Thursday, October 18, 2007

Easy Oat Bran Muffins: they make super snacks!

Finding a healthful snack can be tough. For me, giving my child white cheddar corn puffs, Goldfish, and Graham Crackers is out of the question. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, slices of bread and cheese are quick and easy snacks, but what if I want to give Mikey something more substantial? These oat bran muffins are the perfect answer.

These muffins are a great "on the go" snack too. I can even eat one while pushing the stroller! Just recently, Mikey and I were taking a walk - he munching on a muffin in the stroller, and me munching on a muffin while pushing him. A man passed us on the sidewalk and said, "Hmmm! That muffin looks good!"

(P.S. I am a huge advocate of eating while stationary. It's only infrequently that I feed Mikey a snack while pushing the stroller.)

These muffins have no refined white sugar. For sweetener, they contain 1/2 cup of all natural honey and 1/3 cup of molasses. I can't believe how easy they are to make and how moist and yummy they turned out!

I used spelt flour in this recipe instead of whole wheat flour. Spelt has twice as much protein and fiber as whole wheat and is the only grain that contains an immune system stimulate called mucopolysaccharides. Read more about why I am trying to balance out my family's wheat consumption here and here.

This recipe is a variation of Ruth Yaron's Easy Bran Muffins (p.327):

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix these dry ingredients in a large bowl:

2 cups spelt flour
1 cup oat bran
2 tablespoons baking powder
Dash of salt

In a separate bowl, beat together these wet ingredients:
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix in a handful of raisins. Pour into 8 greased or lined muffin tins until 3/4 full and bake 15 minutes, until nicely browned.

What is blackstrap molasses? It's a sweetener that's actually good for you! Read more about it here.

I used to blindly follow recipes without knowing what each ingredient is doing for my body or the recipe. In this recipe, what is the role of the baking powder? It makes these muffins rise without yeast. To learn more about how baking powder works, read here.


Lydia said...

I completely agree with eating while stationary. In a world that promotes and "requires" multi-tasking, eating should remain a mindful and single-minded experience.

Thank you for including reasons and explanations for individual ingredients. After I've incorporated an ingredient in our diets, I sometimes forget why I put it there in the first place. Your thorough research is a great resource for moms like me. :-)

dragonflywisdom said...

Do you use Rumford
Aluminum Free Baking powder? Pretty important not to
be taking in anymore Aluminum than we need, thats for
sure. I have used this kind for years. I went out
and bought the ingredients I couldn't wait...although
I am making my own applesauce because we have a lot of
apples here...I will let you know how they come
out....adios, ML I am also using half ground flax
and half oat bran,...see how that is...

dragonflywisdom said...

Hi Thais...just wanted to give you an update on my muffins, or shall I say cake because I didn't have muffin tins....anyway I ended up adding fresh dates that I cut up in pieces and rolled in a little spelt so they would all stick together, instead of raisins which I didn't have...then I also added yogurt...I just like adding a little yogurt especially since there was 2 cups of I just substituted a half cup of yogurt for a half cup of the milk...anyway since I didn't have tins I put it in a large sheet pan and it actually turned out ok in was moist and nice...the molasses definitely tends to really change the flavor of the muffins, compared to just using honey...its good, just different...anyway just wanted to let you know that it turned out...thanks for the recipe...

Matt & Kari said...

Thanks for the post! I was thinking today that I wanted to ask you what you did for snacks. I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to steer clear of the processed snacks.

Thais said...

Hi Kari - I think making muffins or bars works great. But there are always those weeks when nothing is made or something is made but your child doesn't want it (like this week for me). There are a lot of options for snacks but the hard part is finding what your son wants to eat. At this moment, Mikey loves smoothies. I make them for his afternoon snack. He helps put the bananas into the blender. I make his smoothies with roughly
1/2 cup yogurt
2 bananas
4 cups liquid: rice milk or apple juice
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
tablespoon rice protein powder
tablespoon carob powder

Mikey sucks down 8oz or more and it keeps him full until dinner.

Thais said...

Here are links to three other posts that I've done on snacks.

Jessica said...

This recipe looks great! I didn't know about the protein and fiber content of spelt. Thanks for sharing!!!

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