My pantry is a little understocked at the moment (time to get to Le Frigo Vert), but my intense drive to consume a muffin or three this morning lead me to overlook the lack and throw together something nice and simple. If you have it on hand, I would add a half a cup of unsweetened applesauce to bulk these up a bit. Then you could cut the oil down from 4 to 2 tablespoons if you wanted to. Just a thought. They're pretty tasty as they are, even if they're a little on the small side.
Now in Kitchen Confidential, one of Anthony Bourdain's buddies says that, "Muffins are for people who don't have the nads to order cake for breakfast." And while this is an undoubtedly hilarious remark (at least I don't doubt it), all muffins are NOT created equal. As many of you may know by now, commercially produced baked goods are often packed with trans fats, and if not trans fats, then they're loaded with sugar and other fats. It's safe to say that companies that mass produce muffins aren't usually doing so with your health in mind. They want to make a product that will ship well and stay alive on the shelf for as long as possible, and they'll use the cheapest ingredients they can get their hands on.
I'll try to keep this brief (if it's not already too late for that) but the average Dunkin Donut muffin is between 500 and 600 calories and has around 20 grams of fat. A Costco blueberry muffin (blueberries are healthy, right?) has 610 calories and 32 grams of fat. What the what? To burn that off would take you about 169 mins of walking, 70 mins of jogging, 51 mins of swimming or 93 mins of cycling. So you might as well order cake for breakfast, then at least you could get the thrill of the transgression.
Makes 12 hockey puck sized muffins. Active time: 10 minutes Baking time: 17-20 minutes
As usual, "T" = tablespoon while "t"= teaspoon
3 T flax seed meal
2/3 cup hot water
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup brown rice syrup*
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1 cup unbleached white flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 T cinnamon*
1 T powdered ginger
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t salt
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup grated carrot
- Combine the flax, hot water, and raisins in a small bowl and set aside. You really want to do this first (you know you want to) so that the flax has time to glop up and become your egg replacer. It also rehydrates the raisins a tad so they don't burn up during the baking.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl, preheat the oven to 350 and lightly oil a muffin tin.
- Mix the oil and brown rice syrup into the flax mixture.
- Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Then fold in the carrots and pumpkin seeds.
- Spoon into ze muffin tin and bake for until done; 17-20 minutes.
*Hind Site Note: Substituting 1/4 cup of applesauce and 1/4 cup of maple syrup replaces brown rice syrup nicely. Also, I think I had a particularly weak stock of spices when I wrote this recipe - you might find 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tsp of ginger to be more than enough.