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Wednesday
Jan162013

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

The routine of everyday life is a necessary evil. As much as I'd like to believe I enjoy spontaneity and the thrill of the unknown, when it comes down to it, I'd rather have my day planned out by the hour than have it be a complete mystery. This isn't to say I don't love to give into the occasional impulse or act on a whim—I do—but my life needs strong framework in which to build off the quiet improvisations of life.

As much as I may object to the idea of a life of routine, I need the structure and control it provides me. I like to know when I am going to wake or eat breakfast, what television shows I can look forward to watching, or when I can plan on tucking into bed for the evening. It may not often be an exciting life, but it is all my own.

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

I have been on a different routine the last two weeks and it has been a struggle to adjust. I mentioned it briefly before, but I never expected the transition to be this difficult. I've read that it can take a month or more to develop new habits, to adjust to a new schedule, and the thought makes me feel defeated. The good habits I kept up are dissolving before my eyes as bad ones are starting to take their place. I am fighting against it, struggling to stake my claim on a chaotic world, but some days I fear I am losing ground.

My body is used to waking up with the sun and eating a slow breakfast before heading off to the gym. My mornings are now rushed; I'm lucky to have five minutes to eat a makeshift breakfast. I only have time for the gym after a long day at work, when the last thing I want to do is climb onto an elliptical machine. It's a work in progress.

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

I am developing a new habit that makes me a bit worried, however. After suddenly gaining several more hours in the evening, I am not sure what to do with them. I can't resort to my traditional hobbies—it is often too late to bake and too dark to photograph—so I nibble on chocolate chips or munch on apple slices, snacking to make the time pass by quicker. As a previous non-snacker, this new pattern makes me nervous.

As I work to fit my routines around the new framework of my life, there are still a few constants (and baking is one of them). Last weekend I made a batch of muffins, trying to find a way to incorporate the ground flaxseed that has been taking up space in the cupboard. I didn't expect much from these muffins, but they took me by surprise and I found myself sincerely enjoying them. I made another batch and froze them to enjoy for a quick breakfast over the next week. As I work to find my footing in this new routine, these muffins have already redeemed many a rushed morning.

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins are a simple, healthy breakfast muffin. Low in both fat and sugar, these morning treats really do deserve a stamp of approval. The nuttiness of ground flaxseed is wonderful against the sharp sweetness of dried cranberries and helps to keep you feeling full much longer. With a hot mug of black tea, this is a breakfast that is hard to beat on-the-go or savored slowly.

One Year Ago: Vanilla Bean Pudding
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread and Minnesota Wild Rice Soup

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

Yields 1 dozen muffins

3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (90 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (53 grams) flax meal
1/3 cup (66 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (235 ml) milk
1 cup (120 grams) dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a muffin tin or line with baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, flax meal, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the egg, vegetable oil, and milk, mixing until the batter is evenly incorporated. Stir in the dried cranberries.

Divide batter evenly between baking cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve with a small pat of butter or spread of jam.

Reader Comments (15)

Yes! I've recently become a muffin lover(?,right?), and lord knows I can use the healthy part, I am on these! You really do great work, love your posts.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Good idea, I am looking for good ingredient combos for breakfast muffins. As I have an extreme dislike of milk (I can't bear to watch anyone drink it and it shall only be known as evil cow juice) I love finding cereal and milk alternatives. Its the most important meal of the day, plus they make good daytime snacks too!
01.17.2013 | Unregistered Commenterbike pixi
Love this post. I, too, am a big fan in my everyday routine and struggle when it changes in any way. But if I had a batch of these muffins to nosh on for breakfast (or snacktime or after dinner), I'd be a little bit more OK with the change. :)
These sound delicious and healthy!

I love that Wilde quote :)

I hear ya about changing routine. I changed my routine in May of last year, and I'm just now getting used to it. I went from a job where no one cared when you arrived or when you left, as long as your work was done. Now, I have a boss that hovers over everyone and expects 10-12 hour work days. It was quite the battle, but in the end, we all won. We all left work at 4:30 yesterday (glorious!)

Can't wait to make these muffins on the weekend :) Pinning!
01.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo
I feel entirely the same way! I wish I was spontaneous but I know truthfully that I need order and structure so that I don't feel like I'm in freefall or, worse, inexplicably guilty for not managing myself efficiently. I'm also used to a slow morning followed by the gym, yet today I deviated from this and said I'd go in the evening. And here I am, gym clothes on, reading food blogs and planning an impromptu but much-needed nap. And I'll probably feel guilty later taking off clean gym clothes rather than ones drenched in sweat.

I love the Oscar Wilde quote that you found! And these muffins seem like a great way to start a busy morning. I'm going to pin this link and if I make it soon I'll comment back here asap to tell you how they were :).
I feel the same way. I don't like when things get out of order, but I guess that's life, right? I'm still trying to get off the habit of binge eating at night. I sometimes succeed, but not very often.

I have a box of flax meal in my dorm, hoping i would use them in some way, but I haven't found a recipe to use them in. These look very delicious. I don't even know if I like the taste of flax, but I guess I'll just have to try it for myself.
Beautiful styling ! I love your pictures, congratulations ...
01.20.2013 | Unregistered Commenterargone
I have never cooked with flax meal but i cannot wait to get my flax seeds and a coffeegrinder out to try this recipe! Thank you for sharing
01.20.2013 | Unregistered Commenterafracooking
Afracooking-- Flaxmeal tastes a lot like ground almonds. It adds a lovely flavor to the muffins.
01.20.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I replaced the egg with 3 tbsp of applesauce and 1/2 tsp of baking powder to make it vegan, and added some walnuts - turned out great!! I couldn't help eating two right away :) Looking forward to having them for breakfast and snacks!
02.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindy
These look great! What can I do to these to make them a cranberry-ornage flaxseed muffin... just add orange zest or do I need to add ornage juice as well?
02.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBunmi
Bunmi-- Adding the zest from an orange (or half an orange) will give the muffins a wonderful orange flavor without being too overpowering. If you really wanted the orange flavor to be pronounced, you could substitute half of the milk for orange juice.
02.14.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Just wanted to let you know that I added the zest of one orange to the recipe and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipes :) keep 'em coming!!!
03.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBunmi
Very good & very healthy !! I substituted 1/2 the milk for applesauce and they were very moist.
Thanks for the great recipie.
05.19.2013 | Unregistered Commentermj
Any thoughts on using fresh cranberries? Would the quantity be any different?
12.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

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