Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes

These wonderful pancakes were a nice seasonal alternative to our usual blueberry buttermilk pancakes. They had a fabulous texture from the oats and were very light and fluffy.

The recipe was adapted from Gourmet via Epicurious.com. I used rolled oats instead of quick-cooking oats and Juici apples instead of Granny Smith. I also doubled the recipe.

We ate them topped with maple syrup and fresh apple chunks but they would also be delicious with sautéed apples. I may also use all whole wheat pastry flour next time and omit the all-purpose flour completely.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 4 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups firmly packed peeled and coarsely grated Granny Smith apple, excess juice squeezed out (I used a 1 3/4 Juici apples)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (can substitute whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil plus additional for brushing the griddle (I used cooking oil spray on the griddle)
  • maple syrup, for serving
  • apple chunks or sautéed apples, for serving, optional
  1. In a bowl whisk together 2 cups of the buttermilk and the oats and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
  2. While the oats are soaking, peel and grate the apples. (I squeezed out the juice according to the original recipe but may skip this step next time.)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and the grated apple.
  4. Stir in the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, 4 tablespoons of oil, the oats mixture, and the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk; mix well.
  5. Heat a griddle over moderate heat until it is hot enough to make drops of water scatter over its surface. Brush it with the additional oil, or spray with cooking oil spray, and drop the batter by half-filled 1/4-cup measures onto it.
  6. Cook the pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden and cooked through. Serve the pancakes with syrup and apple garnishes, as desired.

Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins With Orange Streusel

I love a good, hearty muffin for a special breakfast. Especially if it’s warm from the oven. 🙂 These muffins were moist, earthy, and wholesome. The recipe made 24 muffins- so I was able to freeze a dozen of them for a busy day. Woo hoo! Nice. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from the The New York Times, contributed by Julia Moskin. I weighed the dry ingredients, omitted the nuts, baked the muffins in one large oven in a single batch, and modified the baking time for a convection oven.

Yield: 24 standard muffins

For the Muffins:

  • 2 cups/240 g all-purpose flour, more as needed
  • ⅔ cup/75 g whole wheat flour or wheat germ, preferably toasted
  • ⅔ cup/92 g fine-ground yellow cornmeal
  • ⅔ cup/66 g rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • ⅔ cup/142 g packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp cinnamon (or 2 tsp cinnamon & 2 tsp nutmeg or allspice)
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • 1 ¾ cups/414 ml buttermilk, more as needed
  • 1 ⅓ cup/315 ml coconut oil, or neutral oil like safflower or canola
  • ⅔ cup/158 ml maple syrup
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups/198 g grated carrots or tart apple (I grated the carrots in a food processor.)
  • 1 ½ cups/255 g blueberries (I used frozen wild blueberries.)
  • 1 cup/113 g chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

For the Streusel:

  • ⅓ cup/71 grams packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup/59 ml coconut oil or cold unsalted butter
  • ½ cup/60 g all-purpose flour
  • finely grated zest from 1 large orange (about 1 1/2 T)
  1. Make the muffins: In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flours, cornmeal, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, mix the wet ingredients: buttermilk, oil, maple syrup and eggs.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently mix just until blended. Don’t worry about a few lumps or streaks of flour.
  4. Stir in the carrots, blueberries and nuts if using. (If you’d like, reserve a handful of blueberries for sprinkling on top of the muffins just before baking.)
  5. Set batter aside at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes to allow flours to absorb the liquid. Check batter after 15 minutes by giving it a light stir. It should be thick, not runny (this will help the muffins rise). Thin with a little more buttermilk or thicken by adding 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Set aside for 5 minutes more, check and adjust texture again, and repeat until batter is thick and fluffy.
  6. Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection, and place rack in top third of oven.
  7. Butter or spray two muffin tins (regular or jumbo), or line the cups with paper liners. Make sure to also butter or spray the top surface of the tin to help the muffins release.
  8. Make the streusel if using: In a small bowl, mix and pinch all the ingredients together until blended and crumbly. (If using butter, cut into small pieces first.)
  9. Using an ice-cream scoop or small ladle, divide thick batter among muffin cups, filling almost to the top. Mound the batter slightly in the center of each cup; this will help make a domed muffin top. If you reserved blueberries for topping, press them lightly into the muffins. Top with streusel, using your fingers to divide streusel over batter and press lightly onto the surface.
  10. Place one muffin tin in oven (or both tins if using a large oven) and reduce heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 17 minutes on convection, or up to 20 minutes in a standard oven, until a tester inserted into center of muffin comes out moist but clean. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
  11. Cool muffins in pan on rack, then remove from tin.
  12. If baking one batch at a time, repeat with remaining batter. (If there is not enough batter remaining to fill all the cups, fill every other cup with batter. Pour water into the empty cups to protect the pan in the oven.)

