This recipe arrived in our kitchen via a windfall when a friend moved years ago. I had always admired how she whipped up a batch of muffins for her kids on a school morning. Sometimes even Monday. My friend Jane’s orange juice-sweetened muffins were inspired by another Jane — Jane Brody, a nutritional guru of the eighties. When the first Jane moved she left me her well-loved copy of the second’s cookbook, Jane Brody’s Good Food Book: Living the High-Carbohydrate Way, complete with it’s cherished recipe for these moist (and easy) morning muffins. The title of the cookbook seems a bit dated given current nutritional trends, but it’s all about healthy whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, and still surprisingly relevant.
This favorite has been doctored over years, first by Jane M. and then by me. The chocolate-studded handfuls are sweetened mainly by an ample measure of orange juice, so they’re on the conservative side of sweet. If you like something sweeter, add a bit more sugar. You can substitute raisins for the chocolate chips (or add both). I’ve mixed in granola and walnuts for fiber, flavor and nutrition. You could stir in some ground flax seeds or wheat germ if you like.
Enjoy these muffins fresh from the oven, still slightly warm with a mug of milky tea. Heaven.
(Makes 11-12 muffins)
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons mild-flavored oil, such as canola
- 1-1/4 cups fresh orange juice (or tangerine)
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup granola, crushed to small bits (plus more for topping – optional)
- handful of raisins (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grind the oatmeal to a coarse texture (I use a small-sized food processor).
- In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar, buttermilk, beaten egg, syrup, oil and juice. Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring the mixture until flour is just moistened. Do not over mix. Fold in nuts, chocolate chips, granola and raisins (if using).
- Scoop batter into greased muffin tin cups using a small measuring cup. Sprinkle more granola on top if desired. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving.