Harriet is one of my knitting gal pals at my Thursday knitting group at Anne's Knits and Such. Around the same time I learned to knit in October 2008, Anne's shop opened up on Main Street. I ventured into the shop to check things out and I was hoping to get information about classes and knitting groups. Wouldn't you know it was a Thursday and a group of knitters were gathered together in the back of the shop. Such luck! The ladies invited me to join them and we all knit together on Thursdays in Anne's shop... I go as frequently as I can.
On the day I stumbled across the Thursday knitting group, Harriet was instantly the person I was most drawn to... I just had a feeling we'd have a lot in common. Turns out we do. Not only do we love knitting, we also really enjoy cooking and baking. Harriet is a vegan and, until I met her, I did not know a thing about veganism. I've learned a lot from Harriet while we knit and chat. Harriet is warm and compassionate and is very passionate about her love of animals and all living things. Knowing this makes me understand why she lives a vegan lifestyle and it has made me question things I have accepted and taken for granted for 40 plus years. I am learning more each day about vegetarian and vegan diets and I am intrigued and motivated to eliminate more and more animal products from my diet for a variety of reasons.
Harriet's Oat Bran Muffins
For now, this is a blog about how I cook for my family and myself and we are basically omnivores. But the notion of cooking and baking with new ingredients (while eliminating other ingredients) has my creative energy at an all time high. I have so many recipe ideas I want to try! I'll keep you posted on my progress. For now, here is an excellent recipe from Harriet. She indicates the recipe is called "Gibb's Oat Bran Muffins" and it's from a book entitled "Simplify Your Life". I don't know who Gibb is, so to me... these are "Harriet's Oat Bran Muffins." Here's the recipe:
2 1/4 cups oat bran
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (the original recipe did not call for it, but next time I make these muffins, I plan to add a bit of salt)
1/4 cup of sugar or maple syrup or agave nectar (I used agave nectar)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts - optional (I used pecans)
1 cup of blueberries *or* 1/4 - 1/3 cup raisins *or* 1-2 finely chopped apples (if you use apples add 1 tsp. of cinnamon) (I used raisins)
1 1/4 cup of soy milk or you can use 1 cup of apple juice and 1/4 cup of soy milk if you want a sweeter muffin (I used Lite Soy Milk)
Enough egg replacer to equal 2 eggs (I used 6 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons flax seed meal and let it sit for 10 minutes before adding it to the wet ingredients)
2 large overripe bananas
Option: In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons brown sugar with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the muffin tops prior to baking.
1. Combine all "dry" ingredients in mixing bowl and blend. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and add the rest of the "wet" ingredients and blend thoroughly. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
2. Fill 12 greased or oiled muffin cups (I used the paper liners) allowing for expansion when you fill about 3/4 full. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until tops are slightly brown. (Note: Harriet's recipe instructions indicate this recipe should yield 12 muffins. I ended up making 17 smaller muffins and I reduced the cooking time to 15 minutes. Harriet notes the recipe may be doubled and the muffins freeze well... just microwave the frozen muffins on high power for approximately seconds to thaw. Finally, Harriet says she brushes melted Earth Balance on each muffin and sprinkles a little cinnamon and sugar on top... that must be where I got the idea to add some brown sugar and cinnamon to the muffin tops before baking).