Strawberry Cardamom Coconut Muffins
I debated with myself for a while about what direction to take with this blog. I’ve had food blogs in the past that always provided some solace and enjoyment, but I would get stuck frequently with bad cases of recipe block and spiral into a circle of frustration. I began to add some travel stories while also beginning this website as a professional dance news space. Finally I asked myself- why the need to have everything so separate? Interests are made to intersect. I don’t believe in separating hobbies from real work.
Food has always been and will always be a huge passion and part of my life- baking & sweets in particular. I will not pretend to be a professional pastry chef or kitchen wizard (I’m totally self-taught), but it’s something I love and makes me happy. So here goes with the first post in Feed Your Body.
One of the complex things about being a dancer is that the body is your art-making tool and therefore what you put into it is vitally important. It is the brush, canvas, pencil, notebook, chisel, clay, instrument, all in one not-always-so-neat package. This tool needs to be taken care of, treated with compassion, and fed.
My body philosophy can be summed up simply for the moment: I am a strong believer in balance paired with indulgence.
Balancing regular healthy veggie-filled meals with an occasional giant burger after a long day of work.
Indulging in time to sip vanilla iced coffee and read delightful novels because you feel like it.
Balance a mostly lactose-intolerant existence (who else is with me?) with a scoop of chocolate gelato once in a while when it's calling your name.
Balancing between different kinds of physical activity. Just as an example, in a week I do yoga daily, try to go for a run out near the Mediterranean (Tangier benefits), teach barre and dance fitness classes, take a tae bo class (don’t judge it’s awesome), and rehearse my own dance material when I get the studio space/home alone time. Balance ensures that you never get bored of one thing.
Indulge, as well, in a day or two of doing absolutely nothing. Don’t feel bad- your body and mind need it. Dancers, we need to give our tools a break. Rest those hard-working legs while the wrists do some work whisking butter and sugar into a perfect bowl of fluff.
Basically: balance your life, indulge in muffins.
These little beauties were originally created from my excitement upon finding bulk shredded coconut in a Tangier supermarket, early summer strawberry season, and my desire to try cardamom in anything. Turns out this flavor combination is a heavenly match. Test it for yourself!
Strawberry Cardamom Coconut Muffins (dairy-free option)
Makes 12 muffins
- 300 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 35 grams (1/4 cup) shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- pinch salt
- 113 grams (1/2 cup) room-temperature butter (for dairy-free sub earth balance or any other non-dairy butter)
- 190g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
- Extra coconut & sugar, a couple tablespoons mixed in a small bowl
Preheat your oven to 350ºF (180ºC or like on my oven consisting of a giant wheel of flaming gas, adjust to a medium-low flame) and butter-up or paper-line a muffin tray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, coconut, cardamom and salt. Set this aside. In a large bowl, using a hand-mixer or stand mixer or whatever suits you best, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in each egg one at a time followed by the vanilla. Remove any electric mixer and with a spoon or spatula, fold in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the cooconut milk. Repeat until all ingredients are combined, but be careful not to over-stir. Toss in the strawberries and gently mix just to incorporate them into the batter. Fill up the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way, sprinkle the tops with some of your coconut and sugar mixture and place in the oven for about 20 minutes (keep in mind the weirdness of my oven- times may vary a bit; check after 20 min but some may take longer).
Remove, cool & indulge xx