Morag's Muffin Makeover (Jammy Berry Oat Muffins)

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My friend Morag, a Brit currently living in Tuscon, AZ, is an endurance fiend,  cyclist,  scientist who helps build astronomical instruments, enthusiastic health foodie, and one cool girl. After reading my post on PB&J oat muffins, she e-mailed to ask whether or not I had a fruity version. Without nuts.  An entirely different muffin, actually; however, she did like the idea of including jam. It's been over a decade since I've actually seen Morag, but considering the unwavering, open-minded, zestful approach with which she's faithfully been following and trying out these recipes, I was  determined she get one well-deserved, mean muffin. She loves all kinds of berries, and cares about nutritional value, sugar and fat content, and, of course, taste.  Today I conducted experiment 1 of Morag's muffins, and at risk of getting carried away and seeming over-confident, I really have to say YUM. They may even be my new favorite muffin. Here you go: Jammy Berry Oat Muffins

Ingredients

1 1/ 4 cup flour

1 cup whole oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup honey 1 egg, lightly beaten, and 1 egg white

1/4 cup skim or soy milk

2 T canola oil

1/2 cup yogurt

1 to 2 cups fresh,  frozen, or dried mixed berries, or combination (I used whole frozen cranberries and dried blueberries and cherries, since someone had just given me a bunch as part of a gift)

*optional: 12 teaspoons all fruit preserves (I used raspberry)

1. In one bowl, combine the flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

2. In a small bowl, mix egg, egg white, milk, yogurt, oil, and honey. Make a well in the the flour mixture and pour in liquid ingredients. Mix together.

3. Gently fold in the berries.

4. Pour batter halfway in cups of prepared muffin tin coated with cooking spray. If using jam, spoon 1 teaspoonful into each cup, then top with remaining batter.  Bake at 350 degrees F 15-20 minutes.

Side note: I thought about lightening these up just that tad bit more by using only egg whites, which I'm pretty sure would have been good, too. However, I personally like the added bit of density an egg brings, and further, I'm becoming more of a fan of eggs. While eggs have taken their fair share of beating over the years (sorry, excuse!), this past year or so Humpty Dumpty's been back on top of the wall, with research affirming that the health benefits of eating eggs significantly outweigh any potential risks. In fact, authors of one study suggest eggs are of particular benefit to endurance athletes. Rich in luecine, an essential amino acid that plays a key role in how muscles utilize glucose,  eggs are a source of low-cost, high-quality protein, which contributes to muscle strength and promotes satiety. Because it does not cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin, egg protein also provides a sustained energy source. Anyway, I'll stop the raving about egg-ceptional nutrition now, since after all this recipe isn't even an egg dish. Just thought you might like these fun facts, like I did, and couldn't help myself.  : )