Sooo… I happened to get a great deal on a box of strawberries yesterday at the Farmer’s Market. Unfortunately one whole basket (out of the three) was on it’s last legs – several of the berries had mushy spots and a few at the bottom had molded. 2/3 of the berries were fabulous right out of the basket, but once I picked through (and tossed the moldy ones too!), I had this whole basket of just-too-ripe berries. Well, what’s a girl to do but bake?
I know I’d just made strawberry-banana muffins last week, and while I actually “rescued” a couple of brown-spotted bananas from my parents’ house this weekend I didn’t feel like doing the same today. So I adapted my basic low-fat banana muffin recipe (which I have yet to post, but eventually I will!) to make all-strawberry muffins instead.
Except I really did want another flavor too. So I added some balsamic vinegar to the mix, and – voila! – Strawberry Balsamic Muffins. Yummy!
I am posting the recipe here, with one notable difference from how I made them. I totally forgot to add in the baking soda. And with the vinegar in the recipe, this was one time that I really should have included it. I think with the additional leavening these guys would have been even fluffier. They were still pretty nice, I have to admit. A vibrant magenta (where the strawberry-banana muffins were pink). You really can’t even taste the vinegar – you might even be able to up the amount – but there is definitely a nice fullness to the flavor you wouldn’t get with strawberries and sugar, alone. And – another bonus – I did a quick google search after I started putting these together and didn’t see a single Strawberry Balsamic Muffin out there (a cupcake or two, but they were all made with tons of butter and cream cheese… With ONE tablespoon of oil, these are a far healthier treat!). YAY for creativity! (By the way, if you want to, frost these. I’m sure they could hold up to a nice buttercream or cream cheese frosting, a la the Strawberry Banana ones. But I’m not going to try it… At least not today!)
These are sweet, but not too sweet, with a nice complexity to them. Enjoy!
Elisa’s Strawberry Balsamic Muffins
- 1 cup strawberry puree (about one basket of fresh berries, given a ride in your food processor or blender… I’m sure you could use frozen berries when fresh ones are out of season!)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp cooking oil (I have used olive oil in other baked goods, but I was afraid to here – because it felt like I would have been building a dressing! Even so I’ll bet it’ll work fine)
- 1/2 cup sugar (I used a little vanilla sugar with the white sugar, mostly because I basically use vanilla in every sweet baked good I make – if you like vanilla and don’t have vanilla sugar, you can always add a touch of extract to the batter when you add the vinegar)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (again, the muffin in the picture doesn’t have this inside – but I usually include this in my banana muffins and here I have a feeling it would be a great asset)
- dash salt
- 1 1/3 cups flour
We’re making muffins here, so the technique is easy. Add the puree, oil, sugar, and vinegar to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the egg and carefully stir in. Add the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt all at once and stir until just combined. Spoon about 1 1/2 tbsp each into prepared cupcake wrappers or muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on a rack. Makes 12 cupcakes (okay, I fill mine pretty full… so it only made 10).