Monday, March 28, 2011

Road Trip Muffins!

As one of my last acts of baking in our Oklahoma apartment, I whipped up a batch of muffins for the road. I was limited to the ingredients on hand, which means they turned out to be Pumpkin Banana Grape-Nut Muffins.  They're waiting, in the freezer, for our departure this week, but Matt and I sampled a couple fresh out of the oven - for quality control purposes, of course!

I was actually quite pleased with the texture of the cereal in the muffin, but I think the recipe still needs some tweaking - it came out a little more cake-like than I'd hoped.  The addition of an extra banana or two would probably fix this and give the muffins a more appealing flavor since they're not very sweet and taste rather strongly of pumpkin. On the plus side, they're actually pretty healthy, with very little added fat and a protein boost from the yogurt, so these might make a good, health-conscious snack. I've yet to see just how well they travel, but I'll provide the recipe anyway, for those who are interested, and report back on their performance on the road. In any case, they take a pretty picture!

(Update: These muffins were a great treat on our cross-country road trip - we even hiked them down into the Grand Canyon where they made a perfect mid-hike snack! I even liked the flavor better there than when we tested them fresh from the oven.)

Pumpkin Banana Grape-Nut Muffins

Wet ingredients:
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1-3 large bananas, mashed (I used one but would recommend more)
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Oikos 0% Fat Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup granulated sugar*
2 Tablespoons molasses*
1/2 cup sweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Grape-Nuts Cereal

Dry Indregients:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* I had only granulated sugar on hand, hence the addition of molasses, but if you have brown sugar, I'd recommend using 1/3-1/2 cup cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar.

Preheat your oven to 350 ° F. Prepare a muffin tin using non-stick cooking spray, parchment paper or paper liners. Recipe should make about 16-18 regular-sized muffins. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients (pumpkin, banana, egg, sugar, molasses, oil, yogurt, applesauce and vanilla extract) and Grape-Nuts, stirring until well combined.  Let wet mixture stand about 5 minutes to soften the cereal.

Add flour mixture gradually, stirring until just incorporated. Mixture may be lumpy, but take care not to over-mix.

Fill muffin cups about 2/3-3/4 full (just over 1/4 cup batter per cup).  At this point, you can sprinkle the muffin tops with coarse brown sugar or wait to glaze or dust with powdered sugar when baked.  Bake for 12-18 minutes or until muffins appear set and a toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out clean.  Allow to cool in tin about 10 minutes before removing.

A few notes: I topped our muffins with powdered sugar for ease of freezing/travel but I think they'd be great with a light cinnamon or ginger glaze (just remember to glaze while still warm) or a brown sugar topping.

Remember, you can substitute brown sugar, as directed above, if you have it and I'm sure you can also use all-purpose flour in place of my ubiquitous bread flour (which is finally gone!).  This might actually help to solve the slight 'texture problem' I noted.  If, on the other hand, you like cakey muffins, go right ahead and use bread flour - they'll still be soft and tender, just a little less moist than your usual quick bread.

This post is linked at:
33 Shades of Green: Tasty Tuesdays
Lark's Country Heart: Made it on a Monday
Sweet As Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday


  1. These look so moist & full of flavor!

    I would love for you to post some of your recipes on "Made it on Monday" on my blog:

    Link is open for link up's Every Wed.-Sat. :)

  2. Oh I am so glad you linked up to
    "Made it on Monday"!

    I am so adding this recipe to my "to be baked soon" file :)

    I hope you will join in often!

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