Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s off to a great start to 2016 so far (and adjusting faster to writing 2016 in dates than I am)! I don’t know about you, but even I have just about hit my limit on sweets throughout the holiday season. Because of this sugar overload, I decided to try something that tastes a bit healthier for the first bakeventure of the year (note: I only said tastes healthier. Let’s not go crazy just yet.). What tastes healthier than oatmeal and grapefruit? Grapefruit, oatmeal, walnut muffins, of course!
I started with King Arthur Flour’s basic muffin recipe and made adjustments based on my own liking. I referred to this recipe from Allrecipes a bit, but based on the reviews, I didn’t place much stock in that one. You’ll notice in the photos that my muffins didn’t rise all that much. That’s most likely because I replaced the milk called for with grapefruit juice, but didn’t change the baking powder to baking soda. For a more detailed account of the difference between baking powder and baking soda, read this article by Sally’s Baking Addiction, but suffice it to say that when you increase the acid in your recipe (in this case adding grapefruit juice), you may need to adjust your leavening. Next time I make these, I’ll probably try them with ½ teaspoon of baking soda instead of the one tablespoon of baking powder instead.
Despite having a full cup of fresh grapefruit juice and the zest of a whole grapefruit in the batter, these muffins have just a hint of grapefruit flavor. As a matter of fact, Josh couldn’t even taste it (those of you who know us know this is weird because I’m usually the one whose tastebuds are less sensitive). If you try the recipe and can’t taste it, I’d suggest juicing an extra grapefruit and reducing the juice on the stove until it’s down to 1 cup of liquid. This will intensify the grapefruity taste.
I felt it was only natural to add nuts to an oatmeal batter, but if nuts aren’t your thing, you could either leave them out or substitute some dried cranberries or other fresh or dried fruit. If you do this, stir them into the dry ingredients first so that they get coated in flour and don’t sink to the bottom. This recipe is pretty malleable, so the sky’s the limit with mix-ins. If you come up with a particularly tasty combination, please share!
You will need the following ingredients (sorry, no picture this time):
For the muffins:
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup oats (quick cooking are fine)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
- zest of one grapefruit, grated
- 1 cup grapefruit juice, strained (this took me 1½ grapefruits)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- decorating sugar (optional)
For baking ambiance:
- It seems like I haven’t seen the sun in a month! While my inclination was to give in and listen to some classic grunge, I decided instead to fight back against the grayness and put on a bubbly 80’s playlist I found on Amazon Prime Music. The songs were not all necessarily my cup of tea, but the playlist basically served as an 80’s music radio station with no commercials, so I’d say it was a success.
Let’s get baking!
Preheat your oven to 500°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper wrappers and grease the wrappers (don’t skip this step or you won’t be able to get the muffins out whole).
Chop your nuts until they resemble gravel.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder (or baking soda if you’re making that change), ginger, grapefruit zest, and walnuts until all ingredients are fully-incorporated. Do your best to break up any clumps of sugar you see.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the grapefruit juice, eggs, and applesauce until smooth.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until all the dry ingredients are wet. The batter will still be lumpy, but resist the urge to make it smooth.
Fill each muffin cup approximately ⅔ full with batter.
Sprinkle the decorating sugar on top of the muffins (if using) and put them in the oven. Immediately decrease the oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean.
Leave the muffins in the muffin pan(s) just until they are cool enough to handle, then remove them from the pans to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
You can download the printable PDF recipe here: Grapefruit Oatnut Muffins