August 7, 2013

blueberry oatmeal muffins

As most of you know, I'm a baker.

I love to bake, sweet or savory (though I haven't ventured to bread, yet. it's on the list!), big or small, party or simple homemade treats, I love it all.

I have always gotten stuck in a rut with savory cooking and have never really enjoyed the daily grind of figuring out what to buy, cook, and eat. Yet another reason why I married the perfect man for me, he does all (well, most) of the cooking and I'm free to make the stuff that I really enjoy. Listen up ladies, this is a fantastic arrangement! I get gourmet-quality food (yes, Nick is that great in the kitchen) and he gets sweet treats in return :)

Here's a recipe I tried this week:

Oatmeal Flax Blueberry Muffins from Pinch of Yum

The recipe is in her blog post, but I reposted a screen shot below. (Not sure how easy it is to read, but it serves as reference nonetheless)

I set out to find a recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins because the blueberries have looked so delicious lately and I was craving something hearty and oatmeal-y. When I saw Pinch of Yum show up in the Google results, I knew it would be a great one to try since I had read and heard about Pinch of Yum in the past. Fast forward a few hours, and these puppies were sitting on my counter :)

final product

Progress photos:

love to find recipes that only require the pantry!
soaking the oats
fresh blueberries, dry ingredient mixture, soaked oats

batter ready to go in the pan, sans blueberries

filled muffin cups with and without crumb topping. 

I doubled the recipe to get 12 muffins so we could both eat them for breakfast this week. I added brewer's yeast (about 2 tbsp.), on top of the flax, since I figure if it's in the pantry it never hurts to add in a little extra nutrition :) Also, when you're breastfeeding it's always nice to hide some galactagogues in your recipes :) Flax and brewer's yeast are both milk boosters, plus they are both really good for you, so double the nutrition points! Oatmeal is also a galactagogue so these muffins (with my addition of yeast) are a trifecta of milk boosting yumminess for breastfeeding mothers who want to increase or keep up their milk supply. *there is conflicting evidence that any of these things will truly make a difference in your milk supply but, I think, there is enough anecdotal evidence to support trying them. They're not going to hurt you and they'll only add extra nutrients to the recipe, so why not, right? :) 

The only things I needed to buy for these muffins were the blueberries and fresh confectioner's sugar since I'm kind of a weirdo about old confectioner's sugar. I swear it can make the whole recipe taste like stale, weird, plastic bag. We eat a lot of oatmeal, so we already had that (I would recommend either raw, rolled oats or steel cut oats) and I already had the basics (flour, baking powder, etc.). I also keep brown sugar, ground flaxmeal, and brewer's yeast in the house, making this recipe a quick Monday night experiment. I used milk with vinegar instead of buttermilk (we hate buying buttermilk for one recipe and watching it go bad in the fridge). I also added some lemon juice to the glaze since I think lemon and blueberry is a match made in heaven and I wanted some acidity to complement the heartiness of the oats and flax.

There's a lot of hand mixing in the recipe and I found myself wishing Alden was just a little older so he could have helped me. I'm sure kids would get a kick out of getting their hands gooey in the kitchen!

Final verdict:

Yummy but not what I was looking for. If you expect these muffins to be sweet, cakey and light like a typical blueberry muffin, you'll be disappointed. I wanted something with a little more heft, which is why I looked for something with oatmeal, but these were just a little too hefty. As an afternoon snack, perfect, for breakfast, not so much (for me anyway). I do think they are delicious and a much more nutritious version than the giant sugar-soaked muffins you can grab at Starbucks or the grocery store, they just weren't what I was in the mood for this time. I will probably try them again, maybe with cranberries in the fall, when the weather calls for a sturdy little snack :)

Things I'd change next time:

more glaze per muffin, the lemon flavor got lost; use real buttermilk, I think it might affect the texture of the oats; try cranberries instead of blueberries; maybe up the flour and decrease the oats to try for a cake-ier feel. Also, I used paper cups that I had in my cabinet to save me some flouring & buttering time but the paper cups end up moist after being stored. Next time I would cook them directly in the pan.

Thanks to Pinch of Yum for the inspiration!

much love, L&N

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