When I was little-maybe eight or ten years old, I can’t say for sure- I set up a table at the bottom of my grandparent’s driveway, looking to make my big break. What was I selling?
Well, according to my hand-written sign, I was actually selling rasberries. Grampa had to let me in on that whole silent p situation, and in true kid-style, I added a tiny little p in between the letters s and b on my sign.
See, Gramps had a raspberry patch in his backyard that ran the length of the back driveway, and one year I got it in my head that instead of just eating all the warm, juicy berries ourselves, we should sell ’em. My pint-sized self knew we could make KILLING. Seriously, do you know how good these berries are? We could make so much money!
So, every day for… probably only like 4 days, I walked down the street to my grandparents’ house, picked as many berries as I could find, and portioned them out into the little pint containers Grampa and I had driven all across the universe to find. I would set up my little card table at the end of the driveway, prop the sign just so on the lawn, and sit back to watch the cash rake in.
I don’t really remember if I sold many, or if there was any booming market for raspberries on Old Mill Road that summer, but I do remember one day I got up in a hurry and knocked the entire table- raspberries and all- into the street. In true Chelsea fashion, I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore and, despite no one else even being upset- there was a whole darn patch of berries in the backyard, after all- I was so disappointed. I mean, It’s been twenty years since I single-handedly ruined my raspberry business, and I’m about to start crying now just thinking about it.
Then, out of nowhere, when I was away at college, one of my aunts came from out of town and cut down the raspberry patch, claiming no one came over to pick them anymore and it was too much work for Gramp to deal with at his old age. I was absolutely heartbroken. My entire life I had looked forward to those sweet red berries, and in an instant they were gone. No warning. One day my life was normal, the next I was facing a world where I couldn’t run out to the backyard and get a bowl-full of raspberries to share with Grampa. My heart is still aching over the loss of the raspberry patch as I write this post, and it happened nearly a decade ago.
It’s likely no surprise that raspberries are, by far, my favorite berry. I so rarely find ones at the grocery store that come close to the freshly picked ones of my childhood, but that hasn’t yet stopped me from trying.
So, when I get a craving for raspberries, I usually opt for frozen ones. They’re consistently dark red and juicy, and perfect for throwing into muffin batter when you’re craving the comforting taste of childhood. These muffins, which are prettymuch equal parts raspberry and muffin batter, are just what I need when I’m missing my old raspberry patch. Every bite is full of warm, jammy raspberries, barely sweet muffin batter, and the occasional chunk of chocolate. In my world, it doesn’t get much better than that; particularly when I’m rushing out the door to work at 7am.
To make them, you’re going to mix yogurt, coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs, and plenty of vanilla extract in a bowl. Then you’ll just dump in all the remaining ingredients- notably, whole wheat flour, raspberries, and chopped dark chocolate- and scoop the batter into muffin tins to bake. I decided I wanted these muffins to be as big as possible, so I filled each muffin cup to the brim and got 9 large muffins. You could definitely make 12 out of this recipe instead, if you feel like something in the cosmos will become misaligned if you don’t fill all the cups in your muffin tin. Clearly, I don’t have those kinds of concerns.
I hope you give this recipe a try! These muffins are a 1-bowl, can’t-mess-it-up kind of recipe; perfect for randomly whipping up on a weeknight for breakfast tomorrow, and even better on a lazy weekend morning when you can take your time and enjoy the morning.
By the way, despite the great raspberry patch purge, they’re coming back! Over the past few years a few raspberry plants have crept back into the backyard, slowly reclaiming the space that once was the raspberry patch. I’m sure there will only be a handful of berries this summer, but maybe one day there will be so many that Grampa and I can sit outside with a bowl of raspberries and cream and ponder the mysteries of the universe together. Until then, I’ll be buying frozen raspberries, baking muffins, and dreaming of the sweet, juicy summer berries from my past.
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt (plain, unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or melted butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups frozen raspberries (or fresh, if they're looking good!)
- 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
- 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease with nonstick spray.
- 2. Put first 5 ingredients (all wet ingredients) into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add all remaining ingredients except berries and chocolate, and stir just to combine. Gently fold in the berries and chocolate, then scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin. I used a 1/3 cup dry measuring cup to scoop out the batter, and got 9 muffins. Use a 1/4 cup of batter to yield 12 muffins from this recipe.
- 3. Bake muffins for 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown and fully cooked through. If making 12 muffins, start checking them after 20 minutes. My muffins usually take the full 25 minutes.
- 4. Allow muffins to cool, then store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Because of how wet the raspberries are, these will spoil quickly.
- *White whole wheat had a mild flavor, but the same nutrition profile as regular whole wheat. You can substitute regular whole wheat, all purpose, or a combination of the two for the white whole wheat, if needed.