Welcome to my brand new blog! I am thrilled to be launching this project and am grateful for the love, support, and help I have received in making it a reality.
To kick things off, I’d like to share with you a recipe that has me smitten. Before I found these gems, I would have never described myself as a muffin lover. The dry, fall-apart-in-my-hands quality of most of the ones I’ve eaten in my life has left me sweeping up crumbs and downing milk by the glass. Sure, maybe I thought they tasted okay at the time, but it wasn’t often that I reached for seconds.
But these babies, oh, they are stealing my heart for so many reasons. They are lovely and moist and incredibly nutritious. A bit on the dense side but in all the right ways. The subtle sweetness is perfect for breakfast or anytime, and the cinnamon dances on the tongue in a way that makes me grateful for the flavors of fall.
My favorite thing about these muffins, though, is how nourishing they are. Containing three different whole grains, they are full of fiber and protein and provide lasting fuel for the day. Apples, carrots, and raisins combine to make up half of the dry ingredients and give the body the antioxidants it needs to stay healthy.
For a pregnant gal like me who is having a hard time eating my fruits and veggies, these muffins are a godsend. My toddler loves them, too, so I’m thinking they are here to stay.
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup flax seed meal
- 3/4 cup oat bran
- 1 cup turbinado sugar or 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups unpeeled shredded carrots
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and shredded
- 1/2 cup raisins, optional
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prep 2 standard size muffin tins. Feel free to spray the pans with nonstick spray or use muffin liners, whichever suits your fancy.
- In a large bowl, whisk together white whole wheat flour, flax seed meal, oat bran, turbinado or brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add in the apples, carrots, and raisins and stir to combine. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well at this point as you want to mix as little as possible once the wet ingredients are added.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs together with the milk and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until the batter is moistened and you no longer see spots of dry flour. Don’t overmix these puppies.
- Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill’s Bran Flax Muffins.
Tips and tidbits:
- White whole wheat flour…say what? It is in fact a whole grain variety of flour, but it’s “white” because it lighter in both color and flavor than traditional whole wheat flour. If you can’t find it or just want to use something else, I’d recommend swapping it for an equal portion of whole wheat pastry flour (which is what the original recipe calls for) or a 50-50 mix of whole wheat flour and unbleached all-purpose flour.
- Turbinado sugar is a large crystal, minimally processed sugar. It is commonly sold as “raw sugar.”
- If you can’t find flax seed meal, just buy whole flax seeds and give them a whirl in a food processor until fine. Ta-da, you just made flax seed meal!
- For a simple variation, try adding in ½ cup of chopped walnuts or pecans or substitute dried cranberries for the raisins. You could also leave the peel on the apples for extra nutritional punch.
- What’s the deal with overmixing? Mixing the wet and dry ingredients too much will result in a tough, overly dense muffin. The mixing activates the gluten protein in the flour and can compete with the leavening action of the baking powder.
- These muffins taste best fresh but can be frozen for easy, on-the-go breakfasts.