Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cranberry Flax Muffins

This is one of my favorite muffin recipes.  I make these every chance I get, not only because they are yummy and healthy, but because last year in our CSA we got a TON of flaxseed, so I'm always looking for ways to use it.  This time I made them for my friend Shelly for her birthday.  She enjoys eating healthy, organic food as much as I do.  Her husband even refers to me as her "organic food twin".

Don't judge the recipe by the look of these muffins - I forgot to add baking soda so they didn't rise very much.  It didn't seem to effect the flavor, they just look kind of squatty.

This recipe mostly uses ingredients you could theoretically have on hand in your pantry at all times, except, in my case, for the buttermilk.  I never have buttermilk, and I hate buying a whole carton of it for one recipe.  That's why I always keep a tub of dehydrated cultured buttermilk in the fridge.  It seems to keep forever, and it's a great substitute for baking and cooking when the recipe calls for liquid buttermilk (it won't work for dressings though).  You can find it in the baking aisle.

There are also a ton of ways to modify this recipe.  I've linked to the original recipe below, and if you go there you'll see a bunch of comments from people describing the different things they have done to change the recipe.  Some add shredded carrots, some use blueberries instead of dried cranberries, some use applesauce instead of the oil, etc.  One of these days maybe I'll try a variation, but the original is just so good!

Cranberry Flax Muffins
adapted from
makes about 18 muffins

1 1/2 cups bran flakes cereal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 cup 1% buttermilk
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 tablespoons whole flax seed

Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare your muffin pan by either spraying the cups with nonstick spray or setting a paper liner into each cup.

Combine the first nine ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, egg whites, buttermilk, honey, and oil, then stir into the dry ingredients until just moistened.  Stir in the cranberries.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing the muffins to a wire rack.

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