Today was a much anticipated holiday for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. This is one of a couple holidays that I have off and Pete doesn’t. As much as I love time with my husband, it’s kind of fun having a Monday where I can see him off to work and then have the day to myself to spend however it ends up unfolding.
The temp outside was -9 with enough of a wind to make it feel much colder. This is rescue dog Otis’ second winter, but his first with us and the first sub-zero temps we’ve experienced with him. He’s quite hardy in the cold, but I wasn’t sure how far below zero he could comfortably handle. So I decided today would be a walk with him as opposed to a run, and it would need to wait until mid-day when it might be a couple degrees warmer. I didn’t want my work-out to be without the company of this special dog, so I reluctantly decided on some indoor miles on the dreaded treadmill. Otis on the couch, President Obama’s second term inauguration on the TV, and me on my least favorite piece of exercise equipment.
Yesterday Trader Joe’s had some beautiful organic blueberries. Plump and dark, looking like they had just been picked, then plunked into a metal pail on a hot summer day. I had to have them! A big handful made their way into my post-workout morning oatmeal, but I wanted to capture that flavor into something baked. And with oatmeal.
My first vegan cookbook is still one of my favorites, Diet for a New World, by John Robbins. I refer to it frequently and I think every recipe I’ve tried from it has been a keeper. I had been paging through it recently for a granola recipe to share with a friend from work who had been talking about making granola from scratch. It was the first place I looked for inspiration with blueberries and oatmeal and I needn’t look any further. Ocean’s Blueberry Orange Muffins (Ocean is the cookbook author’s son). I had all the ingredients on hand and the recipe sounded delicious! The scent of orange zest wafted through the house as the muffins baked. After that walk with Otis once the temp had risen to -1 (I don’t think the wind chill had warmed at all though), I sampled one—it was yumminess bursting with blueberries, sunshiny orange, and the nuttiness of the oats. Yes, another keeper! Enjoy!
Ocean’s Blueberry Orange Muffins
from Diet for a New World by John Robbins
Makes 1 dozen muffins
1 ½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice (or store bought non-from-concentrate)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons raw tahini
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or half w.w. pastry and half white whole wheat flour)
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin pan.
Put the orange juice, oil, syrup, tahini, and orange zest into a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.
Whisk the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until well combined. Add the orange juice mixture and combine, using as few strokes as possible so you do not overmix the batter. Fold in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about three quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan, then cool completely on wire rack.