Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Beetroot, Walnut, Wild Garlic and Goat’s Cheese Brunch Muffins

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 24th April 2014 | By

 The benefits of olive oil have long been appreciated. When I was a child it was hard to get hold of and more of it was poured into our ears than went into our salads. It was bought from the chemist and used to reduce ear infections and soften wax. Luckily things have moved on since then. We are big fans of it in this household and use quite a lot of the extra virgin variety, preferably cold pressed. Not only does this have a better flavour, but also has a higher level of the beneficial components. If the claims for its health benefits are to be believed, CT & I should do pretty well as we get older. It is said to aid calcium absorption thus reducing the effects of osteoporosis in the elderly. The monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil may also prevent memory loss by maintaining the structure of the brain cell membranes – hmm, perhaps I’m not consuming enough of it or perhaps my memory would be even worse without it. There are also a number of antioxidants to be found, including Vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolic compounds. These are meant to help in the prevention of certain diseases such as cancer and mitigate against some of the effects of ageing.

 

When I was sent a couple of mini bottles of olive oil to sample, I was wondering what I might do with them. I didn’t wonder for long. Since making the beetroot, walnut and goat’s cheese muffins back in 2012, I have made variations on the theme on numerous occasions. Not only are they delicious and relatively quick to make, but they are packed full of nutritious ingredients and  are perfect portable material into the bargain. I used to regularly take them in to work for my packed lunch and they are great for picnics.

Wild Garlic

For this batch, I stuck with the beetroot, walnut and goat’s cheese angle as I had some beetroots that needed using up, some goat’s cheese in the fridge and I like the crunch and flavour of walnuts. However as it is wild garlic season, I thought I’d add some of that as well and some thyme from the garden. Rather than using cocoa powder, I grated in some 100% chocolate. This was also the first time I made them using olive oil. As I mentioned previously we get through a fair amount of it. We used to buy it in large six litre tins, but when our local organic shop closed, our supply dried up. In the end I didn’t use the olive oil I was sent as they only measured 80ml in total and were a good quality cold pressed Greek version which would be better used as a dip or salad dressing.

These two tone muffins were so good, we found it hard to stop at one, even though they were quite substantial. The flavour of the olive oil came through and made them even more delicious. This is a good way to sneak beetroot into the diet of non-beetroot lovers like CT; he didn’t complain once. In fact, I had a hard time holding him back. The mix of flavours was good and the wild garlic was a subtle but discernible seasoning that worked well with the goat’s cheese. The crunchy nuts gave additional flavour and texture. Next time I make a variation of these muffins, I think I might stick with the olive oil.

As this is an original vegetarian recipe idea for breakfast, brunch or lunch, I am entering these beetroot, wild garlic, walnut and goat’s cheese muffins into the Betta Living Vegetarian Recipe Competition.

I am sending these off to Karen’s Cooking with Herbs over at Lavender and Lovage, as the muffins contained ramsons as well as thyme, although sadly no mint!

I’m also submitting these to Four Season Food with Anneli over at Delicieux and Lou over at Eat Your Veg. The theme this month is celebrate vegetables, so my stash of beetroot fits very nicely.

 

Extra Veg LogoAnd as there is a substantial amount of beetroot in these muffins I am also sending them off to Extra Veg with Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle of Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

 

 

Beetroot, Walnut, Wild Garlic and Goat’s Cheese Brunch Muffins
Yields 12
Delicious and filling savoury muffins packed full of healthy ingredients including beetroot, wild garlic, walnuts, olive oil, thyme and some surprise chocolate. They work brilliantly as a brunch meal or for packed lunches or picnics.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 300g flour (I used ⅓ wholemeal, ⅓ rye, ⅓ white)
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  4. ¼ tsp sea or rock salt
  5. ground black pepper to taste
  6. 15g dark chocolate (unsweetened) – grated
  7. 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
  8. 100 ml olive oil
  9. 100 ml yogurt
  10. 100 ml milk
  11. 100g soft goat’s cheese
  12. 4 smallish beetroot weighing about 300g (250g when scrubbed, topped, tailed & grated)
  13. 8 wild garlic leaves (ramsons) – finely chopped
  14. 4 sprigs thyme leaves
  15. 50g walnuts – roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl with the chocolate and pepper. Stir in the walnuts and make a well in the centre.
  2. Break in the eggs and start stirring, slowly adding the oil, yogurt and milk as you go along until just combined.
  3. Gently mix in the beetroot, wild garlic, thyme and ⅔ of the goat’s cheese (cubed).
  4. Spoon into a greased 12 hole muffin tin (I used two 6 hole silicone moulds).
  5. Divide the remaining ⅓ cheese into 12 pieces and place one on top of each muffin.
  6. Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes until the muffins are well risen and nicely browned. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes then turn out not a wire rack to cool completely – or eat whilst warm.
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    24th April 2014

    please pack my next picnic basket – these look great (and I know they taste amazing as I have had a go at the recipe)

  2. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    24th April 2014

    THANKS so much for this LOVELY entry into Cooking with Herbs and I ADORE savoury muffins and often make them with walnuts and cheese as a combo! Great recipe Choclette, Karen

  3. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    24th April 2014

    Genius idea, beetroot is such a verstalie root! Although I’m not a fan of goat cheese, I think other semi soft cheeses would work or maybe some Feta which would hold together well.

  4. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    24th April 2014

    Ahhh man alive the combo of beetroot and wild garlic and goats cheese, that a wonderful thing… When I first read the post I read salads as sandals and I really couldn’t understand why you put olive oil in your sandals but then I know you Cornish lot and your weird traditions…

  5. Leave a Reply

    Deena Kakaya
    24th April 2014

    I read the title of this recipe over and over, to process the balance of flavours…oh my goodness…gorgeous x

  6. Leave a Reply

    Debi Wayland
    24th April 2014

    I just love the flavor combinations in this! So impressive! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Angie Schneider
    25th April 2014

    I love the addition of wild garlic in these beetroot muffins. They look so beautifully pinky and packed full of flavours.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Corina
    25th April 2014

    They look yummy. I’ve never made savoury muffins before but this would be a good reason to have a go.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Vohn's Vittles
    25th April 2014

    These sound fabulous Choclette. I have some goats cheese in the fridge right now and I know exactly where it is going – into these muffins! Thanks for a great recipe! x

  10. Leave a Reply

    Jacqueline Meldrum
    25th April 2014

    I’ve made beetroot muffins before and they are great. Such a good colour. Wish I had thought of adding goats cheese.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Christian Halfmann
    26th April 2014

    Well … eh … I can’t remember whether I had enough olive oil, but those muffins sound really good. Goats cheese … that adds to the value in my opinion.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Anneli Faiers (Delicieux)
    4th May 2014

    What a fab combination of ingredients. Goats cheese, beetroot and walnuts are perfect partners and I love your creative extra additions! Thanks for entering these into Four Seasons Food x

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