Springing Up Everywhere

Stubborn as ever, the lack of spring vegetables and 30-degree sunshine doesn’t deter me from celebrating the premature arrival of the new season. Besides, the tiny buds of crocuses are already beginning to peer up from the tender, half-frozen earth, and that’s reinforcement enough for me.

Turning to the only edible that’s is reliably and unfailingly available so early in the season, the fridge has been stocked to the brim with fresh herbs. Mint, parsley, dill, basil, cilantro (even though it tastes like soap to my taste buds)- I don’t think there have ever been so many choices of flavorful greenery on hand at one time. Without a solid plan, it was merely a stroke of luck to see the savory cheese and chive bread being created by bloggers following along on the French Fridays with Dorie group. Even luckier, however, was the fact that I actually had good tasting vegan cheese on hand. Clearly, this one was meant to be.

Because everything is better in cute little individual portions, I fashioned my bread into muffins, while bumping up the herb content to accommodate my vast selection. A cross between a light muffin and a fluffy biscuit, even I was impressed with how well this off-the-cuff adaptation came out. Moreover, I couldn’t help but be surprised at how much I truly enjoyed that elusive “cheese” factor. Yes, it’s true: I’ve officially been won over by Daiya. Any vegan cheesy shreds would do, of course, but Daiya has definitely found a fan in me. Plus, even the omnivores approved of the cheddar-y ribbons strewn throughout, so that’s got to say something.

Both rib-sticking and fresh tasting, thanks to that vibrant herbal addition, these muffins managed to strike that fine balance between seasons that I’m still struggling with myself. Any combination of herbs would likely work just as well, so don’t be afraid to switch it up if you don’t have these exact greens on hand.

“Cheddar” Herb Muffins

1 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 Ounces (1/2 Package) Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
1/3 Cup Chopped Scallions
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Dill
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts, Toasted

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and lightly grease 9 – 12 medium muffin tins.

In a large measuring pitcher, combine the non-dairy milk, oil, and vinegar. Stir well, and let sit for at least 5 minutes for the “milk” to curdle.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, paprika, and pepper, making sure that all of the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the mixture. Add in the “cheese,” chopped herbs, and walnuts, and mix well.

Pour the pitcher of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry, and use a wide spatula to bring the two together, stirring as few times as possible to create a mostly smooth batter. A few lumps are just fine, and certainly beat an over-mixed, tough dough.

Scoop the batter into your prepared muffin tins, mounding it up in the centers. Depending on how large you want you muffins, fill the tins either just to the top, or pile the batter on well over the rim. Naturally, I like my muffins big and bountiful, so I got fewer out of the mix.

Move your muffin tin into the oven, and bake for 16 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean and dry. If the muffins seem slightly anemic at that point, just run them under the broiler for 1 – 3 more minutes, until nicely golden brown.

Let rest in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or toasted, along side a hearty bowl of soup, stew, or just with a faint smear of buttery spread.

Makes 9 – 12 Muffins

Printable Recipe

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25 thoughts on “Springing Up Everywhere

  1. I love this kind of bread! I used to make something similar when I was a vegetarian. I hope daiya or something similar will be available herre some day, so that I can get back my favourite kind of bread.

  2. Those muffins loos so good and although I haven’t tried the recipe yet, it looks like an easy enough recipe (easy recipes are my favorite).

    You’ve done a beautiful job on your blog as well!

  3. I have to say, I too found myself drooling constantly this weekend as I saw the FFwD posts go live. And now you’ve got me at it again. These look wonderful! Maybe the weather will get the message and bring spring around a bit sooner!

  4. Daiya won me over the first time I tried it. Since then I’ve been trying to think of more recipes to use it in, aside from pizza and nacho casserole. I never would have thought to put it in muffins. I bet they’re delicious.

  5. Herbs and smoked paprika… yep, these must be absolutely delicious! I need to make a recipe for an “outdoors” theme and these would be perfect, but alas! I have to find a recipe from an actual cookbook. Shucks.

  6. The muffins looks SO DELICIOUS! I love an herby, cheesy-ish muffin. And Daiya is definitely one of the best for sure. Oh, and your photographing of food makes me want to eat everything you make throught he computer screen!

  7. I love savoury muffins and these look particularly good! Great idea to use up your herbs that way too. Gotta remember that!

  8. This recipe makes me wish I still ate bread… :o( But I can’t wait to try it out on my husband and daughter, and I’m sure the smells alone will be intoxicating!

  9. how lovely!

    I am strill trying to enjoy the very last bit of summer in Australia… But I know you are also waiting for spring to come back :)

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