These muffins are a great way to enjoy the taste and texture of cornbread without all the fat and calories. Very easy to make and delicious with my Veggie Crock Pot Chili or White Bean Chili. See Notes for the gluten-free option.
A friend recently posted a link to a scone recipe. The recipe called for whole wheat flour, and the addition of fruit, making it seem like a healthier version. I opened the link only to find the recipe was anything but healthy. It called for 1 cup whole cream, 1 stick of butter, an egg and and egg white. Yes, whole wheat is better than white, but with all the other unhealthy ingredients still there, it hardly makes a difference changing the flour and adding some fruit. Herein lies the problem with the way so many people eat. Adding a single food or nutrient, or taking it out, won’t really make much difference in health outcomes. We must pay attention to the overall pattern and big picture. As my friend and mentor Dr. Pam Popper says, “the totality of the diet and lifestyle”.
I was determined to “healthify” (not really a word, but I’m going with it) the recipe. I thought I would just be able to sub out good stuff for bad, but ended up basically creating a whole new recipe. I don’t use oil or vegan butter in my baked goods, but I did use a small amount here. Scones are all about fat, and I felt I needed some for them to turn out like anything resembling a scone. Keep in mind these are lighter than traditional scones because they aren’t loaded with fat. The average scone has 20-30 grams of fat (a day’s worth), so you’d have to expect this healthy version, which has about 3, to be a little different. They are still delicious, especially when you know arteries aren’t being clogged, and thighs or bellies aren’t growing during consumption!
NOTE: Use organic strawberries, as conventionally grown strawberries are very heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides. Or, feel free to use a different type of berry.
I’ve been craving lemon lately, which isn’t normal for me. I’m guessing it’s because I associate lemon with spring and the outdoors, which are two things I also crave. Living in SoCal the winters are really no big deal, but it’s still winter, and we have our days of no sun, with plenty of rain and even some cold temps (all relative, I understand). Whatever. I’m over it. However, since I have a ways to go until fairly consistent warmth and sunshine ensue, I will satisfy my cravings with muffins like these. To me, they taste like sunshine. The cardamom flavor paired with the fresh lemon is quite delicious. And the best part is they are healthy, using whole grain flours, no animal products and no added fat. The sun is shining in my kitchen!
Extras: 1) Top muffins with candied lemon zest just prior to cooking for extra lemony goodness. 2) Add 1-2 TBS poppy seeds to batter for Sunshine Poppy Seed Muffins. 🙂
UPDATE 2/12/13: Apparently the cardamom I used the first few times I made these had been around awhile. I purchased fresh (as fresh as you can get in the store) and used it in the recipe yesterday and the cardamom flavor was way too strong for my tastes. If you like it strong, stick with the 2 tsp, but I’m adjusting the amount to call for 1/2-1 tsp. Also, I felt the need to improve texture a bit. I wanted to lighten them a little; do something to help them rise a bit more (always tricky with fat/free, vegan baking). I added ground chia seeds/water and was very happy with the end result. You can grind them in a clean coffee grinder or blender.
These cookies have the flavor of a gingersnap, and the texture similar to a molasses chew. Usually I make things a few times after I create them before posting the recipe but not this time. I’m just that eager to share.
I’ve been asked several times lately if whole wheat flour can be used in place of oat flour in my recipes similar to this one. My answer is yes, however I’d use whole wheat pastry flour since it’s finer than regular whole wheat, which may be too coarse. Using all whole wheat in this recipe, as opposed to half oat and half wheat, would probably result in a less dense cookie, which may or may not be your thing. Personally, I’m all about dense. As I’ve mentioned before, light and airy makes me feel like I ate just that – AIR! The reason I use oat flour in so many recipes is not because I have anything against wheat. I don’t. It’s just that wheat is everywhere, in so many forms. I just like to sub other types of flour, and stay away from wheat when easily doable so that I’m eating more variety, and not so much wheat. As well, many people eat gluten-free diets so I try to incorporate as many suitable recipes as I can into my repertoire.
One more thing. The batter for these babies is SO good. I may or may not have eaten an entire cookie’s worth of batter. 🙂
I created these muffins using the nervous energy I had yesterday, election day. I find elections, and politics in general, very stressful! Creating recipes and cooking is therapeutic for me. Combine that with the fact that I LOVE gingerbread, and you have these moist, delicious muffins.
UPDATE 11/11/12: I made these again but added a little holiday twist this time around. I sprinkled crushed peppermint candy on top before placing muffins in the oven. The combination of peppermint and gingerbread was a real treat!
I was inspired to create these tasty muffins as I was preparing for a 5 hour flight for which I would be leaving my house at 5 a.m. I knew it would be too early for my usual breakfast smoothie, and I was already planning on packing a PB&J sandwich for later in the day….what would I eat for breakfast?? God knows there wouldn’t be options on the plane. Sure, I could have brought Starbuck’s oatmeal or McDougall’s instant oatmeal (great for travel) on with me but I wanted something different; something substantial, not too sweet, and didn’t need to be warmed. Thus, these Cinnamon-Raisin Oatmeal Muffins were born!
For any followers out there who don’t love pumpkin, I do apologize. I realize this is my 3rd pumpkin recipe…so far. 🙂 I told you – I love pumpkin. And I’m going to utlilze it as much as I can this fall. The picture shows a loaf made with a combo of dried cranberries and chocolate chips. You can use one, both, or neither – it’s yummy either way!
So, if you like pumpkin, bust out the baking supplies and enjoy this tasty Pumpkin Loaf. It’s easy to make and really satisfying.