One of my best friends came into town for Thanksgiving and we were going to pick her up at the airport. I knew she’d be hungry so I baked these muffins. Sure enough, her first text when her flight landed was: Hungarian. Which is, of course, how we tell each other we’re hungry. After finding her in the holiday airport traffic behind an Alamo bus she settled into the back seat of our car and ate the muffin. She loved it, and I loved having her back in town. It was a great start to the holiday week.
I have been on the hunt for a healthy(ish) muffin a for a little over a year. I tried a bunch of whole grain and bran recipes and couldn’t find one I liked. They all seemed wrong: too sweet, too heavy, too healthy, so boring. I had bought the Valerie Confections cookbook on a whim, having somehow never heard of Valerie Confections until someone said something about it on Instagram or Twitter or somewhere on the world wide web. The book has quickly become a favorite (and was included in my gift guide). I keep trying recipes from the book and they keep being perfect. It took me a while to notice the muffin recipe amid all of the layer cakes, truffles, and galettes. I initially liked that the recipe had a very long list of ingredients, which can sometimes be an indication of a great recipe. Why would you subject people to this kind of ingredient hunt if the results were not worth it?
These are easily my favorite grainy muffin. They are stupendous in the first few hours out of the oven, but still delicious on the second and even third day. The millet adds a pleasant crunch to each bite. The apricots add tartness. These would be nice to make for family and friends at this time of year when we’re all looking for treats but sometimes need to balance out the other indulgences. It is part of the reason I made these for my friend. I knew I would take her to eat my favorite Italian beef, and fried mozzarella, and pizza, because that is how we roll, so we had to balance it out somehow.
Multigrain Muffins (from Sweet by Valerie Gordon)
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup raw almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup millet
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 2/3 cup dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners.
Whisk together the whole wheat flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the oats and millet.
Gently whisk the eggs, yogurt, oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla paste, and buttermilk in a medium bowl until just combined. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Mash the bananas in a small bowl, then fold into the batter, along with the chopped fruit, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, scoop about 1/2 cup batter into each muffin cup. Pick up the muffin tin and knock it firmly against the work surface a couple of times to level the batter and release any air pockets.
Bake the muffins for 25 minutes; do not open the oven door to check before 25 minutes, or the muffins will sink. Then insert a toothpick in the center of a muffin to check, and remove the muffins from the oven when it comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes.