Saturday, September 26, 2009

Farmer's Market Challenge: honey cornmeal muffins

Sadly, I am stuck at work this Saturday and am missing our local farmer's market. Because I love to participate in Squirrel Queen's Monthly Farmer's Market Challenge I will bring you two recipes this weekend made with local products. Today, one made with yummy local honey and, tomorrow, one made with equally yummy local apples.

I bought a jar of local honey from Marshview Apiary at our Ipswich, MA, farmer's market back in June. I use honey mainly in winter baking, and since there's a frost warning for this weekend I'm getting ready to fire up the oven and pull out my trusty Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Before I had a baby last fall my mixer would be making is lovely whirring noise almost every night as I baked up yet another cane sugar-free delight, now I am often too tired to bake!

When I found out a few years ago I was sensitive to cane sugar, and that it triggers my Crohn's Disease, my husband and I went on a search to find sweet things - without the processed white stuff - that could satisfy my incurable sweet tooth. I ordered two cookbooks that are now lovingly dog-eared and sticky: Joy with Honey by Doris Mech and The Naturally Sweet Baker by Carrie Davis. After doing more research it turns out that everyone should avoid processed cane sugar, our digestive tracts just aren't cut out for it, and neither are our waist lines.

Honey Cornmeal Muffins - adapted from Joy with Honey by Doris Mech
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour (Doris calls for pastry flour but regular wheat flour works fine)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey (local if you can find it!)
2 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter (Doris calls for 1 1/4 cup buttermilk in lieu of the milk and butter but I never have any on hand so I altered the recipe)

Sometimes I toss in local blueberries if they're in season or I have frozen ones left over from July's farmer's market.

In a large bowl mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda. In another bowl combine the honey, oil, eggs and milk and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the honey batter. Stir gently until moist. Spoon batter into buttered muffin tins. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 12 muffins.


  1. I had some awesome wild blueberries on my hike last Saturday and think if there are still some up there next week I'll make this recipe! Thanks, Kate! I also really enjoy our Facebook connection!

  2. Yummy, those sound delicious. I need to pick up some honey the next time I at our farmers' market, and some blueberries. It's starting to cool off here so baking sounds good.

    I'm looking forward to your apple recipe too, we have lots of local apples. Thanks for taking part in the challenge.


  3. Those do sound yummy! I'll have to try some. I have an enormous sweet tooth! We have two honey suppliers within a couple of miles of us.

  4. Mmm sounds delicious. Saw some local honey at the farmstand up the street this morning. Will have to try these out now that the weather is getting cooler. ~Jeanne

  5. Hi, I am visiting from the farmers market challenge. The recipe sounds delicious. I am able to get honey at our farmers market, thank you for giving me a recipe to use it for.


  6. Oh wow, sounds delicious! My husband is such a sweet tooth -am sure he will like this! Yummy! I also missed the Farmer's Market Challenge, I'll do good next month! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Kate, thanks for the tips on processed foods. I sure will watch my alreaduy big waistline. I love corn meal muffins too! Love the berries too,in it. Its not time for baking yet, Southern California weather is weird and we are in the 100's.

  8. I'm glad you're all excited to try this recipe! Not using cane sugar means the muffins are a bit less sweet than our modern taste buds are used to. But if you wean yourself off sugar slowly you'll eventually not notice the difference!

    I hope you like it! -kate

  9. Glad to get this tip that honey is substituted measure for measure, i.e., 1/2 cup honey to 1/2 cup sugar. Never thought to throw some fruit into my cornbread.

    For those that have allergies, using local honey within 50 miles of your home will decrease to almost eleminate your allergy flareups. Use at least a teaspoon a day and buy fairly small amounts in order to change as the pollen changes with or within a season. :D

  10. Lynn: that is an excellent tip to share! I should have mentioned that in my original post, thanks!

    RE: local honey/allergies: I've never understood how honey helps with allergies. Maybe you can explain. As a trained botanist I've always learned that wind pollinated plants cause allergies, and the pollen that bees bring back to their hives is actually sticky, it's covered with barbs which help to keep it attached to the bee. In that case how can it get blown off the flower and into your nose?

    My botany professor was also dumbfounded with the local honey/allergy connection, making us examine pollen under microscopes to prove that it's not wind-borne like tree pollen or ragweed (not bee pollinated plants). But local honey DOES work to alleviate allergies! I've had friend prove it. Amazing stuff!

  11. Oh my, I can smell cornmeals.
    Kate, thank you for your prayers, it helped a lot.


  12. AL: I know you're all the way on the other side of the world, but I sure was thinking about you and your family a lot. So glad you had good news the other day.


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