My New Roots – Carob and fig muffins

Meldives Whaleshark Research Programme

I have turned into a little bit of a forrager the past few weeks. While hiking up the mountain with some friends the other day we found a whole load of chanterelle mushrooms in the woods which was obviously very exciting because chanterlles are totally delicious and also seem to cost a fortune. We picked a whole load and kept them in the only bag we had which was my friends doggy poop bag..lovely! There were also loads of mini blueberries, tiny little wild strawberries and crazy looking big bright red mushrooms with spots all over that looked totally magical. I kept feeling a bit like we were in some sort of lord of the rings film and a little hobbit was going to pop out from under a tree.

It turned out the mushrooms weren’t actually chanterelels at all though after a slightly paniced phone call from my friends who had already eaten them and decided they tasted a bit weird and done a bit of research. Apparently chanterelles have a solid stalk and ours was hollow..whoops. No one had any bad reactions though or any trippy behaviour so all good.

I saw Sarah from My New Roots blog about her recent trip to Ibiza and picking a whole load of carob which was growing everywhere. I was off to Ibiza days after so made it my mission to get a whole load and bring it back to play with it in recipes.

Carob is a black seed pod that hangs off the trees, the pods are the bit you eat, the seeds are solid and your most likely to crack your tooth open on one if you try and chew them. However a good use for them is baking beans. Carob is sweet and caramelly tasting, it is used as a substitute to chocolate although it doesn’t really taste anything like it at all. From it you can make powder, chips and syrup.

The health benefit of it are that it is high in insolube fibre meaning that it acts like a broom in your digestive tract, so it cleans your colon. It is high in antioxidants helping to defend your body from free radicals, and its also high in calcium and iron…go carob!

IMG_1797

“Little superman shot with my sister from the holiday and above what carob pods actually looks like”

These muffins are not like the airy kind that resemble more of a cupcake, they are a bit more dense and manly, perfect for breakfast or as a snack, I am going to be making them to take up the mountain this winter as my ski snacks.

Also I used figs because they were in season but since it’s getting wintery try grated apple, carrot, banana, raw cacao nibs, cinnamon and add seeds and nuts…I’m pretty sure that they will still work if just chuck in whatever you like.

Makes 10-12 muffins

2 cups/200g ground rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup/25g carob powder
½ cup/75g coconut sugar
zest of 1 lemon or orange
½ cup of nut milk
½ cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp chia seeds with 6 tbsp water
1½ cups chopped figs, about 5/6 whole figs

Firstly stir the chia seeds with the water in a glass and leave aside for at least an hour and turn your oven on to 175˚C/ 350˚F.

Grind the rolled oats in a food processor until they are like flour, then transfer into a big bowl with all the other dry ingredients and mix. In another bowl combine all the wet ingredients and the chia seeds together. Then gently mix with the dry ingredients until it’s just combined and then fold in the chopped figs. Dollop the mixture into your muffin cases so they are about 2/3 full and bake for about 20-30 minutes until a poker comes out clean. Leave to cool. They can be kept in an airtight container for about 4 days or stick them in the freezer.

Photo credit to my lovely neighbour Melody Sky

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