Foodiva's Kitchen: Muffin Monday - Lavender Granola Muffins with Apricots, Cranberries and Chocolate

Monday, September 12, 2011

Muffin Monday - Lavender Granola Muffins with Apricots, Cranberries and Chocolate


After a whole week of decadent feasting, baking these granola muffins made me feel immensely better about my eating binges of late. Admittedly, I did try to work off the calories by running and hiking up hills under the blazing heat over the past several days, but all that simply made me tired and not really that much happier. It'd been a while since my muffin pan had seen the inside of my oven walls anyway, so I decided it was time to put it to good use again.



For Muffin Monday hosted by Anuradha of Baker Street blog, we were given a granola muffin recipe from Martha Rose Shulman. It's a healthy alternative to a regular dessert muffin and quite lovely to have for breakfast too since it contains granola, whole wheat flour, honey, yoghurt and dried fruits. In my version, I substituted dried apricots and cranberries for the raisins, and also added another special ingredient that had been festering in my fridge for a while - dried lavender flowers. 


This was a last minute baking exercise and I had no time to run out for ingredients, so imagine my dismay when I rummaged through my pantry only to find out that we had run out of granola! Grr-reat. Ahh, but we did have rolled oats, and flax seeds and no, not oat flour... but would brown rice flour do to help hold the oats in clusters? Because brown rice flour was exactly what we had. It dawned on me then that I had everything required to make my own granola. Yay!


During the granola-making process, I found it dichotomous to have to toast the oat clusters to crisp perfection and yet immediately afterwards have them soaking in milk as stipulated in the muffin recipe. Oh well, life's a little silly like that sometimes. It was just best to get on with it and not dwell on the ridiculousness of some of the situations we find ourselves in.


I topped the muffin batter with more crisp granola and a sprinkling of chocolate chips because I knew they both belonged there (yes, they did!). The lavender really turned these granola muffins into something else, I loved the floral note they provided and the smell...oh, let me not get started on how glooorrious that was too.


My baking buddy, Y had the day off work so right before I made these granola muffins, Y and I were baking up other evil things in my kitchen. We made New York cheesecake, lavender cupcakes with lemon glaze and brownie muffins, funnily enough using a recipe from Baker Street. I 'graciously' let Y take all the goodies home, but not after sampling one of each. Or perhaps two.



Oh, remember my red velvet ice cream? Well, Y had some of that as well. It was so nice to be able to share and distribute some of the sugary hazards in this manner. It means that I don't have to eat everything I make!

Red velvet ice cream joy

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. If you wish to join Anuradha in her journey to brighten up Monday mornings across the globe, drop her a quick note and hop on aboard!

Lavender Granola Muffins with Apricots, Cranberries and Chocolate
Makes 12
Ingredients:
1 cup granola (for how to make your own, see below)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried lavender buds, ground finely
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Extra granola, for sprinkling

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/375ºF with a rack in the middle. Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
2. Combine the granola and milk in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the dried cranberries and apricots together in another bowl for 15 minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels.
3. Sift together whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then add the ground lavender and stir to mix.
4. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, yogurt, canola oil and vanilla. Quickly whisk in the flour mixture, then fold in the granola and dried fruits until combined.
5. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Sprinkle extra granola and chocolate chips on top.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool on a rack.

Homemade Plain Granola Recipe
Ingredients:
2 cups organic rolled oats
1/4 cup flax seeds
2 tablespoons oat flour or brown rice flour
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients (oats, seeds, flour) together.
2. In another bowl mix the honey/maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract together. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. The liquids will be absorbed and the granola will become darker and shinier.
3. Spread the granola in a shallow baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir the granola with a large spatula so that it does not over-brown on the bottom and edges. (Add dried fruits and nuts at this point if you wish).
4. Return the granola to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet. Letting the granola cool on the baking sheet will retain the clumps. Granola will become crispier and crunchier as it cools. Once the granola has cooled, scrape it into a large bowl.
5. Store the granola in an airtight container and use within ten days. May be stored for longer periods in the refrigerator or freezer.



