing + vegan cashew labneh
serves: 4
notes: If you can’t be bothered to make some cashew-based labneh at home (takes 2-3 full days), feel free to drain 1 cup of your favourite plain yogurt (goat, coconut, sheep, soy, cow etc) overnight with the juice of half a lemon and a sprinkle of salt (don’t stir it up!). A nice spoonful of Greek-style yogurt or Icelandic skyr would be great too.

labneh:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
scant 1/2 cup water
pinch of sea salt
juice of 1/2 a lemon

salad:
1 lb carrots, washed + trimmed
2 tsp za’atar
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 head of frisée, cored, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
juice of 1 blood orange
1 ripe avocado
salt + pepper

Start by making the cashew yogurt: combine the cashews and water in the pitcher of a blender. Blend on high for a few minutes, scraping the sides down here and there. Purée the cashews and scant 1/2 cup of water until a smooth paste forms.

Scrape the cashew cream into a sterilized jar. Cover the jar with a couple layers of cheese cloth and secure it at the top with a rubber band. Set the jar in a warm spot (not too warm) for 24-36 hours or until the mix has started to sour. I put my jar in the boiler room of the house and it was ready almost two days later. Check it every 5-8 hours if you can. There should be some separation happening in the jar. If you see any mold on the surface, throw it out and start again.

Make the yogurt into labneh: Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Line the strainer with a paper towel or coffee filter. Scrape the cashew yogurt into the paper towel lined strainer. Squeeze the lemon over top and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Don’t stir it in! Cover the bowl and strainer with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. The resulting labneh should be quite thick and it should have indentations from the paper towel. It is now ready to eat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the carrots into 2-3 inch lenths, then cut those lengths into halves or quarters–depending on the thickness of your carrots. Toss the carrot batons with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, the za-atar, salt and pepper. Arrange them on a large baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes. They should be lightly browned and tender. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

While the carrots are roasting and cooling, trim up the frisée and place it in a large bowl. Peel and pit the avocado, cut it into quarters and set aside.

Add the roasted carrots to the frisée. Squeeze the blood orange over top and add the remaining extra virgin olive oil to the salad. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste and toss it all together. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Add a quarter of the avocado and a dollop of labneh to each plate. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the labneh and give it a finishing sprinkle of za’atar if you like.

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  • Elenore Bendel Zahn23/01/2013 - 8:57 am

    Holy cow!

    Now THIS is food porn on a damn high level!
    plus your writing is so brilliantly beautiful and wise and funny at the same time. I feel like I just wanna eat this whole post up (you included)

    Big warm loving hug from sweden and thank god you decided you wanted to be a part of this bacteria revolution!ReplyCancel

  • […] My New Roots Green Kitchen Stories The Wooden Spoon Coconut and Quinoa Whole Promise Two Blue Lemons Golubka Eat It. Kyra’s Kitchen Ola Domowa The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf23/01/2013 - 9:24 am

    This looks absolutely stunning! I’ve been reading a lot about cashew cream recently and am intrigued to give it a try, even though I don’t go in for a particularly low dairy or vegan diet. Photos as beautiful as this must be what inspire me :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn23/01/2013 - 9:37 am

    Oh Laura, you are some kind of genius. Cashew labneh? Want it. And this whole salad.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle23/01/2013 - 10:13 am

    Picturing you with a Gwen Stefani mic talking about sauerkraut pretty much made my day. A beautiful dish too :)ReplyCancel

  • Courtney23/01/2013 - 10:26 am

    I LOVE everything about this salad, though I might love the cashew labneh just a tad bit more! I’ll be experimenting with this soon for sure! Blood oranges are one of my favorites this time of year so it’s good to see them in the lineup also :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae23/01/2013 - 12:35 pm

    Girl, you’re a culinary genius. Love the idea of cashew labneh! I’ve been working on a raw cheesecake with strained cashew cream (and a crap load of lemon juice) but never thought to let it sit overnight to sour. You rule.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen23/01/2013 - 3:00 pm

    Cashew labneh? WOW. I was sort of aware of fermenting nut cheeses before, but only just. It’s super exciting to think I could do it at home! The salad looks amazing too–I love the idea of sweet-spicy roasted carrots with crispy lettuce. :)ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ figgy & sprout23/01/2013 - 3:24 pm

