Hold on to your hats, folks, because this is the second semi-healthy thing in a row I’m posting!
Actually, these are pretty healthy (the Orange Olive Oil cake…not so much), relative to most of the baked goods I make. The texture of these muffins are yummy – a little bit chewy, moist, substantial, but not heavy. They’re also really versatile, so you can put in whatever add-ins you want. I added walnuts, and made two versions – some with black raspberry jam and some without. The muffins aren’t very sweet, so the versions with jam baked in had just the right amount of contrast.
Oatmeal, buttermilk, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste, but you couldn’t really tell, so I’d use regular vanilla extract in the future), salt, egg, cinnamon, and the best ingredient: mashed banana. The original recipe called for oil, but via The Sweets Life, I discovered that you can substitute a mashed banana. Since I had an excess of browning bananas, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try it out. It worked out really well – you couldn’t taste the banana at all, and didn’t miss the fat either. I would guess you could also use applesauce.
Then add the banana, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. This looks pretty gross, but that’s sometimes how it is with baking. Gross, then delicious. Then you add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Here is the point where you can add whatever mix-ins you want. I used walnuts (I should have tossed them with a little flour first – they kind of sank in the muffins). You could also use dried fruit, other nuts, or nothing at all.
I also had a moment of inspiration when I saw this jam in my counter. It was a stocking stuffer from my mom this past Christmas, and it’s delicious. It’s from a local place just south of the Pennsylvania border, and she always has some when I go home.
After I had scooped the batter into the muffin tins, I added half a teaspoon of jam to four of the muffins, just to see how it would turn out. Then you bake them at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes till a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins
Adapted from AllRecipes
1 cup oats (not instant)
1 cup buttermilk (I used nonfat)*
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil OR one mashed, ripe banana
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup dried fruit (optional)
1/8 cup fruit jam (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, mix together oatmeal and buttermilk. Let soak for 15 minutes.
- Add egg, brown sugar, oil/banana, and vanilla. Stir to combine
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to wet ingredients and stir just till combined.
- Add any mix-ins you desire (aim for about 1 cup total) – stir just till combined (don’t overmix).
- Divide batter evenly between the muffin tins.
- At this point, you can add 1/2 teaspoon jam to the center of each muffin, if desired. Push the jam down a bit into the center of the batter, but don’t submerge it completely.
- Bake on middle rack for 16-18 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until muffins test done.
- Cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in airtight container for one to two days.
*If you don’t have buttermilk, use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar mixed with milk to make one cup.