Finally settled in to our NYC apartment after a three month transition, when the final box was unpacked and the last painting was up on the wall, it felt fantastic. We looked around and agreed, this is the greatest place we've ever lived. Both the apartment and the city. But for me, there was one tiny piece still missing to make it a home. Once I got my kitchen stocked I was more than eager to get baking. So during Roman's first nap in our new place, I got busy. In Rome, I was in the habit of baking him healthy treats while he slept. Here in America, despite the abundance of healthy, pre-portioned snack foods for kids, home-made is still extra special. And for me it means home.
Muffins also mean a bit of normalcy, on a day like today when I want to hide from the world. Halfway ashamed that I feel this way when I didn't lose anyone on Sept 11, 2001, but wholly aware that I have never been the same since that day when our world was re-shaped. So yes, I'm writing about muffins today. And I hope that I'll also be able to take Roman to the park and share a muffin when they open up the police barricades in lower Manhattan. That way I can show him that no matter what happens that's shocking and sad, we must go on, and so we do.
Oatmeal Raisin MuffinsI adapted a recipe from Jane Brody's Good Food Book. Her recipe called for buttermilk and I have made these successfully with both cow's milk and almond milk. It also called for butter, which I replaced with coconut oil. I added a ripened banana for extra moisture and it worked nicely.
1 cup almond milk
1 cup rolled oats (regular or quick)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons wheat germ or wheat bran
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup packed brown-sugar
1 tablespoon honey (I used agave syrup.)
1. In a small bowl, combine the milk, oats, wheat germ and raisins and let the mixture stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 1/2 hour.
2. In another, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. in a large mixing bowl, beat mashed banana, the butter (if using) and the sugar until the mixture is light. Beat in the honey and the egg. (Note: I used coconut oil that was very liquid, so I did not need to use a beater.)
4. Add the oat mixture to the banana mixture, then add the flour mixture stirring the whole thing well to moisten.
5. Divide the batter among 12 well greased muffin cups. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.