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Monday, August 10, 2015

Mixed Berry Muffins with Grapenuts




Two reasons for posting this recipe today:  the berries and the cereal.

First, the Grapenuts.  Having gotten a very good price on a  humongous box of Grapenuts (typical Costco sizing!), I have been finding new uses for this old-fashioned cereal. One of the things that has always drawn me to Grapenuts is the fact that it remains one of only a tiny handful of "mainstream" cereals with no added sugar. In fact, the total ingredients list (other than the usual vitamin and mineral additions) is: Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Salt, Dried Yeast. 



I am using the brand name here, because that is what I have. However, there are a lot of generic "crunchy wheat nugget" cereals out there that will work just fine for this recipe too.



And then the berries: There are so many berries at good prices in the produce section or (better yet) at the farmers' markets or (best of all) in the back yard. 

Sometimes, however, we may end up with small amounts of one or more kinds of berries that won't quite stretch to fill the measuring cup for a favorite recipe. 

Today, for example. My blueberries are still in their first real season of bearing, so I only had a handful of ripe berries available, and I had about the same amount of raspberries this morning, as the first of the two everbearing seasons taper off.  With some strawberries from the store I wanted to use up, this seemed like the perfect time to make muffins using all three. 



Muffins are a great summertime bread, as they bake in a third of the time of cakes and quick breads, keepingthe kitchen just a little cooler while still enjoying the fragrance, and flavor, of home-baked goodies.

 Mixed Berry Muffins



1 c Grapenuts
1 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 T canola oil
1/3 c nonfat dry milk powder
1 c all purpose unbleached flour
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 1/4 c mixed berries--raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries, whatever you have
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional) 




1.  Prepare a muffin tin by spraying with cooking spray or placing cupcake paper liners in each. This amount will make 12 to 15 muffins, depending on the size of your pans. (Don't worry if you have only one muffin pan; the rest of the batter can sit on the counter while the first batch is baking.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.



2.   Combine the Grapenuts and the applesauce in a large mixing bowl and set aside for 15 to 30 minutes.



3.  After the Grapenuts have had time to soften, stir in the sugar, egg, oil, and dry milk powder. Blend well.



4.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, and gently fold into the Grapenuts mixture, along with the berries and nuts. Stir only enough to moisten all the dry ingredients--too much mixing of muffin batter can lead to "tunnels" or toughness in the finished product.




5.  Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the muffins spring back when you press one lightly in the middle. 



6.  Remove the muffins from the tins and place on a cooling rack.