I had the best muffin a few weeks ago– a lifesaving muffin. I was on a road trip, driving through Michigan, and having a really hard time finding quick road food that was not covered in cheese, or deep-fried, or both. I stopped at a little diner and the sign at the front advertised “Rise and Shine Bran Muffins” packed with pineapple chunks, apples and raisins, and it was like someone turned on the sun in the middle of the night. Night and day, muffin, you are the one . . . .
Now that it’s getting even darker and colder outside, I’ve been thinking about this muffin. And a tropical beach. But I digress…. I thought, ‘I can make that muffin! I’ll focus on the tropical flavors, and add a little texture with Hodgson Mill Multi Grain Cereal with Flaxseed and Soy.’
Start out by prepping your ingredients. Drain the pineapple from the can (or chop up a fresh one). Peel and grate the carrots finely (but beware the shredder–my knuckles are still recovering.) Zest the orange, if you’re using fresh. (Remember to aim for the bright orange part of the peel, and avoid zesting the white bits — the white part of the peel is bitter.)
Mix the wet ingredients together in one bowl, and the dry ingredients in another, then mix the two together. Don’t stir too much or the muffins will get tough—stir just until all the dry bits are gone.
Spoon this batter, which is thick and studded with pineapple chunks, into 12 muffin cups, and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, and you’ve secured some wonderful mornings for yourself this week.
These are incredibly moist, so I don’t recommend keeping them for more than two or three days. Bring extras to the office, or share with friends. It’s a great way to brighten anyone’s morning.
Rise and Shine Tropical Multigrain Muffins
1 cup Hodgson Mill Multi Grain Hot Cereal
1 cup Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour, Unbleached
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
½ cup milk or coconut milk (I recommend coconut milk, or 2%)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup diced fresh or canned pineapple, drained and chopped into ½-inch pieces (1 16oz can) (I recommend in juice.)
1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest or 1 teaspoon dried zest
¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional, but fantastic)
Preheat oven to 400o F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, or grease muffin cups.
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, except nuts. Blend wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix just until blended and there are no dry pieces. Do not over mix; batter will be thick. Gently fold in nuts, if using.
Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: Makes 12 muffins. Keep in sealed container in cool place for up to 3 days.