Laura Ashley Vegan

You know those Sundays when you wake up and suddenly spring seems to have come and the trees are all green and wavy and the sun is glinting off the train tracks - and that one train with the 'Neil Young' graffiti that never moves is sitting there all rusty and sun baked - and warm light and green currents of air are flooding through the window.

Then you just have, repeat, have to bake muffins. To a soundtrack of birdsong and imperceptible leaf rustling.

Muffins, a banal has-been fad of kiwi baking, written off long ago as cake repackaged, are somewhat foreign and exotic in Germany so you can pawn them off on your friends if you, like me, are prone to eat six in one day if they're just lying around all forlorn and unwanted.

But you don't need to feel too guilty since these particular muffins are chewy and soft with wholegrain spelt flour, soy milk, maple syrup, and raw sugar (which imparts a slightly malty, caramelised flavour) - infused with lavendar and studded with pinky-red chunks of organic strawberry.

Think of them as 'Laura Ashley vegan'.

Good with a Chinese green tea from the Parisian tea company Mariages Freres, fresh cut flowers and an open window.

Inevitably, having done this cheerful morning baking, you remember that you have got work to catch up on, and you end up chained to the laptop munching on muffins in your pajamas while all the other kids are playing outside.
Just a typical Sunday, I guess! Not quite so Laura Ashley though. I'm sure she would at least put on some pink lipstick.

Strawberry Lavender Muffins adapted from the 'Fresh at Home' cookbook, which in turn are based on a recipe from a Toronto baking company named Sweets of the Earth.

1& 1/4 cups soya milk
3/4 cup Grade c or D maple syrup
2 tbsp lavender
1 cup apple sauce/apfelmus
4 cups spelt flour (ideally a mix of light and medium wholegrain)
1/2 cup raw,unrefined sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups roughly chopped strawberries
1/4 cup sunflower, canola or olive oil

1. Grease the muffin tins
2. Heat soya milk, maple syrup and lavender in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat (don't worry that it curdles)
3. Remove from heat, cover and infuse for ten minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and add applesauce. Set aside and cool completely.
4. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
5. Add strawberries and toss.
6. Add liquid and oil. Mix gently until mixture just comes together.
7. Scoop into muffin pans
8. Bake at 180 degrees for anywhere from 30 minutes to 50 minutes depending on your oven. Make sure to test one - better to have them on the deep brown side than undercooked.


    oh please change the title of the blog to Laura Ashley Vegan....such a great term...can we have it as a label....having coined such an excellent turn of phrase I think its your duty to now try your to enter the term "Laura Ashley Vegan" into common parlance


    hahaha.... roger wilco!


    Hi kinakojam, though I haven't met you yet for real, I feel so much related to this post.

    First, I own a very worn-out Laura Ashley blue flower print cosmetic bag, which I drag around the world with me.
    Second, when I was in college, I worked at Mariage Freres salon de the. It was a very fun part-time job, sampling and tasting their 400 varieties of tea when not busy so we can explain the flavor :-)
    Third, when I went to Toronto, yes I did go to that vegan restaurant Fresh and even bought their cookbook (now somewhere in the box in the U.S.)

    I think you should get the patent for the term Laura Ashley Vegan before they do!


    Hi Nalika,
    Thanks for your nice comment, &
    oh, how nice that the laws of connectivity apply to the Bermuda Triangle that is Gut Feelings! (Probably something to do with Maytel's people-curating skills?)

    - you worked at Mariages Freres - that does sound like an idyllic college job... and an idyllic post on Gut Feelings maybe? Could be filed under Laura Ashley Vegan .... all those poetic blends & scents

    Also, any time you are bringing your travel bag to Europe, our spare room is open to you and all Gut Feelings members. Lately we've had so many visitors I'm surprised we don't have a rating on tripadvisor.
    I actually like it when the door is swinging!

    PS: More Bermuda-vibes: I also have a worn out blue flower-print cosmetic bag, except it was made by my dear friend Mamiko Ouchi.
    ..............Who in some ways could be Auckland's really funky answer to Laura Ashley..


    actually Nalika, aren't you going to Belgium soon for a conference? Was that you saying that you were? Cologne and Belgium are very close, but I'm sure you maybe are busy with academic undertakings. Anyway, kinakojam may have some good Japanese food recommendations for that area though, she speaks Japanese and has exceedingly good taste


Blogger Templates by Blog Forum