Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No matter if I am on “vacation” or not, I can’t help but bake.

I just spent a week in Nebraska visiting my family. As you might know from previous posts, my dad underwent a major surgery back in May to receive a new pacemaker. He’s supposed to have a very low-fat, low-sodium healthy diet.

So I decided to bake my dad some heart-healthy muffins he could eat for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. I made the first batch with dried cranberries, raisins and walnuts. The second batch I made was with apricots instead of the raisins. And guess where the apricots were from?

You guessed it. Turkey!

Apparently, the Wal-Mart brand dried apricots are from Turkey, according to the packaging. But I’m not surprised.

In fact, Turkey produces 80% of dried apricots in the world.

My parents were surprised too.

Anyway these muffins are hearty, healthy and tasty. I rewarmed mine and added a dab of honey on them.

I’m not sure you can find oat flour or oat bran cereal in Istanbul or elsewhere in Turkey. I have seen rolled oats, so you might be able to try buğday kepeği or yulaf kepeği as a substitute.

Hope you enjoy the muffins! Feel free to substitute with your favorite dried fruits and nuts in the recipe. I’m a fan of hazelnuts too.

Afiyet olsun!
Homemade oat, cranberry, apricot and walnut muffins.

Oat, Cranberry and Apricot Muffins
(Adapted from the New American Heart Association Cookbook)

Yields: 22-24 muffins

1 ½        c.               oat bran cereal or oat flour
1 ½        c.               all-purpose flour
2            tsp.            baking powder
1            tsp.            baking soda
1            tsp.            ground cinnamon

1            c.            buttermilk or Turkish ayran
½            c.            honey
½            c.            egg substitute such as Egg Beaters (or 2 large eggs)
¼            c.            brown sugar
3            T.             corn or sunflower oil

½            c.            walnuts
½            c.            cranberries
½            c.            Turkish apricots, diced small
(Or substitute 1 cup of your favorite dried fruit for the cranberries and apricots.)
All the muffin ingredients ready to be used.
Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, stir together the first five ingredients.

Make a well in the middle.
Whisk in the buttermilk, honey, egg substitute, brown sugar and oil. Stir until the mixture is moistened. Add the walnuts and dried fruit.

Do not overmix. Stir the mixture together until no flour is visible. The batter will be slightly lumpy.

Fill the paper baking cups a little over halfway full. I sprinkled mine with rolled oats on top for a little extra texture.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

i bet your parents were happy to see you and your muffins. the apricots are following you! have a safe trip back!

Joy said...

@Joyce, the muffins should freeze well so I was trying to stock up my parents before I left. ;-) Thanks for the well wishes.

Joann said...

Looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe. Have you ever tried using whole wheat pastry flour? I use it instead of white flour in muffins, pancakes, biscuits and even some cookies.

Also, do you think I could just put some oatmeal in the blender to replace the oat flour? Muffins are pretty forgiving.

BacktoBodrum said...

Hi Joy, I saw this in the morning and decided I had to have muffins today too. I used cake flour and oat bran and dried figs, sultanas and fresh peach instead of cranberries and they have turned out fine, Thanks for the idea,

Joy said...

@Joann, You're welcome! If I use whole wheat flour, I often use half regular all-purpose flour with it in a recipe.

Muffins are pretty forgiving, but you'd have to have a pretty powerful blender to blend the oatmeal. At least, the blender and food processor that I own in Istanbul couldn't handle this task. Please let me know if that works for you. ;-)

@BacktoBodrum, Sounds like a yummy idea too! I can't wait to bake with pumpkin once I get back to Turkey.