I’ve confessed my love (obsession?) of muffins in the past. Muffins are my version of the perfect food. These ginger rhubarb muffins are my newest version.
I picked up some rhubarb at the farmers market a week ago, and I’ve been experimenting since then. It took a couple of tries to get these muffins right. One of the keys to my success was using crystalized ginger, not fresh ginger.
I had some of this type of ginger in my baking cupboard (yes, I have an entire cupboard dedicated to baking supplies) for a cookie recipe that I never got around to making over the winter. The fresh ginger wasn’t doing what I wanted it to in my first try at these muffins, so I opted to try this. I had never used crystalized ginger. I cut off a small piece to sample before starting my baking, and was pleasantly surprised. This version of ginger has more heat, but is also sweeter than fresh ginger. It’s quite lovely, actually. I think it would be divine with chocolate. Ah, but that is a recipe for another day.
I love rhubarb. It’s so tart. And crunchy. And delicious. It transports me back to my childhood. I was so happy when I found it at the farmers market, and very determined to get these muffins right.
Did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable? It is the edible stalk of a plant. Botanically, that makes it a vegetable, even though in practice we use it like a fruit.
In raw form, rhubarb is extremely tart. I love it that way, dipped in a bit of sugar – my childhood memories at work. The flavour mellows when cooked.
You will want to use a sharp knife when chopping the rhubarb. The skin is quite stringy, and a sharp blade is needed to cut through it cleanly.
I’ve given these muffins a crumble topping, to please Greg’s sweet tooth. I made some without the topping, and enjoyed them just as much (maybe even a bit more). If you want a muffin that is a bit sweeter, go for the topping. Omit it for less sweetness. The ginger flavour will be even more pronounced if you don’t add the crumble topping.
Recipe: Ginger Rhubarb Muffins with Crumble Topping
Made with whole wheat flour and filled with fruit, these muffins are a hearty snack. The ginger and rhubarb pair very well, giving this snack muffin great flavour. Chop the rhubarb into relatively large pieces, about the size of fresh cranberries. This will allow you to really taste and see the rhubarb pieces as you eat the muffins.
- ½ cup (125 mL) quick cooking oats
- ¼ (60 mL) cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (2 mL) ground ginger
- 1 ½ tablespoons (22 mL) softened butter
- 2 cups (500 mL) whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) ground flax seed
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2 mL) baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 mL) salt
- 1½ teaspoons (7 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) packed, finely chopped crystalized ginger
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) canola oil
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) liquid honey
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) plain yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1½ cup (375 mL) chopped rhubarb
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Line muffin tin with paper liners.
- Make the crumble topping – Add oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and ground ginger to a small bowl. Stir together. Add softened butter and crumble the mix together, using your hands if necessary. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and crystalized ginger.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, honey, yogurt and egg.
- Pour dry ingredients into bowl of wet ingredients. Stir until partly moistened. Add rhubarb. Stir gently until mixed. Do not over mix or muffins will be tough. The batter will be very thick.
- Place batter into muffin cups. Spread crumble topping over each muffin.
- Bake 17 to 20 minutes until muffin tops spring back when lightly pressed with finger.