    Absolutely stunning photos, Laura! Such a creative recipe as well. I too am taking part in the Fabulous Fermentation Week :) Yay!ReplyCancel

  • Meg23/01/2013 - 4:45 pm

    Oh WOW, I am totally making this today! What a fantastic post, thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • Heather23/01/2013 - 7:08 pm

    I feel ashamed to admit that I’ve never tried labneh. This is something that needs to change. A fermented foods party seems right up my alley. So fun!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica23/01/2013 - 8:12 pm

    This looks beautiful! Fantastic photos.ReplyCancel

  • Blaine23/01/2013 - 9:43 pm

    The carrots are gorgeous! Love the idea of creating a labneh with cashews. Love your creations, I always look forward to them!

    BlaineReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar24/01/2013 - 10:29 am

    This looks fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy24/01/2013 - 11:50 am

    Wow, this is my kind of salad. Your pics are absolutely gorgeous too. I’m intrigued that you do not need to add a culture to the cashew mixture, just wild all the way! Must try this soon.ReplyCancel

  • […] Coconut & Quinoa The Wooden Spoon Eat it. Kyra’s Kitchen Ola Domowa Mince & Type The First Mess The Holy Kale Healthy & […]ReplyCancel

  • Stacy24/01/2013 - 2:16 pm

    Like everyone else, I am highly impressed. You inspire me: with your creativity and willingness to just give things a go, and also generally, with your unbounded enthusiasm. I am super curious about this cashew labneh, and I love everything else in this salad, so hopefully this will make it to my table sometime soon!ReplyCancel

  • Claire Suellentrop25/01/2013 - 12:40 am

    Longtime follower, first-time commenter :) I am loving Fabulous Fermentation Week and the beautiful community of food bloggers it showcases, but I gotta say: of all the tasty recipes that have popped up this week, yours takes the cake. I cannot wait to make that labneh. Mouth’s watering as I type.ReplyCancel

  • Nicola Galloway25/01/2013 - 4:57 am

    What a stunning post. I look forward to trying this cashew labneh. Yum :)ReplyCancel

  • Golubka25/01/2013 - 12:34 pm

    This looks so so delicious, exactly what I want for lunch today :)ReplyCancel

  • amy chaplin26/01/2013 - 12:09 pm

    So happy to discover your site! Gorgeous photos and stunning salad.
    I’ve never tried cashew cheese/labneh with just lemon juice….
    Loooking forward to seeing more!ReplyCancel

  • Alissa27/01/2013 - 2:16 am

    Ahhh your photos are so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • […] Lemons Coconut & Quinoa The Wooden Spoon Eat it. Kyra’s Kitchen Ola Domowa Mince & Type The First Mess The Holy Kale Healthy & Hopeful My Wholefood Romance Kale and Cardamom The Conscious Kitchen […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Raw Vegan Cashew Labneh […]ReplyCancel

  • Christine28/01/2013 - 1:57 pm

    This looks so delicious! I’m intrigued by the cashew labneh – I’m going through a bit of a ‘things you can make with cashews’ obsession at the moment. Awesome Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Kate28/01/2013 - 6:28 pm

    That top photo is so gorgeous. I could stare at it forever. What a delicious salad, too. Nicely done!ReplyCancel

  • Nat @ The Apple Diaries28/01/2013 - 11:28 pm

    Thanks First Mess for the great recipe and awesome food photography! I’m loving fabulous fermentation week. All this good bacteria is right up my alley ;)

    Thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily29/01/2013 - 1:20 pm

    I am a big believer in the benefits of fermented foods. I am in the process of making my mom’s recipe for fermented corn bread. Wish me luck! ;)ReplyCancel

  • […] the above of roasted carrots our guests arrived and the camera was stowed.) We started with her za’atar roasted carrot salad (I purchased cashew cream cheese and doubled the amount of avocado) and finished with the humble […]ReplyCancel

  • […] the cooking side, za’atar roasted carrot salad with cashew labneh, avocado + frisée all the way and on the baking side, dark chocolate espresso scones w/ coconut cream + jam are […]ReplyCancel

