The weather in Vancouver is looking like it’s going to be pretty crummy this weekend, which is a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time in the kitchen and do a little baking. The farmers markets are still dripping with fresh local fruit and berries, and these muffins highlight both.
Sometimes a new recipe works out astoundingly well on the first try. This was not one of those times. Previous attempts resulted in thick gummy muffins that I felt were quite frankly a waste of fresh picked berries. My mother swore she liked them, and I think she genuinely did, but I still didn’t think the recipe was worthy of publishing here. If you’re someone who likes the density that can often come with really healthy baking, you may have liked some of the earlier attempts too. Dense is not what I’m going for here, though. I want people to bite into the muffins from this blog and be astounded that they are so low in fat, high in fiber, and yet so tasty. I want them to be light and moist and full of flavour. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
I think one of the things that made this version of the summer muffins so much more successful than previous attempts was switching the oats. Originally I was using quick cooking oats, and I think that may have contributed to the gummy mess. Quick cooking oats are crushed up so they are able to absorb liquids quickly – think about the texture that instant oatmeal gets when mixed with hot water. When I switched to thick oats, which absorb liquid but much more slowly, the resulting muffins were much lighter.
A large portion of the moisture and the fat replacer in this recipe is organic plain yoghurt. I used yoghurt that was 2.5% milk fat, but you could use whatever you have kicking around. If you don’t have yoghurt, sour cream would work as well, but would significantly add to the fat content of the muffins.
The rest of the moisture, and some of the sweetness in these muffins comes from pureed peaches. I was wracking my brain for something else to add moisture to these muffins after the failed attempts, and discovered a few peaches kicking around in the fridge left over from a batch hand delivered from the Okanagan, and looking a little worse for wear. They were still sweet and delicious, but a little bruised up from being at the bottom of the pile. I peeled and then pureed two of them, which yielded about 1 cup of sweet delicious peach puree.
Maple syrup provides the rest of the sweetness for these muffins, and some moisture as well. The maple flavour complements the subtle peach flavour nicely, and keeps with the Canadian theme. Using real maple syrup – not that maple flavoured corn syrup junk – also means that there is no refined sugar in this recipe. The only logical thing to do to finish this recipe off was to add some fresh picked blueberries. Mmmmmmm. Make these!
BC summer muffins recipe:
This recipe made 9 medium muffins. The batter is quite loose, so I decided to not overload the cups. They puff up and then flatten out a bit after they cool. Fear not, the texture is light, and the muffins are moist.
1 cup oats (not quick cooking)
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup water
2 very ripe peaches, skinned and pureed
1/3 cup real maple syrup
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin tins. Put the oats in a small bowl, stir in yoghurt and water. Set aside. Peel and puree the peaches. In a medium bowl, sift the whole wheat and all purpose flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Add the peach puree, egg, and maple syrup to the oat mixture, and stir to combine. Add dry mix to wet, stir to combine, careful to not over mix. Gently fold in the blueberries. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2010