When it comes to muffins, if theres a way I can make a couple substitutions to make them healthier, I will. I’ve experimented a lot with healthy cookies made with whole wheat flower, flaxseed, dried fruits and nuts, etc, but in the long run I prefer to keep my desserts desserts. Muffins are a different story. I think of them as being more of a breakfast food, not a dessert.(Although I certainly have never been opposed to smearing some cream cheese frosting over the top of my banana or carrot muffins. Or some powdered sugar. Or some chocolate.)
So when I was doing my weekly browsing of epicurious, adding ideas to my recipe box, and I came upon these, I was thrilled. They’re called “Oatmeal Muffins”, a misleading title because they are so much more than that. They’re really like a bowl of oatmeal in muffin form. They use no butter and very little flour, and considering those are usually the main ingredients in muffins, these are almost a different breed of food altogether. They’re also completely stuffed with blueberries and chopped pecans, both excellent toppings for oatmeal in its traditional form. And, they contain Wheat Germ, one of my favorite power foods. Wheat Germ is basically a concentrated version of essential nutrients: Vitamin E, Fatty acids, Zinc, Magnesium, and our favorite, Folic Acid. I know I’ve talked about folate before but if you need a refresher on all its health benefits you should read the Wiki page.
If you are making these in the summer, feel free to use fresh blueberries. Otherwise, go with frozen. Frozen blueberries will be perfectly ripe, even sized, and easy to deal with. Plus, you can use the leftovers to make Blueberry Acai bowls or smoothies, or just eat them straight out of the pack still frozen (one of my favorite late night snacks). You could also try different variations, and use a mixture of berries instead.
These make a great eat-breakfast-on-your-way-to-work food.
Oatmeal Blueberry Pecan Muffins
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes 8 large or 18 standard muffins
Nonstick vegetable oil spray (or butter + flour, or whatever your chosen greasing method is)
2 1/3 cups quick oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons natural oat bran
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 large muffin cups (1-cup capacity) or 18 standard muffin cups (1/3-cup capacity) with nonstick spray. Whisk oats and next 9 ingredients in large bowl. Add buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla; whisk to blend. Stir in 1/3 cup boiling water and let stand 5 minutes. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 28 minutes for large muffins and 20 minutes for standard muffins. Cool 10 minutes. Turn muffins out onto rack; cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.