There are always occasions that call for healthy munchies…
whether it’s the World Series, a football game or your book club meeting. There are always plenty of unhealthy munchies but we don’t want to eat those, right?! By combining a few simple whole food ingredients you can create a tasty little morsel that feels worthy. Broccoli, a cool weather crop, is local and amazingly fresh in the fall. Broccoli is high in calcium and the leaves contain more calcium than the florets. While we usually get a minimal number of leaves on the typical supermarket head, locally picked broccoli usually comes with many of the leaves and smaller stalks still on the head. Cut the large leaves into smaller pieces and include all the leaves and some of the tender stalks in with the florets when you cut the broccoli. This raises nutrient content and doesn’t change the deliciousness one bit.
About 4 heaping cups broccoli florets, leaves and a few thin stems, cut small (one head of broccoli)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (about 4 oz. of cheese)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Generously grease 3 mini muffin pans with butter.
Place just enough water in a large skillet to cover the bottom and heat to boiling. Place broccoli into skillet and cook uncovered, stirring, for 5 minutes (the water will steam off and the broccoli will be bright green and crisp tender.) Remove cooked broccoli and reserve skillet.
Use food processor to finely chop the walnuts, creating walnut crumbs. Remove walnut crumbs from processor and add cooked broccoli, 2 eggs, grated cheese, sea salt and pepper. Pulse until broccoli is chopped and mixture is well combined.
Using the skillet you cooked the broccoli in add 2 tablespoons of butter and heat over low until butter melts. Add walnut crumbs to melted butter and mix to coat crumbs. Remove from heat.
Place a dollop of broccoli mixture into each greased mini muffin slot until mixture is finished – makes about 3 dozen. Top each mini muffin with a generous teaspoon of walnut crumbs.
Bake at 375 ° for 20 minutes until walnut topping and muffins look golden.
Muffins are easier to remove at room temperature. Go around edges with sharp knife and remove with small rubber spatula.