Sunday, September 9, 2012

Zen and the bran muffin


Unlike my days of global travel, this summer I've been finding my way through a great physical and emotional journey. Now I'm taking a little time to find center again, drawing on yoga practice and gentle music to ground me before passing into the great unknown of becoming a mother to two.

People have been telling me to nurture myself in this time. My interpretation of that advice meant cooking up a storm over the last two weeks.  I turned out tamale pie, shepherd's pie, southwestern corn and sweet potato soup, mushroom barley soup, beef stew, harvest pork stew, lentil soup and pasta sauce- all packaged, labeled and tucked neatly into the freezer.  My father baked mini-baguettes and we froze those too. I made granola bars, two batches of granola, four types of muffins, all for consumption after the baby comes.  These acts made me feel strong. Self-sufficient. Like the rock that I think I need to be.


Life, and giving life demands strength.  I've been able to find strength in order, in taking control of what can be controlled.  


If the heavily sleep deprived version of myself pulled these together at 6 a.m., I'm betting anyone can do it.  These muffins turned out to be a shining beacon of light this morning.  There is nothing dry or bland about them.  Even without a drop of oil or fat, the apple and carrot lend great moisture and flavor.  Be zen.  Be healthy. Seek inner peace and eat more bran. 


Apple Carrot Bran Muffins
Slightly adapted from Bob's Red Mill recipe
I omitted the raisins and nuts from this recipe, mostly to please my toddler. I didn't miss either ingredient.

Makes 15 muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
3/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 cup oat or wheat bran
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
2 apples, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together the first nine ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in the grated carrots and apple, add the raisins and nuts if desired.  Combine the milk, beaten eggs and vanilla.  Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until moistened.  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 for at least 20 minutes.  (I left mine in for 30 and they came out perfectly done.)
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