Hi, everyone & welcome to the FIRST EVER Munchie Monday! This isn’t just another manic Monday. It is your new go-to source for vegan recipes and food inspiration for the week. If it’s Munchie Monday, know that some kind of wonderful is coming your way and you’re soon to leave that Monday blues behind. Let’s get munchin!
What time is it?? Ground cherry time!
That’s right, folks- ground cherry season has made its way back into our lives, and we’re obliged to take full advantage of it.
What even ARE ground cherries? Cherries come from trees not the ground, silly!
Okay, so they’re not SUPER popular, but ground cherries are native in many parts of the U.S. and usually grow best in dense, clay soils, so they’re usually found on road sides. They’re actually not even cherries! They’re members of the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes and tomatillos (that explains why they kind of look like them). They have good amounts of Vitamin A (vision and inflammation), Vitamin C (antioxidants), riboflavin (regulates metabolic function of iron) PLUS they taste like a pineapple, strawberry hybrid. Ultimatum: they rock. My mama got a hold of some Cape Gooseberries the other day, which is a yellow variety, but they also grow in orange (Go orange!) and purple.
I wanted to make a dessert that would contrast the tanginess of the berry with some cozy sweetness, and I’m going through a molasses phase, so I decided to make a molasses muffin! The flavor is amazinggg, but they were a bit denser than I would have liked, so I adjusted the recipe for a lighter, crumbier version.
2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup wheat flakes
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 flax egg (1 tbsp of flaxseed mixed with 2 1/2 tbsp water. Allow to congeal for 5-10 minutes)
1/4 cup oil
1/2 very ripe banana mashed
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup cape gooseberries washed, husks intact
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a muffin tray or line it with cupcake liners.
- Add flour, wheat flakes, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to a food processor, and pulse a few times to combine. Set aside.
- If you have one, use a mixer* to combine sugar, oil, and molasses. Next add the flax egg, banana, and lemon juice. Mix until smooth.
- Add the dry mixture to the liquid, a little at a time. Stir until just combined, so the flour is no longer visible. If it’s very liquidy (as in pancake mix liquidy), add 1/4 cup flour. Do not over mix.
- Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray using a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop.
- Place a cape gooseberry in the top of each muffin, pressing down slightly on each.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for ten minutes before removing from tray.
- Take a bite of this delight!!
*It’s fine to mix by hand, too, but a mixer helps make the batter a bit lighter.
Stay merry, gooseberry!