This recipe was inspired by these Pistachio Chai Muffins I blogged about several years ago. I made them again recently and decided I could do better by adding more nutrition and less sugar.
Applesauce is a great natural sweetener and also allows you to reduce the amount of fat in baked goods without sacrificing moisture. Many recipes actually use applesauce as a replacement for butter, but that seems a bit extreme. I also employed a favorite trick for adding rolled oats to muffins which I discovered during my first few months of blogging. It’s well known that buttermilk is wonderful for baking, but it’s also great for tenderizing (I guess that’s why it’s good in marinades). So if you measure out the oats and buttermilk and let them soak for a few minutes, there will be absolutely no tough fibrous texture in your baked goods. I researched and wrote all about the wonders of buttermilk in this post. I have since learned even more about the fascinating world of butter, cultured butter, buttermilk, and making various dairy products at home. For example, did you know that the buttermilk we buy in the store is nothing like the buttermilk our great great grandparents made at home? That was a by-product of cultured cream that was left in the churn overnight (that’s the ‘cultured’ part) and then churned into butter the next day. I digress, but you can read more about buttermilk here! One other thing I like about this recipe is that all the ingredients are easy pantry staples. However, since I was out of chai tea bags I had to use cinnamon, cloves and ginger instead.
Onward to the recipe:
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped pistachios for the top
Preheat the oven to 375 and prepare the muffin tins. This recipe will make 12 large or 16 skimpy muffins.
Measure the rolled oats and buttermilk into your mixing bowl first so they can soak while you get everything else ready.
Add all the wet ingredients (egg, applesauce, oil, vanilla) to the oats and buttermilk and stir together. Measure the dry ingredients and mix into the wet until just combined. It’s a good idea to sift the dry ingredients together to remove any lumps and incorporate the leaveners into the flour, but not entirely necessary for this recipe.
Scoop the batter into muffin tins and top with chopped pistachios. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to cool a bit more before eating.
My son and husband agreed that this new recipe is superior because these muffins are very moist and yummy.