Recipe by Robin
Muffins aren’t what they used to be. These days they’re supersized, and available almost anywhere. But what commercially produced muffins have gained in size they’ve lost in nutrition. Even muffins produced without preservatives or hydrogenated fats are loaded with sugar and enough excess oil to stain your napkin and coat your fingertips. Whole grains have been replaced with refined flour. Artificial color and flavor are not unusual. Plus, they’re expensive. Let’s get back to basics with a low fat fall harvest muffin that’s full of whole grain goodness along with the natural moistness of no-sugar applesauce!
|Yet Another Organic Harvest|
You have probably experienced overly dry wholegrain baked goods. Here are some ways to minimize dryness:
- Don’t overbake! Remove from oven immediately when toothpick comes out clean.
- Use a lighter flour, like wholewheat pastry, or even a good unbleached flour.
- Some folks use quick oats because they absorb water faster while baking.
- I prefer regular oats or multigrain hot cereal for better nutrition: grind it up a bit in the blender first if you’re concerned that large crunchy pieces will seem dry.
- Use the golden raisin option, and allow time to soak them beforehand.
- The buttermilk option will make the muffins rise more and seem lighter.
- Use the larger quantity of walnut oil.
- Never overmix your muffins, this makes them tough. Mix per instructions, just enough to barely blend ingredients.
- In dry climates, store (cooled) muffins in airtight container and eat within a few days.
|Fill Empty Tins 2/3-full with Water|
makes 10 - 12
Cooking spray (optional but recommended)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
1¼ cup flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon or apple pie spice
½ tsp. salt
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1½ cups oatmeal or multigrain hot cereal
½ cup soy, cow’s, or butter-milk
2 – 3 tbsp. walnut oil
1½ cup no-sugar applesauce
½ cup golden raisins (optional)
If raisins are dry or sticky, cover with boiling water, and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and blot dry. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 12-muffin tin with natural oil cooking spray (optional but recommended).
Make topping: mix together 2 tbsp. brown sugar and ½ tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
|Add Raisins When Batter is Partially Mixed|
Beat egg in small mixing bowl with fork till well mixed and fluffy. Beat in milk. Beat in walnut oil until well blended. Stir in applesauce. If very thick (likely if you’re using thick buttermilk), add another splash or two of milk.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together using as few strokes as possible. When wet and dry ingredients are half-blended, add raisins and stir as little as possible to combine.
Spoon into muffin tins until tins are almost completely full. Sprinkle topping over muffin surfaces, pressing down lightly with fingertips.
If there are empty tins, fill them halfway with water to ensure even baking.
Bake muffins at 400 degrees F. for 15 – 20 minutes. When done, toothpick will come out clean when inserted into center of muffin. Don’t overbake!
Remove muffin tins to cooling rack and let rest about 15 minutes. Remove muffins carefully from tins, loosening edges with dull knife. Place on cooling racks until cool enough to eat.