Saturday, March 19, 2011

Strawberry Lavender Muffins: A Little Burst of Sunshine in Your Mouth

I have been looking for ways to use up some of my container of culinary dried lavender and found this muffin recipe in "Fresh at Home: Everyday Vegetarian Cooking" by Ruth Tal Brown and Jennifer Houston. The book, from a popular Toronto vegetarian restaurant and juice bar chain, has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while which is a shame because it is full of some very tasty vegan soup, salad, smoothies and juices, wraps and noodle bowl recipes.

These muffins with their strawberry and lavender pairing sounded wonderful to me and I like the fact that they are made without dairy and eggs. An infusion of alternative milk (I used coconut milk), maple syrup and lavender gives them plenty of flavor. The lavender comes from one of my favorite places, the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, located in beautiful upcountry Maui. Upcountry Maui is not only a great place to grow lavender but also fresh Kula strawberries. These muffins are like a little burst of sunshine on the tongue (and the kitchen smells wonderful while they are baking).

The book says, "These Sweets from the Earth Muffins are absolutely divine. Feel free to use any kind of berry you fancy."

Strawberry Lavender Muffins
From "Fresh at Home" by Ruth Tal Brown & Jennifer Houston
(Makes 12 Muffins)

1 1/4 cups vanilla soymilk (I used vanilla coconut milk)
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp dried lavender
I cup applesauce (unsweetened)
4 cups organic light spelt flour
1/2 cup raw, unrefined sugar (I used Sucanat)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp canola oil

Oil the muffin pans or use paper muffin pan liners.

Heat soymilk, maple syrup and lavender in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover and infuse for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and add applesauce. Set aside and cool completely.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add strawberries and toss to coat. Add liquid and oil to dry ingredients. Mix gently just until mixture comes together. Do not overmix.

Scoop into muffin pans. Bake at 350 F. approximately 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from muffin pans, cool and serve.

Notes/Results: A very tasty muffin--they are very moist and the flavors are well balanced. Having eaten some lavender-infused foods that unfortunately tasted more like potpourri or bath soap--I was happy that the lavender in these is present but not cloying or overpowering. It works very well with the fresh sweet berries and vanilla. I did swap out the vanilla soymilk for vanilla coconut milk because that was what was open in the fridge, and I used sucanat--pure dried sugar cane juice for the sugar but otherwise kept the recipe unchanged. These are lovely for breakfast, or with a cup of tea. I would make them again--I think that they would also be quite wonderful with blackberries.

Happy Saturday.


  1. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who's been holding onto some culinary lavender for far too long! I just can never figure out what to pair it with but I LOVE the idea of the strawberry lavender muffins. They sound fantastic!

  2. I would love to taste one of these beautifully scented muffins. Love the idea of adding lavender to baked goods.

    I wonder if you could make a lavender simple syrup and mix it with other flavors to use for drinks, ice pops, sorbets, etc.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. As a big fan of both food and Hawaii, I have been enjoying reading your blog.

    I am intending to start experimenting with lavender in cooking and have bookmark this recipe as a starting point as it looks delicious!

    Thank you.

  4. Bookmarked! Waiting for the strawberry season and our lavendur plants to bloom!

  5. Kat--It does work really well together. ;-)

    Joanne--I have tagged a few recipes to make w/ the lavender. It is a fun ingredient to work with.

    Kim--thank you! I have a lemonade recipe tagged to make that uses a lavender syrup but I think a fruit & lavender ice pop would be wonderful.

    Scots Wife--thank you for visiting. I hope you like the muffins. ;-)! ;-)

    ?--I hope you get a chance to try them soon. ;-)

  6. I have lavender kicking around that I need to use up too! Never thought to combine it with strawberries but I love the idea - they just scream of Spring!

  7. These sound wonderful! I love using lavender in my cooking.

  8. These look delicious. I have been thinking about ordering some lavender from Maui since I have never tried cooking with it before.

  9. I know what you mean about the potent impact of lavender in some recipes. But I have seen lavender successfully mixed with strawberries in the past, so this recipe looks very exciting.


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