One of the best-selling products provided by our expert bakers is the Nothing Muffin. So named because it’s a dairy-free, vegan option for your morning bakery, I still think this name sells it short. While it may not have many of the ingredients of most conventional bakery, it is high in taste and nutritional value. Where does that nutritional value come from? The ingredients we do use.
The main ingredient in the Nothing Muffin is spelt flour. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat. So one thing the Nothing Muffins aren’t is gluten/wheat-free. However, since spelt is an ancient wheat, it actually has a much broader range of nutrients than its inbred ancestors in the wheat family, which allows some people with wheat sensitivities to digest it. (I’d recommend making sure you’re one of them before buying a muffin, though.) Spelt is a good source of B vitamins, niacin, copper, manganese, and iron among others. The combination of nutrients in spelt also makes it a good choice for those with diabetes, migraines, blood clots, and atherosclerosis (the inflammation of your arteries).
The second ingredient in the Nothing Muffin is oat bran. So much has been written about oat bran that I think we can leave it at saying that it helps lower cholesterol, is high in fiber, and can help reduce cardiovascular disease.
Next up is the more obscure flaxseed meal. Flax seed contains a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains. That’s just the start though. It is also very rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. The lists of health benefits from these nutrients could take up my whole column—they are beneficial in fighting cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, migraines, bone health, the list goes on and on. We use seeds ground into a meal. This releases more of the nutrients into your system, with the added benefit of removing the (very) little bit of cyanide properties in whole flax seed.
All right, so there’s also no butter, milk, or sugar in these muffins. How can they possible taste like anything but a dense, rock-like, ball of blah? Anyone with experience with vegan baking knows that all of those ingredients can be replaced. Moisture is provided thorough a variety of ingredients. We use unsweetened soymilk, canola oil, and unsweetened applesauce. In addition to supplying the moisture, the applesauce helps with the flavoring. We also use cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup to provide flavor and sweetener to the muffin. Maple syrup as sweetener still contains about 65 percent sucrose (table sugar). This means that it can provide a quick surge in blood sugar levels, as opposed to using fructose. The advantage maple syrup has overage refined sugar is that it is less processed, and the processing involves using only heat. This means that it doesn’t lose its nutritional value (that highly processed liquid fructose lacks) and you have less risk of toxins. Maple syrup (real maple syrup, not high fructose corn syrup calling itself maple syrup) is also a good source of both calcium and thiamin. On top of all this, the Nothing Muffin has raisins...you like raisins; they’re tasty and good for you!
Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” In the case of the Nothing Muffin, not much. Because the Nothing Muffin is really...wait for it...Something.
In response to numerous customer requests by people that wanted to know what flavor of Morning Muffin we were going to have when they got here, we have developed a muffin schedule. Here it is:
|Morning Muffins||Daily Scones|
|Friday:||Chocolate Chip||Cinnamon Raisin|