I like multicoloured food. Not in a filled-with-e-numbers bouncing-off-the-walls manner, just in a eat-the-rainbow kind of way. And bright food is prettier and generally more appealing than beige, greige, and, er, brown. With this in mind I was a little over excited on a recent trip across the pond to discover that they not only have blue corn! Blue! Corn! but they actually go out of their way to turn said blue corn! Blue! Corn! into cornflour so you can make blue muffins! Blue! Muffins! As I said, very exciting. (See also the purple carrots! Purple! Carrots! currently digging their way into the earth in my garden.)
What’s even more exciting is that these bright colours haven’t even been created specially through genetic modification (which is BAD) but were around long before we were all eating uniform yellow cornmeal and orange carrots (produced by selective breeding, GOOD). So they’re definitely ALL NATURAL, or something. More importantly, they’re fun, which is why I heaved several bags of blue cornflour back across the pond. “Is my carry-on bag under 10 kgs? Why of course, the grimace on my face as I heave it into the overhead locker is just my sorrow at going home. What’s that? The handles of my bag are tearing under the weight? Nah, they’ve always been like that.”
Blue corn banana muffins
Adapted ever so slightly from Cannelle et Vanille
These are not sweet muffins. They could be eaten for breakfast if you felt so inclined. They are also, strangely, not bananaey muffins, so if you don’t like banana bread you might still like these. They have a nice almost gritty texture from the stoneground cornmeal, and are dotted with little blue specks. Obviously you could swap in finely ground boring yellow cornmeal if you don’t have the blue stuff.
1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed
45g vegetable oil
25g white rice flour
7g potato starch
7g tapioca starch
35g blue cornmeal
7g baking powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of xanthan gum
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Peel the banana, break into chunks and using a potato masher mash until it’s a fairly smooth puree (mine had a few small solid chunks left, which was nice in the finished product). Whisk in the sugar, oil, milk and egg into the banana.
3. In a large bowl measure out the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Stir until well combined. Mke a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir quickly until completely mixed, then spoon the mixture into muffin cases.
4. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes for normal-sized muffins, or 12 minutes for mini muffins. They are done when lightly browned on top and a skewer comes out with a few blue crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes in their tray before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Makes 11-12 mini muffins, or about 6 normal-sized muffins. These are best eaten straight after they’re made, but keep for at least 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container.