  • Daria08/02/2013 - 12:41 pm

    Hi, this looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! So I started with making cashew yogurt yesterday. I left in the oven with the light on and when checked it in the morning it had some dark layer on the surface. Is it the mold you are talking about? If it is, why is it happening?
    I wouldn’t like to throw it away, but seems like it’s the only way(
    Also, once I blended nuts with water the mixture was pretty thick. is it supposed to be so?
    I’m sorry for so many questions but I’m a begineer in “nutty magic”.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright08/02/2013 - 12:52 pm

      Hi Daria,
      Is the dark layer coloured at all? The general rule with mold and discolouration is: if it’s pink or black-ish grey, throw it out and start again. Perhaps try another warm area of the house? This style of fermentation is possible because of wild yeasts in the air/atmosphere around the jar. Maybe a location change would help? The mixture is rather thick from the start, so the viscosity of yours sounds about right. Hope this all helps a bit! Good luck on your next attempt–these fermentation things get easier with practice!
      -LReplyCancel

  • […] the above of roasted carrots our guests arrived and the camera was stowed.) We started with her za’atar roasted carrot salad (I purchased cashew cream cheese and doubled the amount of avocado) and finished with the humble […]ReplyCancel

  • kms10/08/2013 - 1:50 pm

    Trying to make the labneh. Is it ready to be thrown into the strainer when there are air pockets throughout the mix? And when you put it in the strainer, should you try to get those air pockets out via smooshing it a bit?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright10/08/2013 - 4:10 pm

      Hi kms, Air pockets are a good sign that it’s ready to strain! You can smush them out or not, up to you :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • […] the above of roasted carrots our guests arrived and the camera was stowed.) We started with her za’atar roasted carrot salad (I purchased cashew cream cheese and doubled the amount of avocado) and finished with the humble […]ReplyCancel

  • Deena kakaya26/06/2014 - 4:15 am

    The marriage of that labneh and those sweet and gentle carrots looks divine xReplyCancel

  • […] za’atar roasted carrot salad with cashew lebneh, avocado and frisée salad via the first messza’atar pizza with dukkah lebneh and purple onions via my name is yehsweet potato soup with za’atar oil via yum sugarquinoa chickpea burgers with za’atar spice and creamy tahini via choosing rawsweet potato fries with za’atar and lebneh via the roaming kitchencroissants sprinkled with za’atar via dishes from my kitchen […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Roasted Carrot Salad w/Cashew Labneh, Avocado & Frisee […]ReplyCancel

  • […] with Greek Brown Rice Salad by BBC Good Food 5. Simple Grilled Sweet Potato by The First Mess 6. Roasted Carrot Salad with Avocado by The First […]ReplyCancel

pin it!pin it!

I like muffins, I do. I can truthfully say that I’ve turned down invitations to go for a beer with friends in favor of cooking up a dozen. Actually heard over the phone in the background: “What, is she 80 years old?!” It was worth it.

I always gravitate towards the crumble topped, glazed or chocolate flecked varieties out of habit though… because it’s like eating a piece of cake. A piece of cake that you can sometimes have with a hot drink and call it breakfast. Oh, and healthy muffins are generally terrible. Like, more terrible than mornings pre-coffee. I wanted this to be different in a real way.

Here’s the thing. It’s hard to make a homemade, legitimately healthy muffin that tastes AMAZING + looks completely beautiful. I have high expectations in a general way. Brown, dome-y cake things are not always tasty and are definitely not inherently glamorous. I wanted it to be real good on all fronts for your health. Sometimes I irrationally worry about offering up recipes for more humble fare here. A muffin is not the most totally unique snowflake-kind of thing to post on a food blog, but it is decidedly everyday and approachable. I am slowly learning that this is enough.

When I lived in the city, I used to pop into the nearby Whole Foods from time to time for a matcha tea and one of their lovely vegan muffins. But it wasn’t entirely muffin-like! They baked them in petite bundt pans and put a sweet little glaze on top. The ingredients were all health-supporting for sure and the small hit of glaze brought it back into light indulgence territory. The idea was to emulate the overall feel of their muffin and fill the recipe out with things I really love.

I went to work, consulted with a new and wonderful book, and here we are. It’s a beauty, I assure you. It’s key to go wild with flavour-y things when undertaking more health-centric, vegan baking. The spices, the vanilla, the add-ins; they all work together to make a non buttered + egged treat so delicious. If I’m vegan-izing/health-ing something up, I generally double the vanilla specified, use spices and citrus zest with abandon, and reach for flavourful fats like nut butters or coconut oil as an overall strategy. Also, stirring the batter gently until just incorporated is key for a nice texture. You could apply that principle to any muffin recipe, but especially here with the inclusion of 100% whole grain flour.

