Sunday, September 9, 2012

Whole Grain Berry Muffins

It is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It is also, in my experience, the most rushed and hectic as I try to gather it and eat it on my way to work.  I have tried various things over the years to make breakfast fast and easy, but some of those options weren't the most healthy.  I need something I can grab on the go but that makes me feel like I am starting my day off right.  Enter these muffins. 

These muffins are chock full of whole wheat, oats, and fresh berries, although most any fruits could be used.  Peaches or apples would be lovely as would cherries or even cranberries.  A suggestion is even given under the original recipe for replacing the berries with an equal amount of shredded summer squash.  The spices can be modified to enhance the particular fruits being used.  The batter of these muffins is what makes them special.  Nutty from the grains and slightly spiced from the cinnamon, the batter does not produce your typical dessert-like muffin.  A little honey adds just what you need in terms of sweetness without being cloying, and the berries add so much flavor you will never miss the sugar called for in other muffin recipes. 

So, if you are having the same sort of breakfast problems I have or just want something that is versatile, filling, and makes you feel nutritionally virtuous, give these little babies a try!

Whole Grain Berry Muffins-  makes 12 regular size muffins
Recipe only slightly adapted from Simply In Season

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup milk (low-fat or skim is fine)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries (I used raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
1 Tbsp cinnamon sugar, to sprinkle on top (optional)
cooking spray or paper muffin liners to prevent sticking

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray or grease muffins tins or line each with a paper muffin cup.  

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, oil, and honey (the honey may not blend completely).  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir to combine.  Fold in the berries, and fill muffin cups evenly with the batter (each cup will be almost full).  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top of the batter, if using, and bake muffins for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  These muffins will keep for several days if stored in an airtight container.  
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