I’ve been in a breakfast rut lately. Between oatmeal, muesli and some fruit I haven’t broken my pattern in a few weeks. However with a newly completed kitchen, all the kitchen boxes unpacked and a freezer still full of last summer’s berries I decided to climb out of my rut and get baking.
I was at Whole Foods last week and picked up my favorite 7-grain cereal from the bulk bin. I just love the bulk bins. You can get so many grains at a great price. Since I have yet to make it down the aisle without bumping someone with my basket or receiving an accidental elbow I don’t worry too much about lack of turnover. The grains seem to fly off the shelf there.
I cooked up a big batch 7-grain cereal for us to eat throughout this week and I thought it would make a good addition to the muffin batter. Then I decided on a blackberry and pecan combo. I used butter this time, but next time, when I have fresh berries, I want to try these muffins with coconut oil. I was worried the coconut oil would solidify in the batter when I added the frozen berries since this has happened to me before.
The muffins baked up beautifully. They have a hearty, yet soft texture on the inside and are overflowing with tart berries. The pecans add a toasty crunch with each bite. This combo would work for a lot of different grain cereals, even steel cut oats, and with a lot of different berry/nut combos. I like this one because the muffin itself is sweet, but the blackberries add a strong pucker effect because they are a tart variety.
As of this week, the breakfast pattern has been broken, at least for a little while.
7-Grain Blackberry Pecan Muffins
1 cup milk ½ cup grain cereal, cooked ¼ cup butter, melted 1 egg ½ cup minimally refined sugar (I used mascavo) 2 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt 2 cups white whole wheat flour 1 ½ cup frozen blackberries 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease the bottoms of a 12 serving muffin pan. In a bowl, whisk together the milk and cooked cereal. Stir in the butter, egg and sugar. Add the baking powder and salt and then gradually stir in the flour. Stir just until combined, the batter will be very thick. Gently stir in berries and nuts.
Divide batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in muffin pan for about 5 minutes and remove to a cooking rack or enjoy warm.
Our fridge is finally in its appropriate spot and the kitchen is complete! I still can’t get over all the space I have. I love that I have to actually take a few steps to walk to the fridge from the stove! I’m looking forward to a lot more baking now that I have all this counter space for kneading, mixing and tossing around ingredients.
Lori Rice is a freelance writer, recipe developer, food photographer and nutritional scientist. Fake Food Free is a creative outlet that allows her to connect with people from around the world who share a love of travel, food culture and cooking.