There is always something magic about this time of year. The cool breeze through the open windows. The colors outside slowly changing. The abundant harvests at the market. The reassuring comfort of old forgotten sweatshirts and slippers. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. The pressuring heat of the summer has lifted and things seem to slow down a little bit, resembling more of a routine. There is still plenty to do outside, but spending an afternoon turning plums into muffins seems perfectly acceptable as well.
I love the act of baking but I do get frustrated with the precision of it all. It’s not like cooking where a you can taste as you go and get creative in the process. I think I set the bar pretty low for myself when it comes to baking wholesome treats. If it’s edible and contains cinnamon then it’s a win in my books. These muffins though, are good. And they are wholesome, warm and spiced just the way I like them.
This batter recipe is pretty adaptable to whatever fruits are in season. Swapping the plums and orange juice for apples and their juice will be happening here soon as the seasons shift. Figs, vanilla and cardamom would be worth a try right now as well. I’m thinking of replacing the ground almonds with different nuts to see how that goes. Hazelnuts to start. I guess this recipe is just the beginning. This season holds so much inspiration. There is always a way to stay creative. Make the most of it. Make muffins.
SPICED PLUM MUFFINS
The smell of these muffins is hard to resist – warm spices, orange zest and almonds combine with juicy bright plums, it’s what I love about this end of summer season. Plums are one of my favorite summer treats. Just as the weather starts to turn and we start reaching for those comforting spices again. Warm, cozy and sunny – let’s make the most of it.
I’ve made these muffins with and without the arrowroot and if just helps them keep their shape a little easier. I love having arrowroot in the pantry, it’s inexpensive and can be found at most health food stores. It’s a great way to thicken sauces or crisp up baked fries. It also works to keep vegan or gluten free baked goods from falling apart.
Vegan. Makes 9 large muffins or 12 smaller ones.
1/3 cup oats
1/2 cup almond meal
1 + 1/2 cup light spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp arrowroot powder (see notes)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp each ground cloves + nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 cups mixed plums, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350F / 176C and grease or line a muffin tray with parchment wraps.
Place oats in a small blender and blender until coarsely ground.
Add oat flour, ground almonds, spelt flour, baking powder, arrowroot and spices to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Add orange juice, orange zest, almond milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt to another bowl and whisk until emulsified.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined without over mixing. Gently stir in the chopped plums.
Divide the mixture into muffins trays and top with extra plums if desired. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let cool and enjoy, or freeze for later.
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