Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spiced Parsnip & Apple Muffins (GF)

For the final installment of  my“Week in the [Project] Life”series for Project Life 365, today’s prompt is #incognito.  For background on this project, please read my previous #breakfast#lunch, #dinner, #dessert, #whatever, and #cloud posts. You can find me on Instagram at @lauravein and Project Life 365 at @projectlife365. Thanks for reading along this week! 

Veggies go #incognito in these Spiced Parsnip & Apple muffins.

Vegetables in muffins? Really? It’s not THAT big of a stretch, if you think about it!  Most people enjoy carrot cake, zucchini quick bread, pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole etc.  So why should parsnip muffins be any different.

While I do love zucchini quick bread (and scones, and waffles), I’ll confess, I’m not terribly crazy about carrot desserts? Even my mom has a great carrot quick bread recipe that everyone raves about whenever she makes it, but it just isn’t something my palate enjoys. I guess I’ll just keep my carrot consumption to the savory side of things, like the roasted carrots from my favorite roast chicken.

Parsnips, on the other hand, are a bit more intriguing.  Their natural flavor lends more towards the dessert-y side of the spectrum anyway, in my opinion.  They’re a bit sweeter and at the same time a bit spicier too. They pair well with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & cloves.

As this was my first foray into adding parsnips to a baked good, I decided to add half grated parsnips and half grated apple to the muffin batter. I was so curious about how the muffins would taste that it was torture to wait until they cooled enough to consume.

Upon tasting, neither the parsnips, nor the apples, nor the spices really shown as the most prominent flavor--instead, they all balanced really well.  Others who tasted these muffins had no idea they contained parsnips. Incognito vegetable success!

Actually, the parsnip flavor does become a bit more pronounced the day after the muffins are baked.  It’s up to you whether you feel adventurous enough to add all grated parsnips to the muffin batter or to do the half parsnip/half apple combination I chose.

Spiced Parsnip & Apple Muffins 
adapted from Alton Brown 
yields approximately 9 muffins 

I easily adapted this recipe to be gluten free by swapping the AP Flour for my favorite gluten free flour mix, but if I was not making these gluten free, I might make them with half all purpose flour & half whole wheat flour.... 

4.25 oz Jeanne's GF AP Flour Mix {or substitute AP Flour, if not following gluten free} 
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated 
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
3 oz whole eggs (scramble 2 eggs together, then weight out 3 oz... it should be approx 1.5 eggs) 
3 oz Sour Cream or Yogurt (use full fat dairy) 
0.9 oz Vegetable Oil 
4 oz Granulated Sugar 
splash of Vanilla extract 
2.5 oz Grated Parsnip (use a box grater) 
2.5 oz Grated Apple (use a box grater) 
nonstick spray
coarse sugar for sprinkling 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a standard muffin pan with 9 liners.  Generously spray the liners to avoid having the muffins stick to them.  Set aside. Prepare & measure out all ingredients.  
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, powder, nutmeg, cinnamon & salt. Set aside
  3. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the sour cream, oil, sugar, vanilla.  Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture & mix halfway.  Using a spatula, fold in the grated parsnip & apple.  
  4. Evenly divide the batter among each muffin cup (using a large cookie scoop/portion scoop makes this job easier). Sprinkle the tops with a little coarse sanding sugar.  
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown.  
  6. Remove from the oven, cool slightly in the pan, then remove the muffins and cool on a rack.  Serve slightly warm. 
  7. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature, or freeze for longevity.  

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