July is a month that marks revolutions and independence movements. I woke up on July 4th wanting to break away from my usual breakfast of muesli. Lazy but desiring a little something baked and beautiful, I decided to make muffins. They’re easy. They are a quick bread! I had blueberries and cherries in the fridge, some toasted hazelnuts on the counter and the rest were staples in the pantry.
The problem was in getting the muffin pan from the garage. It was stuffed into a storage tub and we had to back out the car to retrieve it. I don’t often bake muffins and my beat-up Ecko pan was about twenty years old. No need to scrub it clean. Muffin cups found in the deep recesses of my pantry/closet came to the rescue!
I found a recipe in a 1990s Sunset cookbook on bread. It’s the same book I referenced for the easy apple coffee cake. The original Sunset blueberry muffin recipe called for regular and whole wheat flour, blueberries, buttermilk and a lot of brown sugar. I had no buttermilk and substituted whole fat yogurt and soy milk. I cut back on the sugar by about half because I don’t like my muffins to taste like cupcakes; I’d rather smear some homemade jam on the muffin for tart-sweetness. I added grated carrot and nuts to pick up the volume slack and introduce texture and flavor.
Because of the leavening, muffin batter expands quickly once the dry and wet ingredients come together. Work quickly but don’t rush either. I like using an ice cream or large cookie scoop like this one to portion out the batter.
The muffins baked while I practiced a short session of morning yoga. It was hard to hold poses when they started giving off their cinnamon-y baked fragrance. We ate our fill and froze the rest.
Because of the national holiday and because we had broken free of our routine, my husband named these revolutionary muffins. He's a political scientist so I plan to thaw the muffins for breakfast on July 14 – Bastille Day, also known as National Day in France (La fete national). French support was key in the American Revolutionary War, and both countries have tricolored flags of red, white, and blue. There is unity in les muffins. ;-)
I wasn’t planning to post this recipe recipe because it’s not Asian someone on Facebook asked. Here you go! Enjoy them now or later.
Note: You can use all blueberries or cherries if you like. I was baking for patriotism. If using buttermilk, use 3/4 cup.
Makes about 10 muffins
- 3/4 cup (3.75 oz) whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup (3.75 oz) all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1/3 cup (2.75 oz) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 medium-small carrot, grated on smallest hole of a box grater
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 brimming cup full-fat yogurt, Greek is great
- 6 tablespoons soy milk or regular milk
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil or melted butter
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup chopped, pitted cherries
- Set a rack in the middle position of the oven and preheat to 375F. Line a muffin pan with 10 muffin cups. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the two kinds of flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add the carrot and nuts. Stir to coat the bits and avoid lumps.
- In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk, and oil. Pour into the flour mixture and use a spatula to combine until just moistened. Add the fruit and quickly stir to combine. Expect the batter to expand a bit.
- Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to divide the batter up between the muffin cups. They will look very full. Bake for about 30 minutes until browned and dry on top, and slightly springy to the touch. Cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the muffins from their cups. Eat warm or cool.
Note: Leftovers can be reaheated in a 350F toaster oven for 3 to 5 minutes.