About this recipe:Most modern-day muffins should be ashamed – they're oversized, lacking in fibre, loaded with fat and packed with sugar. These tender golden muffins are bundles of whole grains that will please your heart and your palate.
85g (3oz) rolled oats
100g (3½oz) plain flour
85g (3oz) wholemeal flour
35g (1¼oz) wheatgerm, preferably toasted
6½ tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
350ml (12fl oz) buttermilk
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium egg
grated zest of 2 oranges
115g (4oz) dried cherries
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:40min › Ready in:55min
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Lightly coat a 12-hole American-style muffin tray with cooking spray or a teaspoon of olive oil; each hole should be about 6cm (2½in) diameter. Spread out the oats in a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.
Add the plain and wholemeal flours, wheatgerm, 5½ tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda to the oats, stirring to combine. Whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg and orange zest in a small bowl until blended.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the cherries.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with ¼ teaspoon of sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the tray to a wire rack to cool.
Some more ideas
*For muffins with a lemon flavour substitute grated lemon zest for the orange zest. *Add chopped dates or dried apples to the mixture. *Instead of dried cherries, use dried cranberries or raisins.
*These muffins are a good source of fibre, making them a worthy part of the morning meal. *Using olive oil in the mixture increases the amount of good monounsaturated fat. Most shop-bought muffins have far too much saturated fat.