First bake: spiced beetroot, apple and hazelnut muffins

Spiced beetroot, apple and hazelnut muffins

Beetroot has recently become one of my favourite vegetables. I’ve always liked it, but I’ve tasted or used it in a few recipes over the last few weeks and am amazed at how versatile it is. So, today, I decided to bake this recipe that I’ve had my eye on for a while to see just what else the beetroot can do.

The recipe seems fairly simple on first glance, but be warned: it takes longer than you think to grate a pile of apples and beetroot! The effort is well worth it, though. Once you’re at the point where you can throw the grater into the sink/dishwasher, it’s just a matter of whipping up the dry and wet mixes and folding them together. Then, the rather wonderful crunchy hazelnut topping is made – this is sprinkled over the muffins in their cases before baking.

Spiced beetroot, apple and hazelnut muffin mixes

Left: hazelnut topping, right: raw muffin mix in cases

The recipe calls for 3 heaped teaspoons of mixed spice and 1 tsp of cinnamon altogether, but I found out too late that I didn’t have any cinnamon, so I just added more of the mixed spice. Another substitution I made was ready-packed toasted chopped hazelnuts for the blanched hazelnuts, just to save time.

The muffin mix seemed pretty wet to me; I think this is because of the amount of beetroot. The recipe rather unhelpfully calls for ‘a pack of cooked beetroot’, which could mean anything! I used a 250g pack, which I now think is a bit too much, so I would recommend you use 150-200g if you make this recipe. There also seemed to be LOTS of the topping mix, but it turned out to be just the right amount!

Spiced beetroot, apple and hazelnut muffins

I left the muffins in the oven for a few minutes longer than the 20 specified in the recipe, because of the wet mix. I had one warm not long after taking them out of the oven, and it was scrumptious! As I suspected, the muffin itself is very moist, but flavoursome nonetheless; I think it would be spicier if less beetroot had been used, however. The topping is what makes the muffins really sing, though – the sweet, nutty crunchiness complements the fruity apple and beetroot perfectly!

This really is a brilliant autumn recipe and one I would recommend if you have a hankering for something comforting but a bit different for your next bake. Just make a note of my changes to the original recipe to make the muffins really perfect!

Spiced beetroot, apple and hazelnut muffin

The recipe

From Vegetarian Living magazine here: