On the weekends I always default to muffins if I don’t have anything special planned for breakfast. I usually try to make them as healthy as I can, to start the day off right. A great thing about muffins is that the ingredients you use can be flexible: for these I had some frozen strawberries & some sliced almonds leftover. You could substitute any fruit or nut you want.
How to Easily Fill a Muffin Tin with Muffin Batter
Have you ever had trouble filling the muffin pan with the muffin batter? I used to spoon it out and make a huge mess. It would drip all over the pan and the counter.
Then I learned about this simple & genius way:
- Fill a large ziplock bag with the muffin batter. Seal the top.
- Using a food scissors, cut one of the corners of the bag. The batter will start running out, so be prepared to perform step 3….
- Pipe the batter into the tins, about 2/3 full.
Awesome, right?! It was, and still is. BUT, I realized over time that filling up the ziplock bag with muffin batter was equally as messy and difficult. I felt like I needed a third hand and all I had done was transition the mess-stage to earlier in the process. That was when I thought to do this:
Take a tall glass or tall container (I used a tall beer glass) and push the bag down into the glass. Pull the edges of the bag down around the rim of the glass.
Now you have two free hands to pour the batter into the bag, using a spatula to guide it. Wa-la!
Now you can easily remove the bag from the glass, cut the corner, and pipe it into the muffin tin.
I also topped these with a delicious cinnamon brown sugar crumble. You will notice I used some muffin cups, and left some without the paper cups. On those, I simply oiled the insides of the cup. I did this because I was testing to see the difference in outcome.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (if you are using frozen fruit, if you are using fresh then 1 1/4 cups should be enough)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped in to small pieces (or the fruit of your choice)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon melted butter or butter alternative
- 1 tsp cinnamon, or more
- 4-5+ tbsp all purpose flour
- Combine the dry ingredients (oats, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly with a fork. Stir in the real maple syrup, half & half, oil, & vanilla extract.
- Chop the strawberry into roughly 1/2 inch cubes. Place in another bowl, and toss with 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 3/4 tsp cinnamon.
- Add the fruit mixture to the wet ingredients, and gently, but thoroughly combine.
- Stir the dry flour mixture gently and lightly into the wet mixture until just combined. Do not over stir...once all the dry ingredients are wet, you're done.
- Turn the oven to 400F, cover the muffin batter and set aside, letting it rest for 10-15 minutes while the oven heats.
- Oil a 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper baking cups and divide the batter among them.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the brown sugar crumble. You want it to be crumbly, so it's okay to add more flour to achieve a crumbly consistency.
- Bake for 17-18 minutes.The muffins are done if you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
- Serve with coffee or hot tea!
- Splurge and upgrade the cinnamon you buy: but it from a spice store. I find that in many recipes I don't even taste the cinnamon I've added. I like cinnamon. So I usually increase the amount added, and I try to buy nice cinnamon, so that I can actually taste it. It really is a beautiful flavor.
- I used half and half because I ran out of milk and almond milk. You can really use any dairy or non-dairy milk product. I am not certain how an alternative to half and half would effect the moistness though.
In case you were wondering the difference in outcome between using the paper liners or not using them: I personally found that without using the paper liners, the muffin held its shape better, and seemed moister. My test wasn’t scientific, but I think next time I will just oil the pan and go without the liners!
These muffins are moist and full tasting. They are best warm, just out of the oven, with a nice dallop of Melt Butter Alternative. I know I’ve said it before, but I absolutely love Melt. You should check it out.