Desserts, Muffin, Lavender, Chocolate

51 comments:

Baker Street said...

Using homemade granola made all the difference. I loved that it was packed with nuts and fruits and so many flavors. Glad you could join us this week, Maya. Hope you'll continue to stay a part of the Muffin Madness.

Cheers!
A

shaz@feedingmykidsbetter said...

looks like something we all need on a monday morning! thanks for sharing! :)

Foodness Gracious said...

Umm, so Y is probably the luckiest guy on the planet? Turns up at your place, bakes and then is sent on his way with a giant box of swag...I like the look of those gooey things on the bottom left!

Foodiva said...

An@Baker Street, this was fun to do. I've missed baking muffins so I'll try to do this more regularly from now. Thanks for hosting!

Foodiva said...

Shaz, thanks. You can have these granola muffins on any given morning, not just Mondays ;-).

Foodiva said...

Gerry@Foodness Gracious, anyone who gets to bake with me should consider themselves darn lucky...my time is at a premium! LOL. Besides, I have the best swag bags in the neighborhood ;-). Those cupcakes you like are lavender with gooey lemon glaze. Let me know if you want the recipe.

sliceofmylyfe said...

Such cheer on Mondays with muffins of all kinds plus healthy too. What more can one ask for?

The lavender touch gives the muffins an elegant twist.

Linda Harding said...

Oh me, oh my, I'd love one with my cup of coffee right now!

Lizzy said...

I want to be your baking buddy, too!!! What fun!!! These muffins look fabulous...love all your additions. You're amazing, Maya! xo

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

Oh how can I forget your red velvet ice cream...amazing.

Love cranberries in cookies, muffins and salads. Great effort here!

Carolyn said...

Those are gorgeous muffins and I can see how they would make you feel a whole sight better about what you were eating!

PFx said...

Considerin the processing that granola goes through, I wouldn't classify it as a health tool ;). One thing I would agree, I love the goodies in your muffins.
Am I expecting that box of bakings through my mailbox anytime soon?

Foodiva said...

Lizzy, and I in turn want to be YOUR cooking buddy! Your food always looks so tempting, and since I'm pretty terrible at savory meals per se, I'd love to learn from a great teacher like you!

Foodiva said...

Adrian, thanks very much. Yes, I can snack on cranberries endlessly and I love to use them in baked goods and salads too!

Foodiva said...

Carolyn, if only I could make these muffins low carb and (gasp) gluten free too, now wouldn't that be more amazing?

Foodiva said...

Pierre, well I made my own granola from rolled oats, so I knew exactly what went into the granola. Come over and be my baking buddy and you can bring a big box of goodies home with you too! LOL. Although you wouldn't want to do it too often, it's hazardous to your health :-).

chefpandita.com said...

I made my own granola as well :) love all the ingredients you added to your muffins, they look amazing!

Foodiva said...

Yuri@Chef Pandita, wasn't it fun to make our own granola? It certainly tasted better too! Thanks for dropping by :-).

Choclette said...

Ahh, chocolate always has a place ;-)

Lavander is a lovely addition and I can testify it goes very nicely in chocolate cake too.

The Poet Herself said...

Nice adaptation of the recipe! Chocolate chips--love! Never would have thought of lavender... interesting.

Parsley Sage said...

This is like the best day ever! Muffins, cheesecake, red velvet ice cream! Oh my. Can I come cook over at your place?

Foodiva said...

Choclette, I'm so happy that you and I know where chocolate stands in the food hierarchy! LOL. And yes, lavender and chocolate is a given.

Foodiva said...

The Poet Herself, thank you! Lavender for breakfast is kind of refreshing but comforting at the same time :-).

Foodiva said...

Parsley, you can do WHATEVER you want at my place! Just leave all the goodies with me at the end, or rather, let's exchange our goodies because I know you cook such fab food ;-).

Tina said...

What a great life it would be if we could live on chocolate alone, but we sometimes need to face reality. Bravo for posting a delicious recipe that has healthy qualities while still including chocolate. Well done

Foodiva said...

