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Local Flavour: The perfect muffin
Working for Ladner’s Save-On-Foods for the past 34 years has kept Karen Phillips in touch with one of her favourite things in the world.
“I’ve always liked baking and cooking,” she says, pulling out her latest batch of ‘Good Morning Muffins’. “Sometimes I think my kitchen is a therapeutic room.”
If Phillips has an hour to kill you can bet she’s going to whip something up to share with friends.
As such, her reputation precedes her. Although she isn’t an official caterer, Phillips gets many requests to make baked goods during Christmas or bring the food for wedding and baby showers.
She’s happy to do it, too. Phillips learned baking from her mother but it was during the raising up of four kids that she really took to experimenting in the kitchen.
“That’s what I remember as a kid. My mom always used to have something fresh on the counter.”
And living in Ladner is a big bonus for muffin lovers, as there’s always so many fresh blueberries, raspberries or blackberries growing nearby, And if they’re out of season you can always pick a bunch in season and save them in the freezer for next year.
Making the perfect muffin wasn’t easy. Over the years Phillips tried and failed to make hers just right.
“They used to come out as heavy hockey pucks,” she says laughing.
One day she decided she wanted to make jumbo muffins like they do at Locals coffee shop in Ladner. So she bought large muffin caps at Cobblestone Cottage and gave it a try. For whatever reason the larger size made her muffins light and fluffy.
The muffins can have all sorts of healthy ingredients added to them like carrot, zucchini, pineapple, cranberry, banana, and yogurt.
Phillips attributes her success in the kitchen to the cookbook The Joy of Cooking, which she received as a present in 1981. The most important chapter to read was one called Know Your Ingredients.
Ever since then it has helped her learn how to mix and swap out ingredients in recipes in order to customize her own special dishes and make them unique.
“It’s become my kitchen bible.”
Good Morning Muffins
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 medium banana mashed
1 1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup crushed pineapple drained
1/3 cup sour cream or low fat yoghurt
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Pre-heat over to 350 F
Line a muffin tin with eight large parchment muffin cups (tulip style)
Beat oil and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Add bananas, carrots, cranberries, pineapple, and yoghurt or sour cream. Stir until combined.
Blend the flour, baking powder/soda and spices in a separate bowl.
Add to the carrot mixture and stir just until combined. Put into eight muffin cups.
Bake for 20 min. or until tester knife comes clean
5.5 grams fat
19.6 grams sugar
1.8 grams fibre
0.9 grams saturated fat
130.7 grams sodium