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Recipe #20: The "Delicious, Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink" Oatmeal, Nut, & Fruit Muffins/Bread

Posted Aug 29 2007 12:00am

As promised, below is a delicious, fiber-rich recipe that I sometimes make in either muffin form or sheet-cake form. (OK, now don't get too excited just yet, it's not actually a recipe for sheet-cake!). I eat it for breakfast or as a snack. It's high-protein & high-fiber.

I've actually lost weight eating it repeatedly for breakfast. It's like a breakfast bar, but only tastier. If you make it in a sheet-cake type of pan, you can pre-cut slices into about 4 oz. servings & freeze them for future use. Or just store in your frig as a quick grab-&-go snack.

I've made multiple different versions of this recipe, altering the fruits, nuts, fruit juices, & spices in the recipe, & I haven't made or tasted a bad batch of the stuff yet. It's almost idiot-proof. That is, unless you toss in something weird or totally wrong & disgusting like green peppers or pickled eggs. That was not a suggestion or a dare, OK?! ;-)

This recipe also tastes really good with dried fruits like dried apricots, raisins, etc.

So, without further ado, here's the recipe. Substitute ingredients at your own peril. ;-)

The Delicious, "Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink" Oatmeal, Nut, & Fruit Muffins/Bread

3 c. oats
1 banana
1 c. OJ
1 c. blueberries
1 c. cranberries
1 c. apples, roughly chopped
1/2 c. pecans &/or walnuts (whole or chopped, whichever you prefer)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp ginger (I personally like to use more ginger for some kick, but adjust accordingly to your own taste.)
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. clove
1/4 tsp. allspice
1-2 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
1 Tbsp. orange (or lemon) zest (You can substitute dried lemon or orange peel if you don't have the citrus to make fresh zest.)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Instructions: Set oven to 350°F. Toss in all ingredients, except for blueberries & cranberries, in a mixing bowl & mix on a low-speed until ingredients are thoroughly blended. Turn down the mixer speed to the lowest setting & toss in blueberries & cranberries. Mix only until the berries have distributed evenly, which should take less than a minute or so. Do not over-mix or mix on higher speeds as the softer fruits (i.e., blueberries) are likely to burst; this recipe tastes better when these berries are consumed whole.

Pour mixture into pre-greased muffin pan, sheet-cake style pan, or bread loaf pan. Cook for 25-35 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Depending on the thickness or height of your mixture, it may take longer to cook. To be on the safe side, continually check the oven while the mixture is baking to ensure your muffins/bars don't burn. Test occasionally with a toothpick or fork to see if it's ready; if the utensil comes out clean, i.e., without any ingredients stuck to it, you know it's probably ready. You can also cut into it with a knife to check its progress.

If you are using muffin pans, make sure to remove the muffins soon after cooking, so they don't stick to pan. (Believe me, I've made this mistake before; you don't want to have to employ a large catapult to heave out the ingredients, or be scraping out the pan until next Tuesday.)

Loaf or sheet cake pan users can make/cut up breakfast-bar-sized portions (i.e., that's about 2 oz. for a snack, or 4 oz. for breakfast).

NOTE: When I make this recipe in large amounts, I usually bake it in a sheet cake pan, cut it up into bars, & just leave it in the frig (covered with plastic wrap or foil) to nibble on whenever breakfast or snack time rolls around.

Let me know how your version of this recipe turns out! Would love to hear what other ingredients you've tried using for muffins or banana-bread type recipes. I look forward to hearing your comments & suggestions! Thanks & Bon Appétit!


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