When I first learned to cook, I would study recipes and then head out to the grocery store to buy all the ingredients and make them. Now, I almost never do that. The other day I had leftover rice sitting in the refrigerator and I was wondering what use I could make of it. I decided to make muffins – not by Googling, but by blindly throwing some ingredients together. This actually WORKED! They came out really well and I’d make them again in a heartbeat.
By the way – muffins are a great, healthy take-along snack. You can serve them in a hurry for breakfast or pop one into a small hand before heading out to catch the school bus. Your hubby will enjoy them toasted and buttered for a late-night treat.
Here are some tips for making muffins like these:
- Any leftover whole grain can be used – oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, etc.
- Soak the grain in milk to soften before adding to muffin mix.
- Adjust the sugar to your preference, or use a substitute such as honey. You can also trade some of the sugar for more mashed banana, or apple sauce.
- The ratio is as follows: about a cup of the whole grain to a cup and a half of flour. You need the flour to mix with the liquid ingredients so that a paste forms which holds the muffins together. I think if you only used the grains they would just crumble.
- 1 cup whole grain brown rice, cooked
- 1.5 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups sugar, less if you’re trying to be healthy
- 1/2 a banana, smashed with a fork
- 1.5 cups milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons canola oil or melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup raisins
Grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Start by soaking the rice in the milk. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients and stir thoroughly so that the baking soda disperses with the flour, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix up the milk/rice mixture with oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Give everything a vigorous stir. Pour the dry into the wet and combine thoroughly. The consistency should be thicker than pancake batter but thinner than bread dough. If you’ve made muffins before, you should recall how thick the batter should be. If yours is too thick, stir in a bit more milk. If too thin, dust in a little more flour. Do not be afraid! Experimenting is good for you. 🙂
Next stir in the mashed banana, raisins and nuts. Scoop about a half-cup of the batter into each muffin cup. Place in 400-degree oven and bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Keep a close eye on your muffins to make sure they don’t burn! Test by poking a fork in the middle of one to see if it comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Carefully use a knife to separate muffins from the baking tin.
Serve warm, with plenty of butter and hot coffee or tea. Or you can enjoy your muffins with some homemade chai.