Those of you who know me "in real life" know that I love to bake muffins. In fact, back in the day when I lived with my BFFs Sun-Sun and Eri, I used to bake muffins all the time. So while pancakes have become the norm on Saturday mornings, Sunday mornings are usually for muffins.
Part of the challenge with muffins is that it's difficult to find a recipe that's under 200 calories per muffin. I don't know about you, but I think that's kind of "expensive" for a muffin. So this past Sunday I wanted to try a new muffin recipe and I wanted one that was under 200 calories. After looking at a couple of recipes for inspiration, I put together these Cranberry Oat muffins. They were so good that it's hard to believe they are 145 calories each, with a respectable 3 grams of fat.
There is one tool that will make this recipe really work well - that's a food processor. My immersion blender has an attachment that acts like a food processor, and that's what I used for this job. If you don't have a food processor, then a blender should do the trick as well - last possible option would be to coarsely chop with a chef's knife - but that's annoying. It's up to you.
E so enjoyed these muffins that he declared that they were "the best muffins I've ever made". That's quite a statement considering the guy has known me for 13 years. And in light of that statement I thought they ought to be called something more exciting than "Cranberry Oat Muffins". So... dear blog followers... what do you think I should name them?
- 1 c. oats
- 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1/4 t. salt
- 3/4 c. whole, fresh cranberries plus 2 t. granulated sugar (don't thaw if the berries are frozen)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 c. low-fat buttermilk
- 2 T. canola oil
- 1 t. pure almond extract
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place muffin cups in a 12-muffin baking pan, and spray with cooking spray
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the oats until they are the consistency of a course flour. This should just take a few pulses.
- Combine the dry ingredients with a whisk, ensuring that the brown sugar isn't too lumpy.
- In the food processor, pulse the cranberries and the sugar (2 t. granulated) just a couple of times, until the berries are coarsely chopped. Toss the cranberries with the dry ingredients to coat them a bit.
- In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, oil, and extracts. Add to the flour mixture and stir until the ingredients are just combined. Remember, like with the pancakes, you don't want to over-mix or the muffins will be heavy and chewy.
- Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin cups - I like to use an ice cream scoop to help me do this.
- Bake the muffins for 15-18 minutes; start to test after 15 minutes by inserting a toothpick (or wooden skewer or even a piece of uncooked spaghetti) into the muffin; if it's dry or has just small crumbs sticking to it when you remove it, the muffins are done. Take the muffins out of the pan and cool on a wire rack.
These muffins are really yummy with almond butter or peanut butter - they make a great pre-workout snack (or, as I like to call it, "first breakfast").