Balanced Living

Finally!  A Yummy Whole Grain Muffin!

Posted by Arja on October 31 in Baking, Snacks

We all know that we are supposed to be eating and cooking with whole grains, but many people find baking with 100% whole grain flour yields a finished product similar to a hockey puck.  I have been playing around with baking with whole grains for awhile now with varying results.  I’ll be totally honest with you and say that using 100% whole wheat flour has not often provided satisfying results.  But, and this is a BIG BUT, since I started using 100% whole grain spelt flour I’ve baked up all sorts of moist, yummy goodness.  Spelt is a really nice grain to bake with and it’s also a nutrition powerhouse.  If you are interested in learning more about spelt, check out my earlier post that explains its many virtues.

Now, on to baking muffins!  I should start by saying that I love Mark Bittman’s recipe for sweet potato muffins from his “Food Matters” cookbook.  I substitute a small amount of honey or maple syrup for the sugar and stone ground spelt flour for the whole wheat.  This is also makes an amazing banana muffin recipe!  If you don’t currently own this book I highly recommend that you add it to your library.  This is not, however, that recipe.  I stumbled upon a wonderful basic oatmeal recipe on the Simple Bites site and after a quick scan, realized that it could easily be adapted into a 100% whole grain recipe. This recipe yields a moist, tender product and can easily take a variety of different add-ins.

Makes 12 medium muffins

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 large egg, at room temperature
¼ cup honey, maple syrup or other alternative sweetener (to taste)
½ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup stone ground spelt flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground
1 – 1 ½ cups add-ins of your choice

Step 1  Combine buttermilk and oats in a large bowl and let stand one hour. VERY IMPORTANT!  Do not skip.
Step 2  Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a twelve-cup muffin tin and line with cupcake papers.
Step 3  Crack the egg into the oat and milk mixture; add sweetener and mix to combine. Stir in melted coconut oil.
Step 4  Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, & spices. Combine with wet ingredients and gently fold into batter, taking care not to over mix.
Step 5  Gently stir in add-ins.
Step 6  Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin tins. Bake until light brown and toothpick comes out clean when inserted, about 10-15 minutes.

Allow to cool in tins for about 10 minutes then remove to wire rack to finish cooling. 

My favourite add-ins are currently ¼ cup sunflower seeds (lightly toasted), ¾ cup apple finely chopped and ½ cup grated carrot (approx 1 medium carrot).  Other healthy add-ins could include:

-chopped nuts or seeds (walnuts or almonds)
-fresh berries
-dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, apricots, etc)
-dried ginger (ginger and pear is a really nice flavour combination!)
-grated zucchini

This list is really only limited to your imagination.  Just remember that using things like mashed banana or sweet potato changes the ratio of wet to dry ingredients, so you’re better off using a recipe that’s already designed around ingredients like that.

These muffins freeze and reheat really well, so whip up a batch and keep them on hand for lunch bags and snacks on the run.  My toddler loves having one as a part of his breakfast with some yoghurt and fresh fruit!

arja pennanen lytle c.n.p. n.n.c.p certified nutritional practitioner

Arja is a Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for balanced living. She loves to help people sleep better, think better, feel sexier, and just generally feel better by putting the focus on eating foods that make you feel good. Arja uses whole foods, lifestyle adjustments, herbs, and some supplements to help people feel their best and achieve their health and wellness goals.