Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nutritious Muffins

This is my all-time favorite muffin recipe because as long as you have the wet and dry ingredients in the same amount as the recipe, you can substitute pretty much anything for each ingredient, a useful thing when cruising as you usually don't have the ingredients on hand that any particular recipe calls for.  I'll print the original recipe here which is from the Bob's Red Mill website and has a lot of other highly useful recipes on it.  This morning I substituted toasted wheat germ for the oat bran, and grated apple for the grated carrot, and white flour for the whole wheat flour, just so you get the idea of the types of substitutions you can make.  I've used sour cream instead of yogurt, I've used applesauce or pumpkin instead of the banana, I've used 1/4 c. flax seed to replace half of the nuts, I've used dried apple fiber in place of part of the oat bran.  It's only limited by your imagination and what you have on hand.  The key to excellent muffins every time is to mix well your dry ingredients together in one bowl and your wet ingredients in another bowl, then quickly mix the two together just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.  If you mix them too  much, the gluten will begin to develop and you will end up with tough muffins. 

1/2 C. walnuts, chopped
3/4 C. oat bran cereal
3/4 C. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 C. banana,  mashed - 1 medium (squeezing the banana in the peel before you open it works well)
1/2 C. yogurt, plain ( I have experimented with various flavors but felt it detracted from the result)
2 egg whites or 1 whole egg
2 TBL cooking oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C. grated carrot (or apple or hard pear)
1/2 C. chopped dates (or raisins)


Preheat oven to 400° Lightly grease bottoms of 12  muffin tins.

Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl.  Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl.
Quickly mix dry and wet ingredients together with wooden spoon and spoon into muffin tins, mounding up in center.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, or toasted wheat germ.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack in pan for 5 minutes.  Remove to towel-lined bowl and serve warm.  Keep any leftovers (not likely) in an airtight container. 

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