Saturday, June 15, 2013

Savory Pepper Cheddar Oat Muffins

This week has been full of busy nights, working a bit later than usual to stay on top of everything. It's weeks like this when what we eat for dinner matters most, fueling us through and keeping us healthy. But sometimes there just doesn't seem to be enough time or energy left in the day to prepare an entire dinner from scratch. As I mention often on this blog, we have allergies to preservatives and artificial food additives, so most processed foods aren't an option for us. This is a great thing! And it forces us to rely on whole/real food, but it can make shortcut meals more challenging.

There are a couple of local, Australian organic soups on grocery store shelves that I've been buying a bit more often lately to have on hand for busy nights. The soup flavors are creative, with generous portions of vegetables, and they're filling enough to leave us both satisfied. One night this week I grabbed a couple of these soups and decided to make a bit of an effort with homemade muffins to serve alongside. It took very little time to throw the ingredients together and put them in the oven as soon as we got home from work. By the time we'd washed the mixing bowl, set the table, and warmed up the soups, the muffins were ready to eat, and made our shortcut soup dinner taste homemade.

Pepper & Cheddar Oat Muffins @ SouthernSpoon blog
small batch savory muffins with oats, pepper, herbs, and cheddar

The hubs is looking over my shoulder as I write this post and insists that *mustard is the main drawcard* for these muffins, and that I should call them Mustard Cheese Muffins. Such a man. This guy eats mustard from a spoon. I kindly overruled and insisted back that Mustard Cheese Muffins is perhaps not the most attractive recipe title. But he does have a point-- the little bit of mustard in these savory muffins, along with the mix of freshly ground pepper, herbs, and shredded cheese, really does make them stand out. Oats are always a winner at our house (heart healthy!), and I loved the soft but hearty texture of part spelt / part wholewheat flour.

Savory Pepper Cheddar Oat Muffins @ SouthernSpoon Blog
savory pepper and cheddar oat muffins with a tiny hint of mustard: delicious dinner accompaniment

I've only baked these in a small batch (six muffins), but I'm sure doubling the ingredients will work fine to bake a full dozen. They're best eaten warm, so serve straight out of the oven, or reheat in the microwave for a few seconds. Whip up a tray of these savory, cheese-topped muffins for your next weeknight dinner, and enjoy fresh-from-the-oven, homemade taste even on your busiest days!

Savory Pepper Cheddar Oat Muffins 
makes 6 muffins (double recipe for 12 muffins)

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cups milk (any fat content will do)
1 - 2 teaspoons prepared mustard (to taste)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup spelt flour & 1/4 cup wholewheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup plus one tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare 6 cups in a muffin tin (use paper liners or lightly grease and flour) and preheat oven to 190C / 375F.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon oats and 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. This will be your muffin topping: set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup oats and the milk. Add egg white and olive oil, and mix well. Add remaining ingredients (flour through 1/4 cup shredded cheese), and stir until just combined.

Distribute the batter evenly amongst the 6 prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the oat-cheese mixture. Bake at 190C / 375F for 18-20 mins, until muffins begin to turn golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with only a few crumbs. Serve warm.

4 comments:

  1. This sounds so good! I've been slightly obsessed with savoury baked goods lately (okay let's admit it—lately as in always). Pepper and cheddar is such a divine combination. I've never tried it with oats, but I love oats with everything ;)

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  2. Made these again today. So good! Thanks so much for the recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. They are so easy to throw together-- glad you enjoyed them!

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  3. I just made these and they are AMAZING! I think even better than the similar Great Harvest muffin that I get almost daily.

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