Note: To freeze extra muffins, wrap them individually in aluminum foil. Reheat, still wrapped, in a 300-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Or unwrap and reheat in a microwave.

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Oat Bran Bread

This is the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwich bread. Super moist whole grain bread with subtle sweetness.

The original recipe made 3 loaves which seemed like a little much to me… I made half the recipe and baked it in my favorite Pullman loaf pan. Perfect!

This recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins and Breads by Kathleen King. I doubled the wheat bran in lieu of using wheat germ, used 1 percent milk in lieu of skim, and made half the recipe as a Pullman loaf.

Yield: Makes 1 Pullman loaf (double the recipe makes 3 standard loaves)

  • 1 1/8 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 3/4 cups skim or 1 percent milk
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 T coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cups oat bran
  • 1 whole wheat flour
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 2 T wheat bran
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, separated
  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water. Stir until dissolved and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat milk and add molasses, oil, and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together oat bran, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, and 1 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour.
  4. Add cooled milk mixture and oat bran-flour mixture to yeast mixture. Beat for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic.
  7. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl; brush top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk. (I placed mine in a proofing oven for 1+ hours.)
  8. Punch down the dough and form into a loaf. Put into a greased Pullman loaf pan.
  9. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. (I placed mine in a proofing oven for 1+ hours.)
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees, preferably on convection, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with your finger.

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Whole-Grain Stuffing with Spinach, Mushrooms, & Fontina

My son was begging me to make the stuffing muffins that I served last Thanksgiving. I had to break his heart to try this recipe because it could also double as a vegetarian main dish. I also loved that it incorporated farro- a new love of mine. Mushrooms, greens, and cheese… What’s not to like? It had a really special and earthy taste.

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Kay Chun. I substituted one pound of organic baby spinach for the mustard greens, increased the amount of garlic, and used Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro. I started prepping the ingredients two days before Thanksgiving (steps 2-5, as well as grating the cheese), and assembled and baked the complete dish on the big day.

Yield: Serves 12

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 cup farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro)
  • 1 pound whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1-inch dice (8 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 leeks, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound mustard greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped (12 packed cups) or organic baby spinach (left intact)
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, low-sodium chicken broth, vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese (6 ounces), separated
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a 4-quart baking dish.
  2. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the farro until al dente, about 20 minutes. (I cooked my par cooked farro according to the package directions.) Drain well; transfer to a very large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, spread the bread on a large baking sheet and toast until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl. (I did this ahead of time and stored the toasted bread in a ziplock bag.)
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the greens in batches and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the bowl.
  5. In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add half of the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of oil and mushrooms.
  6. Add the stock, lemon juice, eggs, scallions and 1 cup of the cheese to the bowl and mix well.
  7. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Scatter the remaining cheese on top and bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes longer, until golden.

Note: The assembled stuffing can be covered and refrigerated overnight.

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Whole Wheat-Bartlett Pear Crumb Cake

This cake was nutty, earthy, and really really moist. The entire house smelled absolutely incredible while it baked- much of the credit should be given to the orange zest in the batter. Even more wonderful orange flavor was added after the cake was removed from the oven when fresh orange juice was drizzled all over the top. Fabulous!

This recipe was adapted from Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda. I weighed whole roasted almonds and then finely ground them in a mini food processor instead of using store-bought almond flour. I used fat-free Greek yogurt instead of whole plain yogurt. I also substituted oat bran for the toasted wheat germ in the original recipe. Wheat bran or ground flaxseed would also work as substitutes. I also baked the cake in a 9-inch springform pan instead of a 10-inch cake pan.

The authors offer seasonal adaptations to this recipe by substituting blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, apricots, peaches, or figs for the pears. Yummy!

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 55 g (1/2 cup plus 2 T) almond flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup plus 2 T) rolled oats
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 T oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) sliced almonds

For the Cake:

  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 55 g (3/4 cup) oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) almond flour
  • 3 T rye flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt (I used fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • zest of 1 orange, *fruit reserved*
  • 3 pears, peeled and thickly sliced into 6 pieces each (I used Bartlett pears)

IMG_0372

To Make the Topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, oats, granulated sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt. Blend with a pastry blender until homogenous.
  2. Add sliced almonds and blend with your fingers. Refrigerate until needed.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line and grease a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.
  4. Pause mixing and all the all-purpose flour, wheat germ, almond flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and orange zest. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not over mix!
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the pears.
  6. Top with the crumble, allowing a little fruit to poke through.
  7. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or up to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake!
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan; then squeeze the orange over the entire cake.
  9. Remove the side of the pan and gently pull the parchment paper from every nook and cranny of the cake.

Note: This cake is best served the day it is made, but it will keep, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 days at room temperature.

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