Friday, February 11

Oatmeal Apple Sauce Muffins- Soaked Grains

I should call these muffins "Snow Muffins" because while I was making them it was snowing outside! :) Due to 4 inclimate weather days, I got a fair amount of cooking in! I have also spent a good time learning about soaking grains which has been a new lesson for me and I hope to incorporate it in my regular baking/cooking. It all started with a friend asking my opinion on the whole ordeal. I knew that it was a subject that had crossed my mind before, as I have soaked oatmeal in the past. When I went on a search to get her answers is when I found how much I really did not know! Since there was quite a bit of time to do research,(due to the snow!) I felt like I am somewhat versed on the subject and find it only suiting to follow through on a few recipes to see the immediate results that come from soaking. Although, I can't see how the benefits of soaking is doing IN my body immediately, knowing there has been research done comforts the cockles of my little heart! :)
"Unfortunately, whole grains contain phytic acid in the bran of the grain which combines with key minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestinal tract. This makes it more difficult to digest properly. Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking will neutralize the phytic acid, releasing these nutrients for absorption.
This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins, including gluten. For many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion."
This is a good short version of what I learned about soaking your grains! If you are interested in learning more I found a really good source of information through a new blogger that I have just added to my favorites bar! She not only has good healthy recipes but she also believes similar values as me. I am already blessed by her knowledge! Passionate Homemaking

As for the recipe;

Oatmeal Apple Sauce Muffins
recipe adapted from: Pass the Sushi

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup reduced-fat milk
1 tbs of either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweet­ened applesauce
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. bak­ing powder
1/2 tsp. bak­ing soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
Nuts or raisins (optional)

1. Soaking- Combine the oats, flour, milk (i used almond milk) and lemon juice in a bowl. It's better to combined the oats and flour in one bowl then the milk and lemon juice in another. Let the milk mixture sit for a bit (basically like your making buttermilk) and then combine the two!
2. You will let this mixture sit for 12-24 hours on your counter (or I put it in my pantry to get it out of the way!) with lid on bowl.
3. When your ready to cook- Pre­heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muf­fin pan with non-stick cook­ing spray.
4. Com­bine the apple­sauce, agave, and egg, and mix until combined in one bowl.
5. In a sep­a­rate bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients.
6. Add wet ingre­di­ents to dry ingre­di­ents and mix until just com­bined.  The add all of it to the flour/oat mixture, combining just until all is moist. There may be a few oaty lumps but that is okay!
7. Add nuts or raisins, if desired. **Do not over mix the bat­ter or the muffins will be tough!** I added dried cranberries and loved the tartness!
8. Spoon bat­ter into 12 pre­pared muf­fin cups.
9. Bake in pre­heated oven for 20–25 min­utes.

I hope everyone is staying warm, and eating good! :)

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