Expert baker Gloria Ambrosia shares an extraordinary collection of her favorite muffins that are not only sensational, but also quick and easy to prepare (you can whip up a batch in under thirty minutes). After revealing muffin-making basics, Gloria presents six chapters that are packed with over 130 muffin varieties, from sweet and fruity to rich and savory. Not just for breakfast, Gloria’s muffins make delicious snacks, perfect accompaniments to soups and salads, and even welcome guests at the dinner table.
Gloria Ambrosia received her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina. A muffin-baking expert, she is the best-selling author of Gloria’s Glorious Muffins. Gloria is also a teacher of Buddhism and spirituality at retreat centers throughout
the United States.
1. Helpful Hints and Information,
2. Get-Up-and-Go Muffins,
3. Crunchy, Crumbly, Fruity, Spicy Do-Da Muffins,
4. Herby Cheesy Muffin Thangs,
5. Holiday, Special Occasion, and Good Time Muffins,
6. Extra-Effort-But-Worth-It Muffins,
7. Low-Fat-and-Still-Yummy Muffins,
8. Top-Notch Toppings,
Metric Conversion Tables,
Quick Recipe Reference,
There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
—George Bernard Shaw
Muffins are on the rise, if you will pardon my pun. I mean, folks have been turning in their direction. Sure, muffins have long been a favorite treat, but never more so than in recent years. With all the talk about saturated fats, high blood cholesterol, and the need for more fiber and less sugar in our diets, muffins make sense. You can use oils that are low in saturated fats, whole grains that are high in fiber, and natural unrefined sweeteners. And muffins are quick and easy to make.
I turned to muffins for all these reasons and more. You see, I have quite a history with baked goods—especially breads and sweet cakes like coffeecake and donuts. You might say we have a personal relationship. When I was a kid, I used to eat six or eight slices of raisin toast for breakfast. Mmm, mmm. My mom couldn’t understand where I was putting it! Then for lunch, I’d take a couple of peanut butter sandwiches with a cream-filled cupcake or two for dessert—every day. When I learned in history class that the Romans conquered the world by feeding their soldiers grains and breads three times a day, I could really relate to what the soldiers had experienced. I figured that the soldiers must have been very happy people. You know what I mean? They must have felt as though they could conquer the world.
Over the years, I have tempered my youthful passions for gooey sweet breads and cakes made with refined ingredients. For one thing, I notice that I feel better when I have more whole grain fiber in my diet. The bulk does my system good. I also notice that sugar highs hurt more than delight me. The overall sluggishness I experience on the heels of consuming a glazed donut is too high a price for the few moments of pleasure while eating it. Research on cholesterol consumption and its correlation with heart disease has made me take a closer look at my tendency to put gobs of butter on bread or an inch of icing on a cake made with five eggs and a cup and a half of butter.
But my sweet tooth is still with me. All my teeth are sweet! So in recent years, I’ve searched for baked goods that satisfy my pining for sweets without compromising my desire for good nutrition. Is it any wonder I’ve turned to the natural sweetness of muffins? Sometimes it’s the most ordinary things in life that bring about the most extraordinary delights, isn’t it? When it comes down to it, I’d rather bake muffins than any other kind of baked good. Muffins are quick and easy to bake. Even if the need arises suddenly, I can have a batch ready in twenty minutes.
Muffins are about as perfect as food gets. I mean, how often do you find a basic food item that is not only wholesome and nutritious but also delicious, heart-healthy, immensely satisfying, and suitable for enjoying any time of day? And baking muffins is one of the most pleasurable experiences in the world—not to mention one of the nicest things we can do for ourselves and the people we love. Making muffins with all these attractive qualities is simply a matter of gathering together the proper ingredients, and then preparing and combining them in such a way as to ensure success. Of course, you also need fabulous recipes—which is why I wrote this book!