Ever since the Practical Cook can remember, she’s loved blueberries: fresh, frozen, in pancakes, pies, muffins, and turnovers. Blueberry cereal—brilliant. Turns out, I’m not alone in this passion. The recipe that follows is both simple, made from common pantry staples, and flexible, providing room for you to adapt according to your cooking goals, from health to not force-feeding breakfast to the younger set. For your creative convenience, you’ll find a number of options listed below and within the recipe. Remember, guidelines.
Mrs. McGee’s Blueberry Muffins
This recipe is passed down from the Practical Cook’s mom (who is a reader and thus will not be referred to as PC Sr., but as PCM), and came from Mrs. McGee, whom I don’t really know. However, she made a mean muffin.
1/2 cup oatmeal (not instant, quick-cook or slow-cook will work)
1/2 cup orange juice or water
1/2 cup sugar (I cut this to just over 1/4)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you can swap up to 1/2 cup or more of whole wheat pastry flour, whole wheat flour, or almond meal)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup oil (not olive, but anything else will work, canola, grapeseed, walnut; also, I cut this to about 1/3 and make up the difference with a dollop of applesauce; can also sub lowfat plain yogurt)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin liners, or grease lightly with butter or oil.
2. Combine oats and orange juice. Stir well and let sit till OJ is fully absorbed.
3. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, oil, and egg. Mix well.
4. Fold in blueberries.
5. Spoon into muffin tin, filling to 2/3 full.
6. Mix together topping and sprinkle on top of the unbaked muffins.
7. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown.
8. Let cool in pan for 2-3 minutes, then put on cooling rack or plate. Enjoy!
Other Options: Trade out the blueberries for any other type of berry, or dried cranberries or cherries. Add some chopped nuts (less than 1/4 cup). Add flax seed meal or toasted wheat germ (1-2 tablespoons).
If you’ve got kids, they can help with this recipe. They can measure, mix the oats and OJ, and also help customize the recipe. And they are prime candidates to put the muffin liners into the pan.
Staying with this theme, the next blog post is about Food Presentation: Why Go Vertical? Keep sending in those questions!