In this particular breakfast marvel, I’ve used hearty spelt flour, almond meal, chia and flax seeds, warming spices, tropical coconut oil + vanilla (still savoring the bottle miss Ashlae sent me), walnuts, tart dried cranberries, coconut palm sugar, a smidge of banana to amp up the natural sweetness and some frozen Ontario blueberries stirred in to remind us of summer’s gifts. I topped them off with a zesty clementine glaze for an inviting hit of freshness. These would be perfect for a weekend brunch at home. Your grandma would be so proud of you for baking these on a Saturday night, just a thought :)

pin it!pin it!pin it!pin it!

antioxidant power muffins + clementine glaze
adapted from Dr. Weil’s True Food
serves: 
makes 7-8 little bundts or 12 normal muffins
notes: If you eat them, feel free to replace the mashed banana with 2 beaten eggs to avoid any trace of banana-ness. Also! I know if you’re high on health, you might want to turn your nose up at the glaze portion. I found it pretty crucial to the whole experience. This batter isn’t terribly sweet, so the glaze has a rather serious function in the grand scheme (way serious).

muffins:
1 cup whole spelt flour
1/4 cup almond meal (or use more spelt if you like)
1 1/3 cups ground flax + chia seeds (or go with pure flax or pure chia)
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of fine sea salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tbsp melted coconut oil + extra for greasing
1 3/4 cups milk of your choice (I used almond)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed (or fresh if they’re in season)
3/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
2 tbsp cacao nibs

clementine glaze:
juice and zest of 1 clementine
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease your mini bundt or muffin tins and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, almond meal, flax + chia seeds, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger and salt.

Mash the banana in a separate medium bowl. Make sure it is fairly smooth. To the banana, add the coconut oil, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

Scrape the banana and milk mixture into the dry indredients (flour, ground flax etc). Gently fold the batter until it is just combined/there are no more dry bits of flour. Add the blueberries, dried cranberries, walnuts, and cacao nibs and gently fold them into the batter until evenly distributed. The batter should be quite thick at this point.

Fill the muffin cups/bundts with the batter to 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and muffins bounce back when you press your finger onto the tops. Cool the pans on a wire rack completely before turning out onto a plate.

While muffins are baking/cooling, make the glaze: whisk the clementine zest, juice and powdered sugar together until smooth. Apply glaze to the tops of completely cooled muffins.

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  • ana cooks16/01/2013 - 6:15 am

    i have no words for this recipe and shots!!!
    just loved it all!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie {The Cake Hunter}16/01/2013 - 6:29 am

    ‘Power muffin’ is a phrase I want to keep strong in my vocabulary. These looks delicious. I’ve become abit obsessed with spelt flour of late. I made the nicest pastry with it the other. The idea of ‘better for you’ baking really appeals to me. Beautiful photos as well :)ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin16/01/2013 - 7:59 am

    i was always a huge fan of the whole foods muffins. i would always read the ingredients in the case and think, “how can something with such healthy ingredients taste so delicious?!” i love the huge areas of blueberries in these lovelies- they look amazing and incredibly flavorful.ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae16/01/2013 - 9:48 am

    Giiiiiirl! Loving everything about this post. And if it makes you feel better, my friends also think I’m 80 – but who needs beers when you have POWER MUFFINS!

    PS – this post finally convinced me that I can no longer function in the kitchen without baby bundts. Got ‘em!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn16/01/2013 - 9:53 am

    I can never have too many muffin recipes in my life & it never ceases to amaze me how one simple treat can be so ridiculously incredibly decadent or full of life-affirming ingredients like this. Definitely looking forward to one of these beauties for breakfast in my near future.ReplyCancel

  • erin16/01/2013 - 9:59 am

    I love, love, love these! I also have to agree with Ashlae in that I need baby bundts in my life- they make everything look even more perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Sophia16/01/2013 - 10:32 am

    I am so glad I am not alone in sometimes turning down invitations to stay at home to bake! Seriously, after a long week at work, one of the things that helps me unwind and which I look forward to all week is to come home and bake pizza from scratch (with dough that has patiently been proving in the fridge for a day)!

