Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins

Here’s a post from Maria and Candice, our nursing interns.  If you’re looking for local oats for muffins or your morning bowl of oatmeal, check out Speerville Mill.  There are several cranberry farms in Nova Scotia.  I was lucky to have had a chance to visit Terra Beata last summer.  They sell fresh, dried and other cranberry products.

Recently at St. George’s Youth Net we made Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins. The focuses of our cooking workshops at St. George’s Youth Net are supposed to be healthy locally grown foods. Eating healthy when the weather gets cold is, surprisingly, much easier than eating locally. But there are local options.  This is why we chose oatmeal cranberry muffins. The health benefits of oatmeal are bountiful, and most people have some oats hidden in the dark recesses of their cupboard so it’s nice to get them out and use them in delicious muffins! Plus the cranberries add a burst of colour to the muffins, and in the middle of the cold grey winter it’s always nice to have some colour!

Some of the specific health benefits of oatmeal include the different types of fibre that is found in them (this is not the instant oatmeal in single packets which tends to have more sugar in it then the oat flakes). Oatmeal has soluble and insoluble fibre, soluble can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) while leaving your good cholesterol (HDL) alone, while insoluble fibre is said to have “cancer fighting properties”. Oats are also a great source of Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and also promote regularity. http://health.learninginfo.org/benefits-oatmeal.htm

Cranberries also have many health benefits as they have lots of Vitamin C (who promotes tissue growth for all parts of the body), and contain antioxidants that prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).

Another great thing about these muffins was that by using applesauce we were able to reduce the amount of sugar and butter in the muffins!

Overall the kids were impressed with how yummy their healthy muffins turned out, and they couldn’t wait to bring them home to show their families.

Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cranberry sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a medium bowl combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil and egg. Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture and dried cranberries. Stir until just moist. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, adding a tsp of cranberry sauce in the middle of each cup. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

(For a cranberry sauce recipe, check out some of our past blog posts here and here.)

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