Blueberry Oatmeal & Maple Muffins
If you have been following me for a while, you know that one of my favourite food guidelines is to “limit foods that make crumbs”. Whole foods in their whole format, as much as you possibly can, is truly the best way to go. If you can really follow this rule most of the time, having a crumb here and there is totally ok, so these Blueberry Oatmeal & Maple Muffins are for exactly those moments.
I often refer to muffins as “glorified cupcakes”, because they are essentially cupcakes without the icing. I mean, compare the ingredients of your average carrot muffin to your average carrot cake, and you are looking at the exact same recipe. However, I think it is unfair to label certain types of food as all bad because there are so many ways, shapes or forms they can me made. Consider tacos as an example. Do I think tacos from a store-bought taco kit are healthy? No. Do I think every taco in the world is unhealthy? No. The quality of a specific dish comes down to one thing, the quality of the ingredients. Do I think sheppard’s pie from the freezer section of your grocery store is healthy? No. Do I think you can make a healthy sheppard’s pie from local pastured beef and potatoes from your local farmer? Yes. Deeming a specific dish as completely unhealthy is simplistic. (Unless it is a chemical-like item such as Cheez Whiz or hot dogs, then I am 100% on board.) For the most part, we got to where we are with food based on where we came from, we just got a little lost along the way, so looking back in time is a great place to begin to redefine what is real food.
In order to make these muffins a Red’s Recommendation, I make a few small tweaks to ensure they were made with real food and free of refined sugars. Because it is maple syrup season in Ontario, I figured what better way to sweeten these muffins than with a Canadian classic and my persona favourite natural sweetener.
There are different maple syrup grades, just as there are different types of sugar. Maple syrup is categorized according to its color, clarity, density and strength of flavor. Consumer maple syrup is considered grade A maple syrup, and is classified as the following:
- Golden: The lightest version, with no less than 75% light transmission, with a delicate taste.
- Amber: Slightly darker in colour, with between 50-75% light transmission, with a rich taste.
- Dark: A dark brown colour, with between 25-50% light transmission, and a robust taste.
- Very Dark: The darkest and strongest flavour, with less than 25% light transmission.
Truthfully, all varieties of maple syrup are delicious so picking a syrup really depends on your palate and your use. I prefer a strong tasting sryup, so I typically opt for dark syrups and use it in everything from marinades to baking. I used a dark maple syrup in these Blueberry Oatmeal & Maple Muffins because I wanted the flavour to come out, however if you only have golden or amber on hand these would work just as well.
Blueberry Oatmeal & Maple Muffins
I used a spelt flour in these Blueberry Oatmeal & Maple Muffins, but if you wanted to make them gluten-free you could also use light buckwheat flour or gluten-free 1 to 1 blend like Bob’s Red Mill. This recipe calls for blueberries but I think raspberries would work very well too!
- 1 1/4 cup light spelt flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (preferably dark)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients; spelt flour, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt. Stir with a wooden spoon to ensure everything is combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Crack eggs into bowl and whisk together, add apple sauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract and olive oil, stir to combine.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and using a wooden spoon or spatula and stir well to combine. Add in blueberries and stir gently into mixture.
- Line a muffin tray with muffin cups, or add grease muffin tins with a small amount of coconut oil or butter. Add 1/4 cup of batter mixture to each muffin cup.
- Transfer baking tray to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes.
- Once cooled, transfer muffins to cooling tray. You may need to run a knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan.
- Muffins can be served immediately, stored in the fridge for 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.