Snow days are my favorite days. Waking up in the morning with bated breath, hoping that the weather man underestimated his totals, and peering out the window to (if you are lucky) a beautiful landscape of white. After a leisurely (but not too leisurely breakfast), heading outside for sledding, building snow creatures (or forts, because who can be limited to just snow people?), playing snow football, and forging paths through the knee high mountains of flakes, all before returning inside to drink hot chocolate by a warm fire with a pile of books (at least that’s how it worked before children) and, of course, baking something delicious. If the oven isn’t on (after all, you do need the extra heat in the house), you are missing an essential portion of the day.
These muffins are the result of several years of enjoyment (and tweaking) and we recently discovered what I think might be the finalized version on a very snowy day. I found this recipe while still in college and was attracted to how filling (and healthy!) they are. Over the years, I’ve subbed out the dried fruit trying mango, raisins, craisins, and apricots, before landing on cherries. I cut the nuts from the original recipe (simply because they are a choking hazard for a one year old and I was feeling too lazy to throw them in the food processor) and added vanilla (after all, don’t all baked goods need vanilla?)
I recommend a side of hot coffee and, if you are feeling fancy, scrambled eggs and fresh fruit, when enjoying these muffins on a snow day. However, given how quickly they come together, they are also a good weekday breakfast-to-go all on their own.
Cherry Banana Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light, July 2007
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c oats
3/4 c light brown sugar
1 t wheat germ
2 t baking soda
2 bananas, mashed
1 c plain non-fat yogurt
1 t vanilla
1/2 c dried cherries, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°. Place liners in muffin pans.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Once well mixed, create a well in the middle of the mixture.
In a medium bowl, add all wet ingredients and stir well. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in dried cherries.
Bake for 25 minutes and remove from oven. Serve hot or cold with butter, apple butter, or nothing at all.
Makes 15-18 muffins.