Friday, May 4, 2018

Age-Defying California Pound-Paring Mini-Breakfast

By Cal Orey

Pacific Ocean, home to me where I used to bodysurf

"Coffee is fat-burning! Lose unwanted winter pounds with a cup of gourmet Joe, OJ, and a fresh spring berry and citrus fruit muffin!"
On my recent trio to Monterey-Pacific Grove I had fantasized before leaving that I’d enjoy a hot breakfast with homemade French toast, fresh fruit, and coffee. Well, it didn’t happen like that exactly. I ended up munching on a packaged blueberry muffin, no fruit--but the cup of gourmet java was out of coffee world and something to write home about.
In fact, not only did the coffee taste rich and smooth it gave me a burst of energy. While packing up and departing the hotel to go pay a visit to the ocean I crossed paths with a lean, healthy looking gray haired elderly man clad in biking gear. He was putting his bike away into a car while sharing that he just finished an hour and a half ride. 

As we exchanged travel tales of our trips to Canada, from British Columbia to Quebec, we agreed age is just a number, I finished savoring my coffee to live for, vowed to travel, swim in the Lake, and hike on our trails--and to whip up an energizing continental breakfast (with homemade muffins) once back at Tahoe. So, here is a California Coast-inspired fresh raspberry and lemon delight-ful recipe for a muffin you'll love and don't have to travel to get your muffin fix.
Lemon Raspberry Muffins
1 lemon, (cut in half and use juice)
½ cup organic 2 percent low-fat milk
½ cup European style butter (melted)
½ cup sugar (you can use ¼ cup if preferred)
2 organic eggs
2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup fresh raspberries, lightly rinsed with water, sliced in half
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Extra fresh raspberries (for garnish)
Lemon Glaze: 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Combine and stir until smooth. Put into refrigerator until ready to use.
In a large bowl, stir together juice and milk. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, flour, and baking powder. Mix well. Add juice and milk. Fold in raspberries, and lemon zest. Fill muffin cups in tin pan ⅔ full with batter. Bake 20 minutes or until tops are light golden brown and firm to touch. Remove from pan. Drizzle with glaze. Top with a few raspberries. Serve warm or cool. Makes 8-9.  *You can remove muffin wrappers for nice look. Breakfast muffins store well in an airtight container.
This recipe is easy to make. The fresh muffin flavor provides notes of tart lemon and sweet raspberry. The decadent glaze is rich so a small amount is best. The cake flour offers a light, fluffy volume and butter is better than vegetable oil for taste. While using whole wheat flour, honey, and vegetable oil may be healthier, sometimes going back to classic staples tastes so much better... and including fresh superfoods like berries and citrus gives you healthy perks.
These fruity muffins are unforgettable with their simple deliciousness paired with fresh squeezed orange juice (I brought home jumbo oranges and lemons from the Moss Landing produce roadside stand), and superb coffee (I ordered Douwe Egberts ground coffee online). In moderation, coffee is good for you and research shows the caffeine may help delayed-onset muscle pain so enjoy a cup (or two with a splash of low-fat organic milk) before you get a bout of Spring Fever and a move on. You'll sport a smile this season whether you're 20, 40, 60 or 74!
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is

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