May 5, 2009

Apple and Oat Bran Muffins

Sometimes we prefer muffins over sliced Bread because they're fast and easy to make. They are often more portable, and you can make so many different kinds. And best of all, making gluten-free muffins is super easy, unlike finicky yeast Bread.

Even though muffins are easy to make, there are a couple rules you should be aware of. These rules apply to gluten-free or gluten-full muffins.

Most important is to not over-stir your dry and wet ingredients. As Alton Brown once said, "Stir 10 times and then just walk away." Muffins are a form of "quick bread", meaning they rise from baking soda and/or baking powder. Working the batter too much will result in a dense loaf that is chewy and stiff, and very little rise. That is why you usually see instructions that say stir until just moistened. After that, "just walk away."

Another tip is not to fool around with those paper muffin cups. Those are really for cupcakes and are not necessary for muffins. I use a non-stick muffin pan and spray with oil.

The following recipe is really healthy: it has little fat and sugar. The apple doesn't really add much flavor, but it does add plenty of fiber. Be sure to squeeze the water out from the shredded apple; otherwise your batter will be too wet. Your apple will also turn brown as it oxidizes. Don't worry about this; it doesn't do any harm and you won't see it in the final product anyway.

If you don't have any buttermilk on hand (I never do), simply add 1 T of cider vinegar to 1 c milk (soy or moo) and let of congeal a few minutes.

We always have a general purpose gluten-free flour blend on hand, but if you don't you can use our blend (a slight modification to Bette Hagman's Four Flour Bean mix):

½ c oat flour
½ c tapioca flour
¼ c chickpea flour
1 T sorghum flour

Muffins are more forgiving to the blend you use than yeast Bread, so you really should experiment with whatever you have on hand. Chances are it will turn out great.

Apple and Oat Bran Muffins


1¼ c gluten-free flour blend
1 c oat bran
1/3 c packed brown sugar
2½ t baking powder
¼ t baking soda
¼ t salt
¼ t ground nutmeg
¾ t ground cinnamon
1 c buttermilk
1 flax seed "egg"
2 T canola oil
1 medium apple, peeled and shredded


1. In a medium bowl stir together flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl combine buttermilk, egg, and oil. Add to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened.

3. Squeeze shredded apple inside a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Stir shredded apple into batter.

4. Spray muffin cups with nonstick spray coating. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake in a 375 degrees F. oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins (12 servings).

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