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Morning Glory Oat Muffins...for any time of the day or night.

La Petite Maison Verte: Morning Glory Oat Muffins...for any time of the day or night.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Morning Glory Oat Muffins...for any time of the day or night.

I notice that as the seasons change, I find fresh inspiration for cooking and baking.  As fall comes around, the fresh tomatoes, peaches, corn and blueberries of summertime give way to squash, pumpkins, dark leafy greens and apples.  I find myself wanting to use the warm spices in all of my recipes - cinnamon and allspice move to the front of my (insanely crowded) spice cabinet.  

Since B has been away for the last few weeks, I'm having a hard time using up all of the fresh fruit and vegetables I buy.  This week, I was left with some Fuji apples that were past their prime - their texture had gone a bit mealy, but the apple flavor was still there so I hated to waste them.  And after making one half of a zucchini for dinner one night last week (I stuffed it with italian sausage and onions and smothered it with tomato sauce and some mozzarella and parmesan cheese), I still had half to use - and fast!  

So you see, I HAD to make these muffins.  It was either that, or waste all that good way, Jose!

I had been perusing Morning Glory muffin recipes because I love the idea of adding vegetables (carrots) to a breakfast food and I thought it would be easily adapted to also include the addition of some grated zucchini.  And I wanted to bake something that included apples and cinnamon, since these are two of my favorite Fall flavors.  This recipe from Honey & Jam immediately caught my eye because it included Old-Fashioned Oats.  That, and it used 100% whole wheat flour.  Sold.  No other recipe even had a chance.

I made some changes from the original recipe:  I didn't have orange juice, so I substituted light sour cream + some grated lemon zest.  I figured the OJ was just in there to add some brightness of flavor in addition to moisture, so I thought the sour cream and lemon zest could do that just fine, you could probably use pineapple juice instead.  Also, I wanted to use up that half of a zucchini from my fridge, so I decreased the amount of grated carrots and added grated zucchini to the mix.  I decreased the amount of sweetener and substituted Splenda-Brown Sugar Blend to lessen the impact of the muffins on blood sugar, but you could probably go with Agave Nectar if you wanted to avoid refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.  And lastly, I sprinkled a teensy bit of granola on the tops of the muffins before baking for added texture.  I have provided the link to the original recipe, for anyone interested.  

These muffins are absolutely DIVINE and are worth it just for the smell that will fill your house as they are baking.  They are so moist and have a perfect texture to them, a fairly-dense crumb, but not too dense (if that makes any sense) - just dense enough to let you know you're eating something substantial.

Enjoy them with a schmear of cream cheese, almond butter or just plain with a cup of coffee or tea.  You will dream about them, they are so good....

Morning Glory Oat Muffins 
makes about 16 standard-size muffins
Adapted from Honey & Jam

1/2 cup raisins
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup Splenda-Brown Sugar blend
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup zucchini, grated
1 large apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut (or you could use unsweetened if you can find it at the store)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup light sour cream
zest from 1/2 of a lemon
about 1/4 cup granola for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line it with papers and spray the insides of the papers. 

In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water, and set them aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, splenda-brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the carrots, zucchini, apple, coconut and pecans. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, light sour cream and lemon zest. Add to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly moistened. Drain the raisins and stir them in. Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan, filling almost to top. Sprinkle tops with the granola (if using), each one should get about a teaspoon.

Bake for 23 to 25 minutes (mine took exactly 23 minutes), until domed and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack, then turn out of pans to finish cooling.

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