Strawberry Oat Muffins

As much as it pains me to write this, strawberry season here in New England will soon come to an end. I’ve been hoarding containers of the organic red berries with the intention of using them in recipes… the problem is, I keep polishing them off before I have a chance to cook or bake with them (with the exception of my Strawberry Sauce, which was comprised of lackluster berries that necessitated culinary intervention).

That being the indisputable fact of the matter, I purposefully bought twice as many strawberries on my last grocery shopping trip than I usually do in a concerted effort to reserve some for these muffins. I had bookmarked a recipe for oatmeal blueberry muffins (linked below) from Joy The Baker a while back, and it seemed like the perfect recipe to use as a basis for my strawberry muffins.

I swapped half of the unsweetened applesauce for strawberry puree, which lent a lovely pink hue to the muffin batter. I opted for a modest amount of vanilla agave nectar; if you prefer a sweeter muffin, a few extra tablespoons should do the trick. As for the texture of these muffins, Joy nailed it with her recipe. The equal ratio of delicate whole wheat pastry flour to hearty oats combined with rich buttermilk, a touch of canola oil, and pureed fruit yields a soft and tender muffin.

This is a great base muffin recipe upon which substitutions can be made. Strawberries not your summer fruit of choice? Swap in equal amounts of another berry. Or how about mango? Maybe stone fruit such as nectarines or peaches? Come autumn, you could replace the strawberry puree with canned pumpkin (if it’s readily available by then – store shelves around here are still bereft of my beloved squash) and swap in chopped apple for the diced strawberries. Perhaps all of the above!

Strawberry Oat Muffins

adapted from Joy’s Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree (toss a few large hulled berries into a food processor and pulse until you have 1/2 cup of puree)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pure vanilla agave nectar, or other liquid sweetener of choice (honey, pure maple syrup, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup hulled & diced strawberries (measure after chopping)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with canola oil cooking spray or line with paper cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients (through cinnamon), and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the next 7 ingredients (applesauce through egg).
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until moistened. Gently fold in the diced strawberries.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop (for uniformly-sized muffins) to spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
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