Friday, March 20, 2009

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

When I feel we need a change from Flax Bran Muffins, this is one of my go-to recipes. I've rehabilitated it from the low-fat, oat bran earnestness of its era of origination into something I find tasty and nutritious. I had some grated zucchini in the freezer, so I did a combination of applesauce and zucchini that work very well indeed. I resisted the temptation to add chopped walnuts. I like nuts in muffins particularly if I want it to be a stand-alone breakfast so I don't have to worry about where the protein is coming from. However, we go to a nut-free preschool and it would be nice to have an easy snack to offer Elspeth. If you do decide to add nuts, I think chopped walnuts are the nicest; you'd probably also have good luck adding 1/2 cup of ground almonds.

These days, I'm finding excellent results with my oat recipes when I grind some of the oats into a flour and add some whole for texture. The original recipe didn't call for grinding and you could make it successfully that way. The oat flour does make for a better texture, though.

The imperfection I find in this recipe is that I often detect a slightly tinny taste, which I am guessing is due to too much baking soda or baking powder. If it bothers you, you could experiment with reducing the amounts to find the perfect balance of rise and flavor.

February 2017 finally solved the tinny taste: just use plain unsweetened yogurt or whey instead of milk! The muffins will be even fluffier and the tinny taste disappears because of the reaction between the acid of the yogurt with the alkaline of the baking soda.

I got exactly one dozen muffins out of this recipe.

INGREDIENTS
3/4 c. oats, ground into a flour
3/4 c. whole rolled oats
3/4 c. (3.75 oz) whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. ground flaxseeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts OR ground almonds (optional)
1 c. unsweetened applesauce (I made sauce from 2 apples)
OR 3/4 c. applesauce plus 3/4 c. grated zucchini OR 1 c. unsweetened spiced plum sauce
1/2 c. milk (suspecting non-dairy milk would be fine; yogurt, whey or kefir is the best)
1/2 c. light or dark brown sugar, packed
3 TBSP oil
1 egg

OPTIONAL TOPPING:
Combine 1/4 c . oats, 1 TBSP brown sugar and 1 TBSP melted butter. Distribute evenly over muffins and press slightly to help keep the topping on

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with papers or spray with baking spray. I actually use a silicone muffin mold placed on a baking tray to avoid liners and spray
  2. Combine the flours, oats, flaxseeds, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, salt and nuts if using in a large bowl
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir well
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir just until combined
  5. Scoop into a muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes or until golden (mine were actually done a few minutes early)
  6. Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes, and then remove from muffin tin

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