    And those muffins? They sound delicious – I might just bake my next batch of muffins in my little bundt pans … and those pictures! I am very jealous of the light! Beautiful shots as always!ReplyCancel

  • Christine16/01/2013 - 10:35 am

    These look delicious! I’m putting them on my weekend list :) I just found your blog recently and have seen so many things I’d love to make, but what caught me most was that you are in Niagara – I’m in Niagara too!ReplyCancel

  • Mariela Alvarez-Toro16/01/2013 - 10:37 am

    What GF flour would yo substitute the spelt for? More almond flour? Coconut? I definitely want to try this out. Lovely post.ReplyCancel

  • Kate16/01/2013 - 11:19 am

    I’m all about a muffin that is purposeful in it’s short life; a small diversion from sweet and cloying, a teeny little break in the day where the need for support and sustenance is strong. A muffin should be powerful, despite being tiny. I’m constantly changing up ingredients, adding the flax seed, subbing in whole wheat flour, reducing sugar or swapping it for honey. They need to give me a boost, not a sugar rush.

    I recently re-did my recipe books and was shocked at how many muffin recipes I have. Regardless, I’m printing this one and adding it to the mix. You can never have enough.ReplyCancel

  • Sara forte16/01/2013 - 12:43 pm

    I used to work at True Food kitchen and I knew where these muffins were from at first picture! They are beautiful, Laura. I’m with you on humble offerings. Keep them coming.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy16/01/2013 - 3:56 pm

    Laura, these muffins look fabulous, and your photos are particularly stunning here. I affirm your choice to stay in to bake from time to time, as I do believe I have done exactly the same. And I must say that these muffins seem pretty snowflake-like to me — not the usual muffin offering, to be sure! But either way, absolutely, absolutely enough. (That Dr. Weil. What a rock star.)ReplyCancel

  • la domestique16/01/2013 - 6:54 pm

    A healthful muffin that tastes good sounds like something we could all use in our recipe box. I flipped through True Food recently and man, what a great cookbook! Gorgeous photos, Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley16/01/2013 - 6:59 pm

    hi! could regular sugar be swapped in for the coconut palm sugar? thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura16/01/2013 - 7:57 pm

      Hi Shelley! You could absolutely use normal cane sugar in place of the coconut palm sugar. The batter might be a touch sweeter too :)
      -LauraReplyCancel

  • Jess16/01/2013 - 7:12 pm

    Ahhhhhrrr! So gloriously amazing! Your food is always to die for. ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Jacqui16/01/2013 - 10:50 pm

    These are gorgeous muffins Laura! And I’m guilty of being called “grandma” many times. Baking is totally a worthy excuse for staying in if you ask me!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah17/01/2013 - 2:40 am

    Laura these look amazing. I am going to bed dreaming about clementine glaze – I suspect my shopping list for tomorrow will be altered by the time I get up ;) Thanks for another stunner. I think you’re hitting on something nice here, too, which is that even simple things can be made better when we remember them as the treats that they are, and show them a tiny bit of extra (clementine-flavored, bundt-shaped) love.ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf17/01/2013 - 9:34 am

    These muffins are a work of art! I love that you think so hard about coming up with inspiring recipes for the blog – this is certainly one of them :-)ReplyCancel

  • Courtney17/01/2013 - 6:26 pm

    I so need these muffins in my life!! I too have been disappointed by so-called “healthy muffins” in the past as they seem to be lacking in freshness & flavor. These look amazing! I love the clementine glaze and the fact that you made these in mini bundt pans :)ReplyCancel

  • Melissa17/01/2013 - 10:05 pm

    Made them tonight. They are divine. Devoured by all three sons and husband! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Julia {The Roasted Root}18/01/2013 - 12:42 am

    What a unique and healthful muffin! I love that you use mini bundt molds to change it up! Stunning photos, too!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah18/01/2013 - 6:29 pm

    Laura, I love you so much. I always joke with my husband that I am already a Grandma, so when I read that first paragraph I wanted to send you a bag of cookies and some freshly made doilies. {and, these muffins are so beautiful!}ReplyCancel

  • The Frosted Vegan20/01/2013 - 6:52 pm

    I love how cute and lovely these look, especially with that clementine glaze!ReplyCancel

