I'm not generally a big fan of whole wheat, but dietary restrictions of guests give me incentive to make it more palatable. Our mild winter--well, practically nonexistent winter--is giving us wild blackberries that are bigger and earlier than usual, so what the heck? I'll throw some into the whole wheat muffins.
First step? Find the blackberries. Easy enough in the country. Ours (the wild ones) grow along a berm between the fruit trees and vegetable garden #2. The hard part is picking them before my husband bushhogs them down. Well, that and avoiding the rattlesnakes. And the thorns. And the poison ivy.
Step 1: Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 400º. Oil or spray a muffin tin. (This recipe makes a dozen muffins.)
About 2 cups of blackberries
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar added)
1/4 cup Eggbeaters (or 1 egg)
2 T. honey
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cardamom
Step 2: Dry ingredients
Rinse the blackberries well in cold water.
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Don't be afraid to use plenty of spices. Whole wheat tries to muscle out everything else, so be bold on the flavorings.
Step 3: Wet ingredients
Mix the milk, egg beaters, applesauce, and honey.
Step 4: Put it together
Add the dry ingredients to the wet; mix until just moistened. Overbeating will make these tough, and as I might have mentioned, whole wheat doesn't need another reason to be dry.
Step 5: Fill the muffin tins
To ensure even distribution of the blackberries, I filled each tin about half full. Then I dropped four or five blackberries onto the batter. Finish filling the tins, and drop another three or four on top, pressing them into the batter a bit.
Step 6: Bake
Bake at 400º for 20 minutes. (Note: The blackberries will turn red as they cook.)
Step 7: Serve
They're good hot, but they keep well, too, so a couple with a banana will make a pretty good starter on the run for people who don't like to eat breakfast but who need to maintain a regular carb count.
Step 8: Tips
This is a REALLY adaptable recipe. I've added raisins, chopped prunes, chopped candied ginger, nuts, and blueberries. I think you could add chocolate chips. You can omit the cardamom. You can use 1/3 cup of oil instead of the applesauce. I've used prepared applesauce and I've processed fresh apples. I've thought about adding drained crushed pineapple, or adding a teaspoon of stevia, but I haven't yet.
I guess the lesson is, if it's whole wheat, you can't really make it much worse.
Did I mention I'm not a big fan of whole wheat?