So far in 2016, the culinary theme in my household has been comfort. Between the brutal cold and my mother-in-law’s declining health, we’ve all been turning to food for solace and support. This doesn’t mean that we’ve engaged in unchecked gluttony, but I’ve certainly done more baking and melting of cheese than is typical for an average February.
Earlier this week, in searching for a balance between treat and nutrition, I cracked open the copy of the American Heart Association’s Healthy Fats, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook that arrived early in January. As I was thumbing through the pages, the recipe for Oatmeal-Fruit Muffins caught my eye.
Made with rolled oats, white whole wheat flour, wheat germ, applesauce, and dried fruit (among other things), they struck me as a sweet treat that would offer both comfort and enough satiating fiber to leave one contented and not in danger of eating the whole pan.
They are also blessedly quick to make. No more than 30 minutes passed from the time I stood up to make them to the moment I was sliding the pan out of the oven. They also filled the apartment with a gorgeous scent, which I find offers nearly as much solace as the actual eating.
I will confess that I made a few changes to the recipe. I used an egg in place of the egg replacer, measured 2% rather than skim milk, and opted for dried cherries rather than suggested figs (I didn’t feel like dirtying a knife and cutting board to dice the dried figs I have).
They do turn a bit rubbery once they’re more than a day old, but a quick turn in the toaster oven or under the broiler revives these muffins nicely.
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal
- 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup fat-free milk
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup egg substitute
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped dried figs or dried apricots
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Lightly spray a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, wheat germ, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the figs.
- Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until the batter is just moistened but no flour is visible. Don’t overmix; the batter will be lumpy. Fold in the figs.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cups.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature.
Excerpted from AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION HEALTHY FATS, LOW-CHOLESTEROL COOKBOOK Copyright © 2015 by American Heart Association. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.