Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Oatmeal Applesauce Mini Muffins

Okay I have a confession to make...I do not like oatmeal. There, I said it. I wish I did. It's a very healthful breakfast option after all. Do a quick Google search on the health benefits of oats, and you will see page after page touting how great they are for us! My children and husband all love oatmeal (thank goodness), but I just can't seem to get on board. I have textural issues with food sometimes, and I think that is the issue here. Until recently, I didn't even like oats added into other food items such as cookies, muffins, pancakes, etc. I kept trying, but it seemed like oats and I were never meant to get along. That is...until recently! 

I found that if I soak oats over night it reduces the texture that I find undesirable, and it is really not that much of an extra step. This works well with muffins and pancakes or anything where there is a large amount of liquid to soak your oats in. I've seen a lot of recipes that call for soaking oats to make "soaked oatmeal" as well, so if you enjoy oatmeal, check out some of those recipes. I've sort of become obsessed with oatmeal pancakes and muffins lately because finally I have found a way to enjoy oats for breakfast...and it only took me 32 years! Better late than never, right? 

Today I wanted to share (drum roll please) yet another muffin recipe! Yes, we make a lot of muffins at my house. It's such an easy breakfast option. They are easy to make and very easy for little hands to eat. What's more, my kids never complain about muffins. I try to make them as healthy as possible, and adding oats is another way to do that. Plus making muffins one day makes for a very quick breakfast for the next few days (or even longer if I make a large batch of them and freeze some). These Oatmeal Applesauce Mini Muffins are delicious, and easy to make. Let's get to baking! 

I start off by pouring one cup of milk into a measuring cup, then adding in one cup of rolled oats. Use whatever milk you like...I've only tried it with cow's milk since that is what we drink, but non-dairy milks would probably work as well. Give the oats a little stir to make sure they are covered in the milk. Then refrigerate them over night. Soaking the oats isn't necessary to make these muffins, but in my opinion it greatly improves their texture, so I recommend it! The next morning, the oats will have soaked up most of the milk, and they will look like this: 

In a large bowl combine the oat and milk mixture, an egg, applesauce, brown sugar, vanilla, and melted coconut oil or melted butter. I used coconut oil this time, but I have used butter in the past, and they are both delicious, so use what you have. I imagine canola oil would work as well, but coconut oil and butter are healthier fats, so I prefer to use them. Also, you will notice an unusual measurement for the brown sugar in this recipe...6 1/2 Tablespoons. That is not a typo. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup brown sugar, and after making these once I felt that the sugar could be reduced. I was afraid 1/3 cup (5 Tbsp plus 2 tsp) might not be enough, but I wanted less than 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp), so that's where that measurement came from. They actually were plenty sweet, so next time I will definitely try 1/3 cup, and I will update the recipe if I like the results! 

In a separate small bowl combine white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground flax seeds. Set this aside. 

Next add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. 

Stir gently until just combined. Never over mix muffin batter, or your muffins will not rise properly. 

Fill a greased mini muffin tin with your batter, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Do not over fill  your muffin tins or it will be difficult for them to cook through in the middle, and they will not rise as well. (Trust me...I know from experience.) I get more than 24 of these, so after filling your muffin tin once, you will still have batter left over. If you prefer regular-sized muffins, they should take 15-25 minutes to bake. I haven't made them as large muffins since the mini ones are the perfect size for my children's tiny little hands. 

Bake your muffins at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Muffins are done when the tops spring back and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry. 

Cool for a couple of minutes then remove them to a cooling rack. I have some cinnamon-sugar butter that I am trying to use up, so I spread the tops with a little of that. Totally an unnecessary step, but that's why the tops look so shiny. My mom used to always melt butter on the tops of muffins when I was a kid, so I love a good buttered muffin! 

These muffins are so tasty that my 19-month old daughter had a fit when I wouldn't give her a second muffin until she finished her first one. She threw herself in the floor (evidence below). Poor baby...being a toddler is so hard! 

Luckily, her little fits don't usually last long...especially since she did finish that first muffin and she promptly received a second. This Mommy keeps her promises. As you can see, this is a much happier baby! I asked her to show me her muffin...she's just too cute! 

She loves to have her picture taken. I asked her to take a bite of her yummy muffin, and she couldn't resist! Yum! 

These muffins are totally delicious! I hope you will give them a try! 

Oatmeal Applesauce Mini Muffins 
Adapted from this recipe

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup applesauce
1 large egg
6 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar 
2 tsp vanilla 
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil or melted butter, cooled 
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds 

1. Combine oats with milk and let soak over night. 
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
3. In a large bowl, combine the oat-milk mixture, applesauce, egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and melted coconut oil or butter. Set aside. 
4. In a separate small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground flax seeds. 
5. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, and stir gently until just combined. 
6. Pour batter into greased mini muffin tin, filling 2/3 full. Bake for 10 minutes until the tops of the muffins spring back when you touch them and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 32-35 mini muffins (depending on how full you fill them). 

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