Tina, that would be my DREAM life! Truly.

Gina said...

I thought I was your baking buddy, sniff, sniff. Fine Y looks like he can handle the calories better than me anyways, lol. Hope you have a wonderful week, been thinking about you.
-Gina-

Aarthi said...

That is one of yummiest muffins...WOW...Awesome..Job well done

S.V. said...

I love the addition of lavender they sound and look amazing, but so did everything else that you made that day with your friend. :)

yummychunklet said...

Simply love the lavender addition!

yummychunklet said...

Simply love the lavender addition!

Stay At Home Chef said...

Wow - love your addition of lavender...that must have tasted amazing!

Lilly said...

Don’t you just hate it when you have your mind set on making something and then find out that you are missing ingredients? I had it the other day, wanted to make egg cakes, but not enough flour aaaghh! I applaud your creativity and your muffins look amazing (so does Y) Can you send him over to my house? hihihih

elena @3greenonions said...

Oh wow, lavender flowers! How cool! I love your photos! welcome to #muffinmonday :)

Elizabeth of QueensNotebook said...

Wow, what is this? Lavender, Apricots and Chocolate on Granola Muffins? You got to be kidding! These are gorgeous! Glad to have you baking along with us, the MM Bakers!

dudut said...

i should have thought of making my own granola, maybe next time...

your muffins looks great! *clap*clap*

Reem | Simply Reem said...

Now this is how we all can make Monday morning so special...
These muffins are screaming flavors...
Delicious!!!!

Caroline said...

I couldn't resist adding chocolate in mine, too. But love your addition of lavender, it's been awhile since I've used them. Welcome to Muffin Monday :)

Ann said...

Lavender, huh? Okay....I can see it! I have a beautiful bottle of lavender that I need about 2 T. Now I know what to do with the rest. It looked like a GREAT baking day!

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather said...

What a unique muffin recipe!!! Homemade granola sure taste it to the top!

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

Haha, at least you've been trying to work off those calories, I've just been sitting on the sofa and eating more!

the [sugar] apothecary said...

I want a baking buddy to show up at my doorstep! Those muffins sound great, especially with homemade granola and lavender. I have become a huge fan of lavender and lemon lately (I was never really a floral/citrus lover) due to a glorious cupcake involving lavender buttercream and lemon curd from Sweet Avenue Bake Shop in New Jersey. SO GOOD.

Isn't it nice to have people to pawn your baked goods off on to? It's like sharing, but more focused on clearing up counter space and saving yourself some overindulging :)

Foodiva said...

Gina, I've missed you but thanks for continuing to visit aka stalk me! LOL. You know you're MORE than my baking buddy... You're my ups and downs buddy too, and I'm not talking about our weights!

Foodiva said...

Lilly, Y is in London now for a few days so if you hop on the Eurostar, you can bake with him there! LOL.

Foodiva said...

Xinmei, but you don't have any pounds to lose, you're still young and svelte! When you get to my grand old age with zero metabolism rate, then you know that baking + lounging around spells BIG trouble ;-).

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

Those muffins look divine!! And I love that you have a baking partner. But who wouldn't want to bake with the fabulous Maya in that rad kitchen. :)

Spicie Foodie said...

This sounds like a great event and a great excuse to bake muffins every week. Wow homemade granola was probably better than store bought. They turned out really cute and so yummy looking. That is one lucky baking buddy:) I need to get one so that I don't have to eat so much of what I make.

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely muffins looks wonderful I haven't used lavender before

Terra said...

You muffins sounds fantastic, love the addition of lavender, just beautiful! That New York Cheesecake sounds soooo good, I have been craving cheesecake:-) Hugs, Terra

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

What a bold combo of flavors, especially the lavender. That is a real treat in the morning. Must check out this muffin monday.

C&C Cakery said...

Simple, healthy, and so yummy. Love the lavender too - it really should be in more baked goods! I love it in shortbread, but I'll have to try it in muffins now!

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