True story: When my sister was getting ready to go to kindergarten my mom took her to the local parochial school where the nuns proceeded to give her a test and see if she was fit for admission. They asked her a battery of questions, like “Name something that flies” and “Tell me something that moves fast.” When they asked her about things that explode, she said without batting an eye: “My oatmeal.” The following month, Chicky was enrolled in our local public school instead. I guess the nuns had doubts about a mother who exploded her child’s breakfast with such regularity.
Such was the way with oatmeal in our household. A powdery packet that was nuked for 90 seconds and more often than not ended up coating the inside of the microwave… it’s no wonder I went off of it for about a decade.
One of the things that struck me most when I moved back to Boston was the prevalence of oatmeal. It’s presence everywhere from Au Bon Pain to my company cafeteria seemed indicative of the region’s Puritan roots. Like, wow, those people sure like to be regular.
Fast forward three years and I am one of those people. Sigh, isn’t that always the way? Of course it has nothing to do with Puritan proclivities and everything to do with the fact that the colder it gets, the less appealing fruit and yogurt seem. When the leaves start turning I crave warm carbohydrates (see previous post). And when it comes to carbs, oatmeal is pretty healthy. At least in comparison to grilled cheese, cider doughnuts and beer.
Oatmeal is also versatile! Lately, I’ve been adding a spoon of peanut butter to mine, as well as a bit of flax seed. Maple is a longtime favorite, as is cinnamon, and I recently tried Carrots ‘N’ Cake’s overnight oats recipe, which is basically a simple muesli. But really good!
Anyway, despite all this oatmeal (or maybe because of it) I started craving oatmeal muffins this week. I wanted something simple, that was as good (or almost as good) for me as a bowl of oatmeal, but in a convenient muffin that I could eat on the go. Enter the oatmeal applesauce muffin. No fat. A touch of sugar. A lot of goodness. This recipe makes 12. You’ll probably want to double it.
Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins
(inspired by Sparkrecipe.com and personalized)
1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup milk (whatever you’ve got around. I use 2%)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flax seeds, milled (I use a coffee grinder to do this)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Soak the oats in milk for about one hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the oat mixture with the sugar, applesauce and eggs, and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl measure and whisk the dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix the batter or the muffins will be tough. Spoon muffin mixture into a muffin tin coated with cooking spray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in the muffin tin before removing.
Makes 12 muffins.