  • Katie (The Muffin Myth)21/01/2013 - 8:04 am

    Cakes masquerading as a healthy breakfast item drive me bonkers, hence the name of my blog! These little bundts look gorgeous, and are the perfect balance of indulgence and health. I have a recipe on my blog for no sugar banana bran muffins which are my favourite weekday muffins, but I’ll definitely have to give these a try. The only thing I don’t have on hand is the coconut sugar, which can be easily corrected. Thanks for sharing the recipe – and your words here have convinced me to pick up Dr. Weil’s cookbook.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole06/02/2013 - 1:31 pm

    As soon as I saw “for your health”, I instantly thought of Steve Brule! I think I say “for your health” at least once per day, and always out of context like him. My favorite is “for your wine”, though!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright06/02/2013 - 3:00 pm

      Nicole, I’m so glad you appreciate Steve Brule as much as I do! I’m always using “for your health” out of context too :))ReplyCancel

  • Julia08/02/2013 - 2:13 pm

    well, i also have a copy of true food, and at first glance these muffins didn’t wow me, but yours do!! i baked them this morning, and you’re right, the glaze did play an integral role in the amazing-ness of them. thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • […] recept komt van de briljante site The First Mess en ik heb het een beetje aangepast omdat ik niet alles in huis […]ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Brady12/04/2013 - 3:44 pm

    How have I not come across you before now!? Love all the recipes, have to try them all – where to start?! Fab. xxxReplyCancel

  • Filling my Time | Food Whims18/04/2013 - 2:38 pm

    […] Antioxidant Power Muffins + Clementine Glaze […]ReplyCancel

  • Anna12/05/2013 - 9:34 am

    These look amazing! Would love to make them but any way we can avoid the sugar (ie. use dates, applesauce or more bananas)? If so what would the proportions be??? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright14/05/2013 - 8:21 am

      Hi Anna,
      You could certainly sub in the same amount of date paste for the sugar, but you would have to reduce all of the other wet ingredients in the recipe by 1/4. I’m not sure how this would impact the structure of the muffin to be honest. Let me know if you try!
      -LReplyCancel

  • Leticia01/03/2014 - 4:44 pm

    Made these muffins and they were really delicious, even without the glaze.

    However, after following the recipe to a T, my muffins ended up looking more like 2 bite brownies… Do you have any tips on how to get them to rise up like a muffin, or should I expect them to look they way they did?

    Looking forward to making them again!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright02/03/2014 - 1:34 pm

      Hi Leticia!
      So glad you enjoyed the muffins. And in terms of rising, these never really puff up like traditional muffins. I opt for the mini bundt way of baking them because they never have those perfectly domed tops. That’s always a tricky thing with vegan muffin batters I find.
      -LReplyCancel

  • […] 14. Antioxidant Power Muffins – You know you’re getting your fill of antioxidants when it’s part of the title. This recipe uses a combination of blueberries and cranberries to live up to its name. It combines them with other amazing foods like ginger, cinnamon, and bananas so this is a nutritional feast for the body. The way they’ve made them here almost looks like a fancy doughnut, but they’re calling them muffins. Either way they’re healthy as can be. […]ReplyCancel

  • Ruth15/09/2014 - 10:01 pm

    Just made these muffins tonight – I subbed in all-purpose flour, 1 cup flax meal + 1/3 cup chia seeds, regular sugar and 3 eggs instead of the banana. The batter was not as thick and it made 16 muffins total – I opted not to do the glaze since I will probably pop them in the toaster oven with a little butter, but using regular sugar seemed to make them sweet enough. Good recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy11/12/2014 - 2:13 pm

    I cannot wait to let my husband and mom try these. They sound awesome. Just found this blog. So excited to explore!!ReplyCancel

  • Janja04/02/2015 - 4:50 pm

    Just wondering whether you have used dry chia seeds or the soaked ones? tomorrow I will try out this recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • Priyanka Mehrotra05/02/2015 - 12:08 am

    Hi ! I recently discovered your blog and am so happy that I did!! Quick question on your recipe for Power Muffins. Can I substitute in buckwheat flour instead of spelt flour? If yes, any changes in the other ingredient measurements? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright05/02/2015 - 11:06 am

