I just finished baking some muffins for my family. 5 are already gone and they've been out of the oven for only 1 hour. I have a feeling I'll be baking more tomorrow for the school week. Baking has been a great distraction for me during this recovery period and it helps me burn off the nervous energy!
Tonight's recipe is Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins...but keep in mind you could substitute the Chocolate Chips with just about anything. We love blueberries in our house. You could throw in some raisins or cranberries or even walnuts! Here is the recipe, and I've included (in bold) the changes I made to better suit my family.
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup buttermilk (I use almond milk with 1T of apple cider vinegar)
1 egg, beaten
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used just under 1/4 cup of organic cane sugar instead)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup of applesauce instead)
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour instead)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (and/or nuts and dried fruit of your choice)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, soak oats in buttermilk for 15 minutes. Stir in egg, sugar, vanilla and oil (applesauce). Combine flour, baking powder/soda and salt. Stir into oat mixture just until moistened. Then stir in your choice of chocolate chips, nuts and/or dried fruit. Fill in paper-filled muffin-cups 3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes and cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
*** I baked them for only 15 minutes in my oven and that was enough.
And...they are a hit! Moist and substantial. They'll make a great snack for my daughter's school lunch and my husband already ate 2 for a late dessert. Oats are a great source of fibre which helps to regulate your digestive system. Oats also lower cholesterol and have "plant chemicals" and antioxidants in them that are thought to help reduce the chances of cancer. Applesauce (unsweetened) is an awesome way to cut down on the fat in the muffins - I use it in many of my muffins, cakes and even cookies (keep in mind, if you use it in cookies, your cookies will turn out more cake-like instead of crispy). I use an organic unsweetened applesauce that has cinnamon in it - it adds a nice flavour. Another tip, is to substitute some of the flour with wheat germ. I add wheat germ to most of my baking.
One more health tip before I leave for the evening...I have started eating plain Greek yogurt for breakfast every morning. I add 1t of wheat germ to my yogurt as well as some organic raspberry or blueberry preserves. That way I can control the amount of sugar I add to my yogurt. It's delicious and healthy. Wheat germ can lower cholesterol. It is high in Vitamin E as well as many B vitamins. It is high in folic acid which is something women need in their diet. It is said to improve muscular energy which is perfect before a workout as it provides endurance.
I have discovered a new passion - and it's my (and my family's) health. It is SO incredibly liberating to take your health into your own hands. To sit behind your computer or go to your local book store and read. Do your research. Ask friends who share the same interest. Share recipes with friends. When you do your groceries, purchase one new produce and try it out! Try cooking with wheat germ or quinoa. There are so many foods out there that are not only tasty, but SO good for you. Challenge yourself and do what's right for you and your family!