Monday, September 27, 2010

“Trail Mix” Oat Bran Muffins

We’re just now getting a taste of autumn weather, and with the chill breezes from the north, the blue-sky sunny days, and the forests starting to show hints of warm yellows, golds, rusts, and reds, it’s a perfect time for hiking.

And one of the things you think of with hiking is “eats,” so naturally, trail mix comes to mind.

You know how much I’m into oat bran muffins! They’re low in fat and satisfyingly filling, they can help reduce cholesterol, and if you use them to replace the typical American breakfast, they can certainly help you lose a few pounds.

And the “trail mix” flavors might encourage you to get outside and hike! (See how incredibly healthy these are?)

Admittedly, this is kind of a “wing it” combination—but that’s how trail mix usually is. Enjoy!

“Trail Mix” Oat Bran Muffins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F; line muffin tin with paper liners.
In a big bowl, mix together the dry ingredients:

2 1/4 cups oat bran cereal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Then add the following morsels, modifying or substituting to suit your tastes (use a small handful of each—about 1/4–1/2 cup):

—coarsely chopped walnuts (or other nuts; if you don’t use crunchy peanut butter among the wet ingredients—see below—then add peanuts here)
—pumpkin or sunflower seeds
—sweetened carob chips (or chocolate chips, or M&Ms)
—diced, dried mango (or other dried fruit in small pieces)

In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients:

3 egg whites (or equivalent quantity in egg substitute)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup evaporated skim milk (or low-fat yogurt, skim milk, etc.)

Add wet mixture to dry mixture. If too dry and sticky, add additional milk, yogurt, or other liquid. (Hmm: apple cider?) Consistency should be similar to corn muffin batter. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake for 10–15 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and toothpick comes out moist, but not wet.

Turn out of muffin tin and let cool. Once muffins are completely cool, store in a plastic bag; refrigerate after about one or two days. Reheating makes them better, especially as more days go by.

Makes one dozen muffins.

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