Granola is perfuming the house and the oven's still warm, I thought why waste the energy? Let's try some oat bran muffins.
In our quest for more variety, more whole grains and to buy from companies whose values we support, I've dropped Eden Foods from our list. After they tried to shut down employees' access to contraception under the new proposed healthcare mandates; I stopped buying them. You don't get to be anti-choice and still end up in my pantry. (Btw: did you know some other Hippie companies like Urban Outfitters, you think are cool are actively advocating against things like marriage equality? Mm hm.)
So we no longer have the lovely flaked grains (adore Kamut!) in varieties we once did. But we recently picked up barley flakes and some oat bran. So I decided to start a recent sunny late summer morning off baking.
Benefits of Oat Bran
The benefits of oat bran are many. It contains:
- fiber - both good for your gut health and also for keeping you feeling full. Lowers cholesterol. May even reduce blood pressure, inflammation.
- protein - Oat bran is a rich source of phenylalanine - important to neurological health and thyroid function. It's also important for cellular repair.
- selenium - combines with protein to combat free radicals, lowering cancer risk.
But all this good news is useless if we can't enjoy eating it. I set out to find a muffin that was not packed with sugar as so many commercial ones are. Muffins are one of the easiest things to make at home. They come together so quickly and easily, I often make them when cooking with kids. Make them in pretty papers and the muffins are portable and cleanup is easy. If you don't want to buy these pre cut red parchment tulip papers, you can simply cut regular parcment paper and mold them around a glass or jar before filling them.
I try to find recipes that are just sweet enough to please Doc and not too sweet for me. This is not as easy as you may think.
I'm including a link to Clotilde's recipe, and my modifications below. You may know Chocolate and Zucchini - Clotilde was an early inspiration to so many with her beautiful blog. If you've never seen it (where have you been?) do go check it out. Promise you'll find something you want to make, today.
- I added frozen Maine blueberries to the dry ingredients. When adding frozen blueberries lightly coating them with flour helps to keep them from sinking and keeps them from bleeding so much.
- Muffins must not be over mixed! You will begin with mixing dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another. Then combining - very lightly mixing - so there may still be tiny pockets of dry ingredients but no large ones or lumps. Lightly mixed muffins will rise and be delicate, overmixed will be hard.
Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins - recipe used with permission. Merci beaucoup, Clotilde!
- 120 grams (1 cup) oat bran (prefereably organic; wheat bran may be substituted) - 120 grams (4 1/4 ounces, about 1 cup) flour - I used half White Whole Wheat and half Spelt flour - 1 teaspoon baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon baking soda - a good pinch salt - 100 grams (1/2 cup) unrefined cane sugar - 120 grams (1 cup) blueberries (no need to thaw them if frozen) - 240 ml (1 cup) plain yogurt (buttermilk can be substituted; i used nondairy yogurt) - 30 ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil (I use extra-virgin sunflower oil) I used Walnut Oil - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - 2 eggs, at room temperature
- I added a teaspoon of fresh Meyer lemon zest.
Makes about 12 muffins.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and line a 12-muffin tray* with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar, until no lump remains. Add the blueberries and toss gently to combine.
- In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold it in gently with a spatula until no trace of flour remains. The mixture will be lumpy, but resist overmixing.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tray, filling each muffin mold by about three quarters (to minimize the mess, you can use a spring action ice cream scoop).
- Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, until set and golden. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Today - I'm trying an apple-pear version. Stay tuned.
Here's another picture of the lovely lemony blueberry oat bran muffins.