OAT AND BERRY MUFFINS. Quick to make, perfect for mornings and good for you!
With the weather growing warmer, everyone starts to head outdoors and our ovens take a bit of a hiatus. It time for gardens and flowers, carefree days at the beach and of course with living on Vancouver Island, fishing. Special days! May has always been my favourite month.
My kitchen starts to get warm from the suns rays around three o’clock and by four my big blind rolls down over my patio doors. So I often look to recipes that save time, and can be made ahead, but still pack lots of flavour.
Do you have an extra fifteen minutes in the morning? My oat and berry muffins are the perfect companion to your cup of coffee or glass of milk and can be popped into the oven in no time at all! Don’t skip breakfast before you head out the door. Sorry if I sound like your mother!
As I mentioned, just fifteen minutes is all it takes to start filling your house with the most tempting aroma, and a cozy atmosphere which we all crave.
There is a good chance that the basic ingredients for these muffins are probably in your pantry and freezer right now. Ok, probably not the buttermilk, but that can be remedied by stirring 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into 1 cup of milk and letting it set for a few minutes, then stir. Or if you prefer, try a one-to-one mixture of milk and plain yogurt. The acid from the vinegar, lemon juice or yogurt will work the same as the buttermilk. No excuses!
Picture this: It’s the weekend and the kids are still in bed. Why not surprise them and bake some homemade muffins? Put a smile on their face when those hungry little mouths see what mom whipped up. Who knows, it might make some fond memories for them.
I’ve been baking variations of this recipe for years. In fact, the original recipe was taken from a New Brunswick heritage cookbook I came across and copied. It’s a reliable recipe and pretty hard to mess up, even when you forget the butter like I did not long ago. They were actually quite good!
These muffins are just plain good and are good for you compared to the super large “fluff” or empty of any nutrition muffins you see around. No, even though they are fairly small in size, one is twice the muffin in substance compared to many of those tempting super sized ones. One song from back in the day says it nicely, “Just a three dressed up as a nine!”
Don’t be put off if you think you must have three kinds of berries to make these muffins. I needed to start using up some of my frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, so I thought having triple the berries would add a big burst of flavour. The original recipe calls for just blueberries.
One thing to remember though if you use frozen berries is that they tend to bleed into the batter and the finished muffin may not look all that appealing. Trust me, I know from experience. I try to solve this problem by placing the frozen berries on top of the batter in the muffin tins in layers, rather than folding it into the batter.
Fresh blueberries usually will not bleed that much, however, be extra careful with fresh blackberries because they can get juicy and make a bit of a mess if they have sat out for a while.
As a child living in New Brunswick, one of the highlights of summer was picking wild blueberries in our yard. Have you ever had the pleasure of eating wild blueberries? The flavour is so intense and amazing! If you live near an area where they grow, make sure you don’t let them go to waste!
Why don’t you check out my recipe for old fashioned blueberry-muffins which I re-created from my mom’s recipe and which she graciously baked in the morning when relatives would come to stay during the summer. In that post I recall one particular summer when my nasty cousins came for a weekend.
Anyway, back to the oat and berry muffins. For added fibre, I switched all-purpose flour for whole wheat, but again the original recipe called for all-purpose. Whole wheat will make the muffins a little smaller in size than using the all-purpose flour, but still taste great.
There is nothing challenging about these muffins, they are fresh and wholesome and will likely turn your kitchen into a gathering spot for family and friends. Freeze a batch for school lunches or when you are on the run.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1¼ cup buttermilk (I used 1% buttermilk)
- 1¼ cup whole wheat flour (whole wheat flour will make for a slightly smaller muffin, all-purpose flour can be also used)
- ½ - ⅔ cup brown sugar (your preference)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 1 cup berries, (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries), fresh or frozen *(see note at bottom)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for sprinkling over the top
- Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
- Combine the rolled oats and the buttermilk in a bowl. Let stand for ten minutes while you get the other ingredients ready.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Blend together.
- Add the brown sugar and mix together, removing any lumps.
- Melt the butter and add to the oat mixture, stirring to combine. Add the egg and vanilla, stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Spoon half of the batter into the bottom of the muffin tins.
- Place three or four berries over the batter, then repeat with the batter and berries.
- Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar over the top of the muffins for a bit of a crunch.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the tops are nicely browned.
- Cool in pans for a few minutes before removing the muffins to a rack.
- Store muffins in an airtight container to keep fresh. Oat and berry muffins freeze very well.
- *Note. Fresh blueberries or raspberries can be gently folded into the batter. Don't be tempted to use more than 1 cup of frozen berries or the muffins tend to be a little soggy.