      Hi Priyanka, I’ve never tried replacing the spelt flour in these with buckwheat and I’m honestly not sure how well they would perform if you did. If you’re looking to make these gluten free, I would either replace the spelt flour with a gluten-free all purpose blend (like Pamela’s brand) OR I would try replacing the spelt with 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup brown rice flour. You might need some ground psyllium husk or xanthan gum in the mix to hold things together if you go this route as well. If you try the buckwheat (or any other substitution), let me know!
      -LReplyCancel

pin it!pin it!pin it!
I say this about so many things, but winter citrus is certain proof that we are loved in this world. January brings us to more hours spent in darkness. The sun is elusive on most days, giving way to shades of mud and blinding white. On winter drives through all of the sleepy orchards, there’s an illusion of hollow space, that the rows of black and empty branches cross each other forever and for no reason, that your breath could escape and go on. A cloudy and warm gasp would lift from your mouth, drifting over the fields searching listlessly for another of its kind. Stepping outside invites the bizarrely comforting act of bundling yourself up to face the world. Promises of impending greatness well up and wait. By the end of March, I’m on my knees for a release from the extremity of it, the spatial restlessness and cold grey, the bleak landscape that seems to dwell within.

Then there are splendid and simple moments, ones of clarity. Cutting into any one of the satsumas, lemons, blood oranges, grapefruits, or tangerines, taking a second to revel in the brightness, is one of those moments. Vivid colour, the intensely perfumed oil in the skin, all succulent with tart sweetness, the symmetry within the shapes–all reminders of the warmth in the design of this world. The core of life still glows and we are assured at the very sight of those neon orbs that vibrate with the sun and earth’s strength.

Something unusual to wake up my winter-dulled sensibilities was bubbling away in my mind and it had to be a chop, a shred, a seasoning from up high, toss toss toss and a fast sear away. Quick. Jude Blereau’s orange pan-glazed tempeh (first seen on 101 Cookbooks for me) is one of my favourite ways to utilize citrus in an upfront and savoury sort of way. I swap out the coriander for some ground ancho chilies in pursuit of heat, but otherwise keep it to the letter and simple. Have you tried tempeh before? That fermented, probiotic and protein-heavy vegan wonder food? The texture is toothsome. The flavour is nutty, hinting at mushrooms and damp, forest floor kind of qualities. It has roots in Indonesian cuisine and stands in beautifully for tofu and animal proteins.

Right here, it goes for a bit of a sear and a sloshy glaze of maple, ancho and soy infused orange juice. I thought of it as the foundation of a taco with a slaw saturated in grapefruit juice and flecked with fresh mint. Grapefruit gets on beautifully with creamy and mild avocado, so that became the crucial third component. A little frivolous tangle of sprouts on top felt fine in the moment. Finishing squeezes of lime are available for even more freshness. The combination is nicely jarring and it brings the world a bit closer, what with the participatory nature of taco get-togethers. The gathering, assembly and communal eating seems to put us all into the light a little more.

pin it!pin it!pin it!pin it!
orange + ancho braised tempeh tacos with ruby grapefruit slaw
serves: 4-5
notes: I used an all-soy variety of tempeh for this, but there are many varieties with brown rice and other grains thrown into the mix  that are great. Also, as previously mentioned, I subbed in ancho powder + cayenne for the coriander in Jude’s recipe. You could go so many ways with it though.

1 batch orange pan glazed tempeh (recipe link), subbing ancho powder for the coriander

ruby grapefruit slaw:
1/2 small red cabbage, cored and shredded
1 small carrot, grated or peeled into ribbons (I used a funky white, heirloom one)
juice of 1 grapefruit + I cut up a few sections of it for visual/textural interest in the slaw
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 green onions, sliced finely
4 sprigs of mint, leaves sliced finely
salt and pepper

assembly:
corn tortillas, warmed
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted + sliced
handfuls of sprouts (I had pea shoots around)
lime wedges
sriracha or other hot sauce

Prepare the slaw: combine all slaw ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning, adjust, and set aside.

Dice and warm all of the assembly components and set aside.

Prepare tempeh according to directions. Serve hot with other taco accoutrements.

