berry oatmeal muffins with flaxseed


Okay: it's January. It's 2014. Everyone and their mother has repeatedly resolved, year after year, to eat better. Though I generally try to make good choices, we all have to slip up now and again. It's normal, to be expected and, well, really, really tasty. Still, it would also be nice if there were some healthy options that were just as inviting as their full-fat, calorie-laden counterparts.

Enter these muffins. Perfect for early morning, easy enough for a weekday breakfast baking session, the oatmeal gives them a super-satisfying crunch and the flaxseed, cleverly disguised amongst the berries, is packed with omega-3's, all the good fats and tons of fiber. Happy New Year, indeed.

For this recipe, you'll need:

1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cup of rolled oats or multigrain oat cereal
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of golden flaxseed meal
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup of fresh or frozen berries (any variety will do, though I went with a combination of frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)

To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. The rest of the process is almost too simple. Seriously. Mix up your ingredients while you brew coffee and you'll be set for a warm, comforting and satisfying breakfast in no time. In a large bowl, whisk together you flour, oatmeal, flaxseed meal, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

Add your egg (lightly beaten in a separate bowl), buttermilk and oil. Now, the original recipe calls for a 1/3 cup of water, which I admit I totally bypassed by complete accident. Somehow, these muffins still came out great. If you include the water, like you are apparently meant to, let me know how they come out.

Stir all your ingredients until evenly combined. Without the water, your batter may end up on the slightly thicker side, as mine did. Still, whichever way you decide to go, you can then distribute your batter into lined or greased muffin tins (OR, go the route of silicone, as suggested by a food favorite, Anna Brones) - it should make about 18-20 altogether.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until slightly browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes in the tins before flipping them onto a wire rack to cool completely. I was a huge fan of these. Good texture, just sweet enough, and virtuous enough to make me feel no guilt whatsoever. That's baking I can resolve to stick with.

Though Valentine's Day will be all about chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.