Monday, August 18, 2014

My favorite muffin recipe: Blueberry-Oatmeal-[Flaxseed] Muffins

I have a new favorite muffin recipe, oh yes I do, and although there is plenty I could and should be doing in the way of studying for the written qualifying exam, working on data analysis, or going to bed early, I think the realization that a particular recipe is a Favorite Recipe calls for a resurrection of my food blog.

Here is the recipe: Blueberry, Oatmeal, and Flaxseed Muffins, courtesy of Food52 (one of my Favorite Websites).  I put the "Flaxseed" in brackets in the post title because, as I'll explain later, it's quite optional.

Here's why I love this recipe so much that I've made it three times in the past two or three weeks, and will undoubtedly make again:
  1. It's very easy to put together. I use powdered buttermilk, which has become a convenient pantry staple.  My mixing bowls aren't very big so I usually halve the recipe and just make a dozen muffins at a time.  One mixing bowl, one Pyrex measuring cup for all the wet ingredients, one muffin pan, done.
  2. It's butter-free.  Hello, "healthy" baked good!  I've been using olive oil, though I bet coconut oil would also work well.
  3. It's very adaptable to different add-ins.  I've tried it with orange-flavored dried cranberries, or fresh blueberries + chopped pecans, or cranberries + chocolate chips + pecans, all in wildly imprecise amounts.  All were tasty.  I'm already thinking of trying chopped peaches, dried apricots, crystallized ginger, or some combination of those.
  4. It's very forgiving.  So far I have not had ground flaxseed in my kitchen, so I just left it out.  Once I made up the difference with extra flour, twice I didn't, and every time the muffins turned out dandy.  Earlier today I actually bought some ground flaxseed, so maybe I'll actually include it next time.
  5. These muffins are compatible with all hours of the day.  Since the muffins aren't very sweet (even with the specified amount of sugar), and have some hearty grains, they work well for breakfast. I like them warmed briefly in the microwave, spread with some fig jam, and eaten along with a cup of Irish breakfast or English breakfast tea.  I also like them as a midmorning snack, an afternoon snack, or as dessert.  My coworkers have seemed to like them as well.
  6. These muffins freeze well, enabling me to keep a stock of baked goods on hand for an undefined amount of time, just 45 seconds of microwaving away from comforting deliciousness.
  7. These muffins are relatively resistant to being jostled against one another in a Ziploc bag, en route to lab.
More topics about which I could blog in the near-ish future, but will not promise to do so: my continued quest for excellent hash browns in LA, the week in which I made both a flourless chocolate cake and chocolate-glazed chocolate cupcakes, or the fickleness of food allergies.