Mom’s Kitchen Sink Muffins
Like most things my mom makes, these muffins contain a little (or a lot) of this and a little (or a lot) of that. There’s really no way to be sure about exact measurements or even ingredients, but I am going to try because they are so delicious and healthy. Her original inspiration came from a recipe called “Cousin Theo’s Muffins” in this cookbook of recipes from inns and bed & breakfasts around the country, and she bought the cookbook after tasting the muffins first-hand here, their point of origin. What follows is my mom’s variation on the recipe … this time. Next time she makes a batch, you can be sure the ingredients will change again to incorporate whatever she has on hand.
* Note: This recipe is somewhere between double and triple the original and makes 70-80 mini-muffins (they freeze well). You might want to cut it down if you are short on storage space!
8 cups mixed whole grains
This version includes: * 3.5 cups rolled oats, dry * 1/2 cup oat bran, dry * 1.5 cups whole oat groats, cooked al dente (chewable but not mushy) * 1 cup lentils, cooked al dente * 1 cup millet, cooked al dente * 1/2 cup steel-cut oats, cooked al dente *
2.5-3 cups wet fruit puree
This version includes: * 3/4 cup previously frozen stewed fruit (homemade, no sugar added) * 1.5 very ripe bananas * 1 cup pumpkin pie pudding mixture *
2.5-3 cups “dry” fruit mixture
This version includes: * 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries, well-washed * 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped * 1/2 cup dried dates, chopped * 2 T fresh ginger, grated *
2.5 cups nuts (This version includes: * 3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped and lightly toasted * 3/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped and lightly toasted * 3/4 cup ground flax seeds *)
2 cups skim milk
2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1.5 T canola oil
spices to taste (this batch used about a T each of cinnamon, allspice, toasted anise seeds, and ground ginger; 1/2 T masala curry; 2 shakes each of ground cumin and ground nutmeg)
2 T baking powder (This version contains none, as my mom forgot. Still turned out delicious, though.)
Preheat oven to 375.
Using a very large bowl, thoroughly mix the following: dry (uncooked) grains, skim milk, wet fruit. Allow mixture to sit for 30 minutes so the dry grains (rolled oats and oat bran in this case) can absorb the moisture.
To the bowl, add the following ingredients in this order, mixing between each addition: wet (cooked) grains, eggs, canola oil, “dry” fruits, nuts, spices.
Scoop mixture into mini-muffin tins, overfilling the tins so that the batter forms muffin-shaped mounds on top (these muffins are very dense and will not rise at all).
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on muffin size and preference. The drier they are, the better they hold together. Mom usually lets them rest in the off oven for about 15 minutes after baking. Store in fridge or freezer.
** Mom would also like to add that the muffins taste better as time goes on and the flavors meld together. And she would like to add that chopped apples work well in the “dry” fruit mixture. And sunflower seeds and pepita seeds are good in the nut mixture. And vanilla extract would have been good in this, too. And unsweetened applesauce is also good with the wet fruits. And her favorite way to enjoy the mini muffins is to microwave two from their frozen state, slice them in crumbly pieces, and dab them with almond butter. Or to eat them frozen, nibbling off the grains one at a time as they defrost. (She’s still giving more suggestions, but I am now making an executive decision to cut her off). **