Hearty granola muffins (my first and last granola recipe)

I respect people who eat healthy. I really do. We just don’t subscribe to the same existential philosophy.

After looking death in the eye one too many times, I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to food, sex, and travel, you can’t pull your punches. Life is too short not to take a bite out of that brownie that you crave every day on your way to work. It’s too short not to go bungee jumping or ostrich racing or to try the local food trucks in your area.

Right now, I’m overweight because of the medications I am on. Up until I was put on these medications, I always ate what I wanted and maintained a healthy weight using portion control. If you love butter, eat butter. Just don’t eat a stick of butter in one meal.

So, with that introduction, I’m going to say this. You’re not going to see a lot of healthy eating recipes on my blog. This blog isn’t here to teach you how to count calories. When I post recipes on this blog, I post them because they’re the kind of food that I would give to the people I love on a special occasion. It’s love food. 

That said, today I have a granola muffin recipe that is going to blow your mind. It is totally healthy, chock-full of protein, and tastes amazing. One muffin is filling enough to carry you from breakfast to lunch. It also not too sweet, for those of you out there who hate muffins that taste like cupcakes.

I was inspired by, what I think is the best granola, nay, best cereal in the entire world! It’s Trader Joe’s Organic Granny’s Apple Granola Cereal. You can get it in any Trader Joe’s. I’ve been eating this stuff since I first left college and got my own place and needed a cheap source of protein. It’s filled with nuts, dried apples, raisins, plus all the typical granola stuff. It’s sweet and tart and delicious. It looks like this:

I've tried many cereals and none compare

I’ve tried many cereals and none compare

I was munching on it today and I had the crazy idea that I needed to bake with it. Just the thought of having my favorite cereal baked into a little package that I could take on-the-go made me giddy.

When I get excited about anything, I must try it. It is just the way I am. So, I set out to find a simple way to integrate my favorite granola into a baking recipe. I decided to go with muffins and I settled on this recipe. What I like about the recipe is that the ratio of granola to everything else is very high. I wanted my granola to be the star. The first thing the recipe says is this:

“When you mix together the dry ingredients for these muffins you might think the recipe is a mistake. There is more granola than flour and it looks like the whole mixture might not hold together.

Trust me this is right.”

So I trusted the recipe and mixed all the dry ingredients together.

1 1/2 cups granola
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

What I got was a bowl full of granola that looked like it was dusted with flour:

Say wha?

Say wha?

Interesting.

Then I moved on and mixed the wet ingredients together in another bowl. The original recipe reads as follows:

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

I decided to change it up a bit. All I had in the refrigerator was skim milk and nonfat yogurt, so I knew I would need a little bit more oil. I softened 2 tablespoons of butter and added it. This is because the recipe calls for whole milk and whole fat yogurt so it probably needs some oil or fat.

photo 3

I mixed together the wet and dry ingredients until the consistency looked like wet oatmeal of some sort.

photo 4

Then, I spooned the batter out into a muffin pan with paper cups in it. You can actually use a muffin pan without the paper cups, just make sure you butter or grease the pan before you spoon in the batter. This recipe is not a high yield recipe. The original recipe only yielded 10 muffins. I was only able to get 8 muffins from my batter. Also, make sure you fill up the cups fairly high. Because there is so much granola weighing down the batter, the muffins won’t “puff” as much (don’t worry, they’ll still be nice and light, though).

photo (8)

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-22 minutes until a tester comes out clean. They should look like this (just slightly golden on top):

photo 5

At any point in the baking, feel free to throw 1/2 cup of your favorite berries or fruit in. Just make sure they’re washed and well drained. Blueberries would work great. I didn’t do that for mine because my granola already has apple and raisin in it.

Ta da!

Ta da!

And there you have it! The perfect, not-too-sweet, fairly healthy, chock-full-of-protein breakfast muffin that should keep you until lunch…and if it doesn’t, you don’t have to feel guilty about having seconds!

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One thought on “Hearty granola muffins (my first and last granola recipe)

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