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Rhubarb heraldsimage Spring in central Iowa more than anything else for me. As the weather warms and calendar pages turn I begin to nurse my rhubarb. I give it a few extra drinks of water. An old tire somehow magically appears around the spot where I know my rhubarb will eventually emerge.  Now low and behold I have rhubarb a bit earlier than many. It tastes fresh, alive, green, and yes, so clean as it is just a few steps from my back door.  A taste I have missed all winter. As I crave the Spring flavor fresh rhubarb offers I cannot wait for enough stems to make their way into a pie, or even a small crisp. Muffins call for just a bit of rhubarb, so these are always what appear first on my counter knowing more dishes with rhubarb will follow soon. Rhubarb in my kitchen reassures me asparagus is not far behind, and the lilacs must be thinking of blooming very soon.

 

1 ½ cup flour

½ cup quick oats

2-tablespoon ground flax seed

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 egg

3 tablespoons canola oil

1-teaspoon baking soda

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1-teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup fat-free milk

¾ cup fresh rhubarb, diced small

Topping

3 tablespoons sugar

sliced almonds

 

Mix all ingredients. Batter should be just moist. It will be a bit thick and but not stiff. Do not over-mix.

Fill muffins cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with white sugar and top with sliced almonds.

 

Bake at 375 for 15 – 16 minutes, depending on oven. Remove from pan to cool.

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