I’m not usually one for documentaries; I really don’t like being told what to think and I especially don’t like being given a skewed overview of facts pertaining to one thing or another. However, Kramer and I finally saw GasLand the other day and I have to say, it was really convincing, and on top of that, pretty frightening, especially considering we live in New York City and get our water from potentially affected areas. The film basically talks about how natural gas is now a part of Big Business (as a lot of the “green” industry is) and how drilling for natural gas impacts the environment in irreversible ways. The thing that really shocked me the most was that the filmmaker, Josh Fox, found numerous people who lived in drilling areas who can seriously light their water on fire. If you don’t believe me, check out GasLand. Josh Fox doesn’t push you to take his side – throughout the documentary, he talks about how he is not a scientist and he clearly can’t have all of the facts, but based on what he has found, the land that these companies are drilling on is being completely destroyed. There are websites trying to debunk the film, but generally, they are all a part of Big Business and natural gas companies. When you Google GasLand, the first link that pops up is a website called The Truth About Gasland, but the site is run by America’s Natural Gas Alliance. I’m really not trying to be preachy, but I’ve never been a huge proponent of green businesses because I always have a feeling that there’s more than meets the eye, and this film kind of puts all of that in perspective and gives you the other side of the story. It’s really interesting and well done, if nothing else, so I highly recommend watching it for yourself.
Anyway, enough about the most recent movie that I’ve watched. On to these amazing Applesauce Oat Muffins. As you may remember, I made my own applesauce a while ago. The recipe made much more than Kramer and I could eat on our own, so I froze about half of it to use at a later date. Recently, I decided that the best way to put all of this extra applesauce to use was to make muffins with it. I know that a lot of people like to use applesauce in place of butter or oil in cake or muffin recipes, but I couldn’t help but add butter to these as well, making them absolutely perfect, in my opinion. They are truly a hearty breakfast muffin, packed with not only wholesome homemade applesauce, but dried cranberries, raisins, crystallized ginger, and rolled oats, too. I also used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. All of these combined make for a great muffin with a fabulous variety of textures. I sprinkled a few oats on top as well, which only added to their textural aspect and made them look pretty, too. Kramer usually doesn’t care for muffins all that much – he’s more of a savory guy, but he was begging me for one more after he had his first Applesauce Oat Muffin. There’s just something about them that makes you want to come back for more, and even people at work commented on how good they were. I really think that all of the flavor of the applesauce made these especially delicious. You can use store bought applesauce, of course, but there’s nothing like the kind that you’ve made yourself to put into these muffins. The chunks of apples, along with all of the warm spices and extra add-ins make these the perfect breakfast or a filling snack at any time of the day.
I doubled the recipe, so I had to make twice as much buttermilk. All you do is add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup, then fill it up to the 1 cup line with milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Ta-da! Instant buttermilk.
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best…but I was lazy and didn’t feel like cleaning my microplaner)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup buttermilk (you can make your own buttermilk by adding ¾ teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to ⅓ cup of milk, or just use regular milk)
- 1 cup applesauce
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup old fashioned oats, plus more for topping
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ¼ cup crystallized ginger, minced
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat together your eggs, brown sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add in the melted butter and beat until combined, then add in your applesauce and mix until well combined. Gradually mix in your flour, until the batter is just moistened (you will be folding in the dried fruit and oats, so don’t worry about having to mix everything perfectly at this point).
- Fold in your oats, cranberries, raisins, and crystallized ginger. Divide the batter among 15 greased and/or lined muffin cups (I did about ¼ cup of batter per muffin cup). Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a teaspoon or so of old fashioned oats. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until set and slightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing and allowing to cool completely on a separate surface.