Two years ago we did an elimination diet in an attempt to identify food allergies or intolerances that may be causing our eldest's eczema. We did it as a family because it was the easiest way to avoid cross-contamination and the simplest way to show my then 3 year old, solidarity. Let me tell ya, it was a painful 42 days.
If you are not familiar with elimination diets, it is a temporary 'diet' where you abstain from a pretty extensive list of foods that your body may be allergic or intolerant to, thereby 'cleanse' the body of it, then reintroduce items individually in a rational and monitored way. Common items removed are gluten, eggs, dairy, soy sauce (hello. we're Chinese), nightshade vegetables including tomatoes and eggplants, nuts, GMOs like corn and soy products (tofu) and more. Unfortunately the elimination diet was unsuccessful for us in pin-pointing specific food triggers but that's a whole other (sob) story.
The silver lining is that it was an eye-opening experience as far as hyper-focusing me on what is actually in our food. And once my eyes were opened, it encouraged me to explore alternative options in all areas of my cooking and baking. Which brings me to this muffin. Because you're here for the muffins, right?
This is a gold star muffin recipe! I use it as a base and adapt for different spices and additions. In fact, I posted a double chocolate variation of this muffin recipe a little while back in my "healthy double chocolate muffins" post. The reason I adore this recipe is that it begins with walnuts and rolled oats ground into a coarse flour which gives the muffins substance, keeping you full longer because of the healthy oils in the walnuts and the heartiness of the oats. Buckwheat flour is used which happens to make this a gluten-free recipe. (You can get buckwheat flour at most grocery stores now usually in the gluten free aisle, or at stores selling bulk items).
And the thing is, these muffins taste really good. I wouldn't be bothered to make them routinely if my 5 and 2 year olds did not gobble them up! The muffins themselves are only lightly sweetened (naturally with dates and bananas) with a wee sprinkling of sweet oat crumble on top which strikes that perfect balance for both grown-ups and kids. This is one of those treasured recipes that is both nourishing and indulgent. I would never again make muffins that call for all-purpose flour and refined white sugar as it's primary ingredients. I mean there is a time and place for that (ahem, my favorite chocolate chip cookies and pie), just not here. Muffins have a bad rap as the evil breakfast food loaded with hidden fat and sugar, but it doesn't have to! I hope you like this one.
MAKE IN ADVANCE: You can prepare the batter and freeze all, or a portion thereof, in a freezer-safe container for up to a month or so. The oat crumble mixture is frozen too but separately. When ready to enjoy for breakfast the next day, thaw the batter and topping in the refrigerator overnight just before you go to bed. In the morning, scoop batter into a lined muffin tin, add fresh blueberries, top with oat crumble and bake exactly the same way (400f for 18-20 minutes).
Blueberry Breakfast Muffins with Oat Crumble
Recipe makes 12 large or 10 large bakery style muffins. Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories' "Turmeric Breakfast Muffins".
1C (100g) walnuts (or pecans)
1C (85g) old-fashion rolled oats (use gluten free if intolerant)
2/3C (90g) buckwheat flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2/3C (160ml) plain yogurt or kefir or buttermilk
1/3C (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe bananas (about 1C)
6-7 soft dried dates, pitted
3 large eggs, whisked
Handful of fresh blueberries (or other seasonal berries)
1 1/2 tbsp raw granulated sugar
1/2 C (45g) old-fashion rolled oats (use gluten free if intolerant)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, liquid state
1. Preheat oven to 400f. Line or grease muffin tin.
2. Add walnuts and rolled oats into a food processor and pulse into a coarse flour. Transfer to a large bowl and add in the remaining dry ingredients. Mix well with a whisk.
3. Using a blender, add all the wet ingredients except the eggs. Blend until a smooth consistency is achieved.
4. Mix in the whisked eggs.
5. Stir the wet ingredients into the bowl holding the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, making sure not to overmix.
6. Divide the mixture into the muffin tin. Top each muffin with 3-5 blueberries and a sprinkle of oat crumble. Bake 18-20 minutes. Use a skewer to test doneness by inserting it in the center - it should emerge slightly moist with some crumbs hanging on. Do not over bake or you will have sad, dry muffins and I don't want you to have sad, dry muffins.