I’m a big fan of homemade breakfast breads, but E isn’t easily sold on the idea: he often finds baked treats to be too sweet for his taste in the morning. Because I don’t want to devour whole batches of muffins by myself, and because I agree breakfast usually isn’t time for dessert, I like making recipes that find the right balance between healthy and delicious. These muffins are filled with good-for-you ingredients: whole grains, juicy blueberries, protein-rich bananas, and zesty ginger combine to make the perfect breakfast-on-the-go. Maple sugar makes these sweet enough to be flavorful but far from falling into the cupcake category. I usually sprinkle a little more maple sugar on top of the batter before it goes into the oven: it makes for a crispier top and a wonderful aroma.
Banana, Blueberry and Ginger Muffins
1 cup [250 ml] quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
½ cup [125 ml] all-purpose unbleached flour
½ cup [125 ml] whole-wheat flour
¼ cup [60 ml] wheat germ (or ground flaxseed)
1 tsp [5 ml] ground ginger
1½ tsp [7.5 ml] baking powder
1 tsp [5 ml] baking soda
½ tsp [2.5 ml] salt
1 tbsp [15 ml] candied (crystallized) ginger, very finely diced
½ cup [125 ml] granulated maple sugar (or brown sugar, packed)
¼ cup [60 ml] canola oil (or melted butter)
1 tsp [5 ml] pure vanilla extract
1½ cups [375 ml] ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 large)
1½ cups [375 ml] fresh or frozen blueberries
(Variation: substitute ½ cup [125 ml] blueberries for chopped walnuts)
Preheat the oven to 375 °F [190 °C]. Grease a 12-cup muffin tray, or insert a paper liner in each cup. Combine oats, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the candied ginger, making sure all the small dice gets coated with the flour mixture and doesn’t clump together. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, brown butter, and canola oil until fluffy and pale. Mix in the mashed banana and vanilla extract. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and fold using a spatula just until moistened and no pocket of dry ingredients remain. Gently fold in the blueberries (and the nuts, if using).
Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle a little maple sugar over each batter-filled cup, if desired. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool to room temperature and enjoy! Extra muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Make-ahead tip: The muffins also freeze really well. To revive that “freshly baked” taste, simply thaw the muffins at room temperature then place in a 300 °F [150 °C] oven for 5 minutes. Your home will smell just as good as if you had just baked the muffins!
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Janet and Greta Podleski.
More Breakfast Ideas: