Monday, January 14, 2008

Finals Time = Muffin Time


I'm not sure why I bake during finals. I really should be studing, but I suppose the alternatives to studying are: watching TV, taking walks (the windchill is in the teens), or baking. Well, there are other alternatives, but I don't really want to clean my room, or do anything with a long commitment. Muffins seem like a good choice. You're in and out withing an hour, and the clean-up is relatively easy. If I ever get around to it that is, since I decided to take that walk while the muffins were in the oven this morning. Actually I tried to do a single push-up, and was unsuccessful at that task.

Like my ode to bananas a few months ago, I just can't seem to stay out of the kitchen, or the oven I suppose, when there is studying to be done. And considering that I'm an hour away from my deadly history final, I should probably type faster and get going. It is in the teens outside. Like me.

But I think these were tasty enough. I was worried they'd be a bit too sweet when I was mixing the batter, and I think they are, even though I used a scant 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I just have to play around and see what happens with 1/3 cup of sugar and see if that makes them to dry.

Nutritious Muffins
from side of Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran Cereal bag
makes about 9 muffins with a #12 scoop

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup brown sugar (they should be fine with 1/3 cup, but I'm not sure)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
1/3 cup mashed banana (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used full-fat, but I'm sure low-fat will be fine too since that's what I normally use)
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
2 Tbsp. oil (I used canola, but normally I'd use walnut, I'm just out-and so is the store)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup carrot, shredded (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup dates, chopped (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (about 2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400F and grease muffin pan.
Whisk together the flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. (Reserve about 1 tablespoon of mixture to toss with carrots, dates, and walnuts.) In a smaller bowl, whisk together the banana, yogurt, egg, oil, and extract.
Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in carrot, dates, and walnuts.
Divide among prepared muffin cups.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.

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