Monday Morning Muffins

Last summer, a friend of ours bought a new house. The previous owner was an avid perma-culture gardener. To our surprise, there was a lot still growing from previous years of her planting. I walked through the garden beds and pointed out what I knew, picking what was usable and taking it home. It wasn't until another friend told us that the large plant in the corner by itself was rhubarb, that I decided there was no way I would let it go to waste! I've never had rhubarb before, so it would certainly be a challenge for me. But I started cutting down stem by stem anyway.

Many hours and hours of washing, peeling, cutting, and blanching the rhubarb later, I had them vacuum-sealed and ready for the freezer. I ended up with nearly 20 large bags of rhubarb, roughly 6 cups worth each! I felt determined that I would learn how to use it.

I hate to admit that the bags sat and sat for much longer than I planned. So this past weekend when my husband went fishing and needed his freezer back, I knew I had to stop procrastinating and get to work on using this rhubarb. I had already put in so much work. Plus, it's a thing, so people must like it!

I first made a rhubard and strawberry crisp for dessert since the friend I got the fruit from was making us dinner. It was okay, but I'd make some significant adjustments if I were to make it again. I felt that I could still make the rhubarb in a way that we would eat it - dare I say like it? - but mostly, that my kids would eat and like too!

Welcome Monday morning and Spring Break and I had the bright idea to make muffins for my kiddos. Let me start by saying I am not much of a baker. But I love cooking and making bread, those things I'm good at. I can manipulate most recipes I find to fit our palette and create my own recipe adaptations. We love tons of flavor, a little spice, and all the good things we would prefer at restaurants. Everything I make is typically altered to be a bit healthier (a whole cup of butter? No thanks, I can fix that). So when looking for berry and rhubarb muffin recipes, I came across many that sounded good, but that didn't have everything I'd like. So after some quick scouring, I pulled together my own list of ingredients from things I already had on hand, and made what was surprisingly moist, delicious blueberry rhubarb muffins.

The fun thing about these muffins is that you can add any fruit you'd like, or nuts, chocolate chips, etc... I enjoy a good recipe that can be easily altered to whatever we're feeling like at the time. This one is particularly easy, and oh so good. 

4 c flour
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking bowder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 c light olive oil (any oil or butter you prefer will work fine)
1 1/4 c milk (of your choice, I use almond)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 hearty cup of blueberries
1 c finely chopped rhubarb*

Optional Topping 
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Separately combine wet ingredients, then add to wet mixture. Batter will be thick and somewhat sticky. Don't overwork the batter. Fold in blueberries and rhubarb.
Divide into muffin cups, fill roughly to the rim. Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar mix.
Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool. Makes 18 muffins.

*Note that my rhubarb has already been cleaned, peeled, and cut into sections. I froze it awhile ago, and simply had to thaw it out. Ensure you've done that before cooking with it.