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  • Kathryn09/01/2013 - 6:19 am

    This really is food to make you feel alive isn’t it? The brightness and lightness sounds just what I’m graving in these grey January days.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin09/01/2013 - 7:36 am

    there is something cutting into a big, beautiful grapefruit that makes winter a little sweeter. these tacos look incredibly delicious, and i’d love to just eat up all the slaw in one sitting.ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf09/01/2013 - 9:21 am

    Everything you’re posting at the moment is exactly what I’m craving! These flavours look and sound delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle09/01/2013 - 10:39 am

    So much love for this.ReplyCancel

  • la domestique09/01/2013 - 11:23 am

    Absolutely gorgeous, Laura! I’ve never tried tempeh, but your description has certainly tempted me to do so. The recipe looks so fresh and uplifting.ReplyCancel

  • Heather09/01/2013 - 12:37 pm

    I just read your interview on Mint, which part of Canada are your from. I am now living in Seattle, but used to live in Victoria, BC? I love this post, the recipe and the photos.ReplyCancel

    • Laura09/01/2013 - 1:10 pm

      Heather! I’m from the Niagara region of Southern Ontario. Lived in Toronto for a loooong time, but came back to my hometown for some country livin’. Thanks for your kindness too! xo
      -LReplyCancel

  • Sarah B.09/01/2013 - 4:27 pm

    Such a beautiful post Laura, especially love those first three. And delicious, going to whole foods now, might drop some tempeh in my basket. Just a little inspiration today, weee :) Happy New Year to you! <3ReplyCancel

  • Ashley09/01/2013 - 10:19 pm

    Love this post through + through. The photos are perfect, and I especially love the newspaper background. I’ve also never seen a better looking avocado! I completely agree about winter citrus. I am just loving it at the moment. Funny you mentioned the orange tempeh from 101 Cookbooks, as I’m about to make that tonight. It’s one meal that is constantly repeated around here. Definitely want to try your additions to that tempeh soon!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey09/01/2013 - 10:20 pm

    The universe, and it’s gift of citrus, blows my mind. Love this, love you. Happy 2013, lady.ReplyCancel

  • sara forte09/01/2013 - 11:26 pm

    I am seasonally picky. Most of the year I say I don’t like orange/grapefruits for snacking and such, but come winter, I can’t get enough satsumas, clementines etc. Same goes for tomatoes, I’ll only eat them two months out of the year, max. My mom says I’m a snob but I don’t know why you’d bother otherwise. Like you said, good tasting citrus is proof we are loved :) These look fabulous and your photos are so stunning. Especially that grapefruit. love to you, little lady.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar10/01/2013 - 12:20 pm

    So pretty (as always). Love this idea!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne10/01/2013 - 1:04 pm

    Beautifully said, Laura. Citrus is absolutely a reminder of the warmth in the world. I don’t have much experience with tempeh but these tacos make me want to change that. Your photos are exquisite, oh that light!ReplyCancel

  • dervla @ The Curator10/01/2013 - 2:27 pm

    Found you through Mint today. Looking forward to reading! Those tacos look amazing. Happy new year!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanine10/01/2013 - 2:35 pm

    I loved that orange glazed tempeh on 101 Cookbooks too! Looks so fresh with your grapefruit and mint, yum!ReplyCancel

  • Elenore Bendel Zahn12/01/2013 - 4:41 am

    I love you, Laura.

    …and I wish we could share that citrus moments right about nowReplyCancel

  • Jacqui13/01/2013 - 6:45 pm

    I’m so in love with all the color going on here! Enough to turn any of these NW winter gray days into bright ones! Amazingly, I happen to every single one of these ingredients in my kitchen right now too, these are so happening!ReplyCancel

  • […] Citrus is certain proof that we are loved, says Laura at The First Mess, and I couldn’t agree […]ReplyCancel

  • Kate28/01/2013 - 6:30 pm

    I’ve never done anything with tempeh, but this recipe makes me want to begin a tentative relationship with it. Of course, it’s a taco. That makes it simple.ReplyCancel

  • Perry29/01/2013 - 2:43 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! It was a perfect winter meal. Just the right combination of heartiness and refreshment. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie01/02/2013 - 9:46 am

    What a great blog you have here! Love the healthy recipes and mouth watering photos.ReplyCancel

  • […] Orange and Ancho Tempeh Tacos with Grapefruit Slaw […]ReplyCancel

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  • Johnny Philips03/02/2015 - 1:29 am

    This looks amazing! I need to try this and impress my familyReplyCancel