Thursday, April 12, 2018

Oat Brand and Flax Muffins

There are two recipe versions here, for your baking pleasure! If you are the type to experiment you can certainly combine the two and come up with your own preferred recipe. Either version is high in fiber and very low in sugar. I often make some of the batter into "mini muffins" which the grandsons love for snacks.

Oat Bran and Flax Muffins I 

Yield 12 muffins

2 c. oat bran cereal
1/4 c. whole wheat or graham flour (hold out 2 T. to combine with the baking powder and soda)
1/4 c. ground flax seed
1/2 c. chopped nuts
3/4 c. dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, or other)
2 T. brown sugar
1 c. skim milk (warm)   
1/4 c. applesauce
   (or use 1 1/4 c. milk, or 3 T. dry buttermilk and 1-1/4 c. warm water)
2 egg whites or egg substitute equal to two eggs
2 T. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
spices - 2 t. cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or others of preference. Add more if you like lots of flavor.

1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda  (mix both with the 2 T. of flour)

Coat muffin pans with baking spray.
Preheat oven to 420°F

Combine the oat bran and all the other dry ingredients - holding out the 2 T. flour and leavening.
Combine all the liquid ingredients, including oil and eggs. Be sure the mixture is warm, a little above room temperature but not enough to cook the egg.

Mix well, then allow to rest, giving the oat bran a little time to begin to absorb the liquid.

Then sprinkle the flour/baking powder mixture over the top and beat to combine thoroughly.

muffin batter in pansFill muffin tins nearly to the top.

Bake 13-16 minutes at 420°F. 

Test for doneness with a skewer or toothpick. These muffins will rise only about 1/4 of their volume. Do not over bake!

Tip out of muffin pans to cool.  These will keep a day or two at room temperature, but should be frozen or refrigerated if keeping longer.
NOTE: small amounts of other ingredients can be added without changing the recipe too much. 3 T. of peanut butter powder is a nice change, and doesn't seem to change the texture of the final product.
Other options include 1/4 c. almond meal, sunflower seeds, raisins, or coconut. A gluten free version is easy to make. Just substitute a gluten free baking mix (like Bisquick) for the 1/4 c. flour. The leavening ingredients in the mix will make up for the absence of gluten in the recipe. If you are strictly gluten free, be sure your bran is from a gluten free packaging facility.

Oat Bran and Flax Muffins II   -    Yield 15-18 muffins
     These muffins are a bit like carrot cake

1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c.  flax seed meal (ground flax)
3/4 c.  oat bran cereal
1/2 c. brown sugar (or less, depending on taste)
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. allspice
1-1/2 c. finely shredded carrots (about 3 medium size carrots)
2 medium apples, peeled and shredded
1/2 c. raisins (golden raisins work really well with the fruit flavors)
1 c. chopped nuts
1/2 c. milk
1 T. vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten (or equal egg substitute)
1 t. vanilla

Coat muffin pans with baking spray.
Preheat oven to 350°F

Mix together the flour, flax meal, oat bran, brown sugar, soda, baking powder and spices in a large bowl.

Stir in the carrots, apples, raisins, and nuts.

Combine all the liquid ingredients (milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla), then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients are moistened. DO NOT OVER-MIX.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full . Bake 15-20 minutes at 350°F.  These muffins are very soft and moist right out of the oven, but firm up a bit when cool. They will keep a day or two at room temperature, but should be frozen or refrigerated if keeping longer.

*** The products of both of these recipes are fairly dense, as there is little regular flour included, so don't expect the rise you see with a more cake-like recipe.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Ahwahnee Hotel Sweet ‘n Sour Red Cabbage

We visited Yosemite National Park on our honeymoon, and again for our 25th anniversary. At dinner on that second trip I enjoyed this delectable side-dish so much that I wanted to recreate it for a Christmas dinner a few years later. I actually  found the recipe!

At the hotel ((renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel in 2016) it was served with tender loin-cut pork chops, but it's a wonderful accompaniment to any pork or smoked meat, like turkey or chicken.

This traditional method for preparing red cabbage does help retain the beautiful red color.

The recipe yields about 1½ quarts, but it's easy to cut it in half or thirds.

6 strips bacon, diced
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 medium onion, halved, then sliced
1 medium head red cabbage, cored and shredded
¾ cup water
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup currant jelly
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground clove
1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons melted butter

In large heavy pot or dutch oven, saute the bacon until crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from pot; leave bacon drippings in the pot.

Saute apple and onion in reserved bacon drippings until onion is transparent.

Add cabbage and fry a little longer. Add water, vinegar, sugar, jelly, and seasonings. Bring to boil, cover pot and place in 350-degree oven.

Bake about 1 hour, or until cabbage is very tender.

Combine the flour with melted butter, add a little of the hot liquid from cabbage, then stir the flour mixture into the pot. You may need to add a bit more liquid to balance out the flour, it depends on how juicy the cabbage was before cooking.

Cook over medium-high heat until thickened. Serve with mashed potatoes and spiced winter squash for a really satisfying winter meal!

Note: Half of this recipe will feed 6-8 people as a side to mild meats like ham and pork.