Sweet. Salty. Sour. Bitter. Every exquisite bite you’ve ever tasted has likely been the result of all of these mouthwatering tastes coming together in the right balance. Unlike cooking, baking requires precise measurement to achieve the desired result. Celebrating holidays, or any season from Memorial Day to Independence Day to New Years Day is the time of year that I find myself baking the most, inspired by memories of childhood.
Through the years, my sister, brother, and I played a huge part in helping my mother prepare for holiday meals from appetizers to main courses to dessert. With all the preparation that goes in to any holiday meal, the next morning has become much more about gratitude, as I realize I’ve gleaned my children’s spirit simply by watching them smile. In anticipation of the pandemonium, I share with you this healthful mini-muffin recipe made with only whole, plant-based ingredients that you can prepare a day or two in advance. Keep them in the fridge and then enjoy them for breakfast, brunch, or even an afternoon snack. It’s a snack you can feel good about, and that is most definitely exquisite!
3 cups oat bran
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
juice of one lemon
5 brown bananas
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor and fill a sprayed mini-muffin pan to the top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Makes 24 mini muffins.
Top with fresh cranberry, raspberry, or strawberry jam. For the jam:
2-4 cups fresh fruit
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
zest and juice of one orange
Simmer on the stovetop for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally until desired consistency.
This article was printed in the Reading Eagle on December 18, 2013 and has been reprinted with permission from the author.