Morning Oatmeal Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Topped With Granola

If you’re a busy parent looking for a quick, nutritional and tasty morning snack that everyone will enjoy, consider these fantastic oatmeal muffins. Besides being a breeze to prepare, these tantalizing and filling muffins freeze well and thaw out quickly, so they are readily available whenever you need them.

Since this particular recipe yields 8 large or 16 small muffins, consider doubling this recipe to keep plenty on hand. If you don’t, you may regret it! You can make your muffins even more exciting by adding optional ingredients such as nuts and dried or fresh fruit. So say goodbye to expensive granola bars, donuts and other sugary breakfast foods that don’t give your children the energy they need, and show them you care with these fun and delicious treats. You’ll be glad you gave these morning oatmeal muffins a try.

Morning Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (this can also be made by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar to regular milk)
1 cup quick oats or old fashioned uncooked oats
¼ cup sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
3 Tablespoons melted shortening
¾ cup raisins, cranberries or other dried fruit (optional)
¼ cup nuts, such as chopped pecans or sliced almonds (optional)
1 cup chopped fruit, such as apples or peaches (optional)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease muffin tins or use parchment backing cups. Pour buttermilk over rolled oats and let stand a few minutes.

In the meantime, sift together the dry ingredients and add to the rolled oats mixture with the optional ingredients such as the raisins, nuts and/or other dried fruit.

Then add in the beaten egg, stirring lightly and fold into melted shortening.

Fill the greased muffin pans 2/3 full (or use paper liners) and put in the preheated oven for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins. Top with additional chopped nuts, oats and/or fruit, if desired.

To save the leftover muffins for the week, you can store them in a sealed container on the countertop or in the refrigerator. To freeze, place them into separate freezer bags or containers, and keep in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw frozen muffins, just reheat each one individually for about 20 seconds in the microwave, or simply let them sit out overnight on the counter top or in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

 

Walnut “Always Gets Them Out of Bed” Bread #DiamondNuts


   Diamond of California Walnut Bread      

Nuts, baking, and making memories

What is it about a smell that is so evocative of childhood? It’s been said that an odor has the ability to conjure up memories more quickly than any other sensory input.

My great-grandmother – known to us as “Granny” (original, right?) – was perhaps the greatest baker in all creation, and the aromas in her kitchen testified to that. During the holidays, she spent hours baking. What she turned out was the stuff of legends.

Those were simpler days, when stay-at-home moms – or grandmothers, or great-grandmothers – could invest time and love in preparing goodies for their families. These days, time is at a premium for multitasking moms, but love is not in short supply. How can a busy, ambitious mom create memories for her family much as Granny did, and do it in the time she has available to her?

In the spirit of not reinventing the wheel, Mom can rely on time-honored and hallowed family recipes. I’d like to share an old family recipe, handed down for generations, which uses Diamond of California nuts. Diamond of California nuts, producer of premium quality nuts since 1912, is by far the most popular brand of nuts for year-round meal preparation, baking and natural snacking.

Here is your opportunity to make memories, just as Granny did. With the kitchen being the heart of any home, imagine what it would be like this holiday season when your baking prowess, using this time-tested recipe, pulls your family together for some sweet good times. Granted, this is an old recipe, but it hasn’t been around as long as Diamond of California nuts. There is something about tradition that holds families together, and here is your opportunity to be one link in that long line of gifted bakers. Keep tradition alive! And before you balk at being considered “gifted,” understand that this recipe is simple enough to make you come across as a kitchen genius, a domestic goddess. Not bad for a morning’s work!

The key, of course, is the quality of the ingredients, and Diamond of California nuts are essential. After all, if it was the only nut good enough for your mom’s mom’s recipes, it is the only one that should be in yours. After one hundred years – remember these have been acknowledged as the best-recognized premium quality nuts since 1912 – we have a product that has stood the test of time.

Families gather for holidays, and tradition dictates that everyone should expect the same familiar dishes they’ve experienced since they were kids. I would never tempt fate during such an important time of the year. So, we are not going to tinker with this recipe. We are going to keep it the same, using Diamond of California nuts, easily found in the baking aisle.

It’s called Walnut “Always Gets Them Out of Bed” Bread. The name says it all. One whiff of what’s happening in the oven and even the most sluggish kid will follow his or her nose. It’s a magnet effect. Enjoy!

 

Walnut “Always Gets Them Out of Bed” Bread

 

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups chopped Diamond of California walnuts, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup milk
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe banana

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. Combine egg, milk, oil and vanilla; blend well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup mashed ripe banana. Spoon into greased pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup walnuts.

Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Diamond of California