April 02, 2014

strawberry lemon oat muffins

Over the past couple years, my free time for baking has been drastically reduced.

When James was a baby I would clean, cook, and bake during his nap times. Once he actually started (kind of) going to bed at a decent time at night I could stay up late and bake every once in a while. Then came Eleanor.

Newborns really never allow any down time to bake. Pretty much any time Elle is sleeping I am frantically trying to catch up on house work or sleep. But, as Elle is moving out of the newborn stage and starting to take (slightly) more regular naps, I sometimes plop James on the counter and have him "help" me with my baking.

Now that I am expecting baby number three, I often use Eleanor's nap times as a "rest time" (aka Chuck the Truck) for James and nap time for me. I am just so exhausted all the time.

The other day was an exception to the norm, however. James had been a crank all day long and hadn't slept well the night before, so I had him take a nap. Of course, the kiddos didn't coordinate their naps because that would have been too convenient, so Elle was up with me while brother slept.

I decided to bake anyway.

I plopped Eleanor on the counter, gave her some measuring cups, and let her cover herself with flour and oats. It was great. Unlike James, my high-maintenance baking buddy, we didn't have to spend ten minutes deciding which apron to wear, she didn't notice when I poured almost all the ingredients in myself, and she didn't even try to eat the batter like James always does.


Best of all, I didn't have to stay up late into the night making these muffins that I had dreamed up.

Strawberry Lemon Oat Muffins
makes one dozen muffins

1 1/2 c flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup all-purpose)
1/2 c oat flour (I just whirl up some oats in my food processor)
1/2 c old-fashioned oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c coconut oil
3/4 brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c yogurt*
1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 very juicy lemon, or 2 small lemons)
1 1/2 c diced strawberries
a couple tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or grease with coconut oil.
Combine first seven ingredients (flours through lemon zest) in a medium bowl, set aside.
Melt the coconut oil and place in a large bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar, eggs one at a time, yogurt, and lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in strawberries.
Scoop batter into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let sit in the tin for a couple minutes before running a knife around the muffins and removing them from the tin. Let cool completely on a wire rack, or eat them while nice and warm.

*plain, vanilla, or lemon should work; if it is sweetened you may want to reduce the brown sugar by a couple tablespoons


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