Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Mmmmm...Fiber.


Last week, we all had a few laughs about some of the recent 'afflictions' that have been bestowed upon me on this exciting journey through pregnancy. I'm sure you are not at all interested in hearing about my not being able to eat anything because everything makes me sick...or about how I have only been able to go one day without being sick.

Rowing and Sowing made me laugh with her Metamucil story (you can read it in her comments for this post). Row, thank you so much for that! You just made my day! I don't know why, but I thought of you as I made these...The bran muffins were totally accidental. I really did not intend on baking bran muffins at all. As much as we love getting lots of fiber in this household, for some reason (now that I'm pregnant) I cannot seem to get enough.

One of the doctors I saw mentioned that eating oatmeal every morning does wonders and if this is at all important to you, you'd be interested to know that eating oatmeal can help lower cholesterol. The doctor also mentioned "steel cut oats" being even better and having more benefits than regular rolled oats. It's less processed and it takes longer to digest, which leaves your stomach feeling full longer.
I grew up on the "just add boiling water" individual packets of oatmeal that come in different flavours like peaches and cream, maple-brown sugar, apple and cinnamon, etc. Since Hubby comes from an "everything made from scratch"/no instant anything family, I have been doing things the old school way. I was curious and bought some steel cut oats because I want our family to eat as healthy as possible. I followed the microwave instructions for the steel cut oats and...GAH! It was horrible!

Perhaps it is because I don't put anything in my oatmeal except a handful of fruit. I used to put a little bit of brown sugar, then I stopped doing that. I then started using more natural sweeteners like a spoonful of honey or maple syrup and soon stopped that as well. I started just adding berries to my oatmeal and was fine with that.

The steel cut oats, however, were icky! Maybe I'll give it another try, but plain (with no added salt or sweeteners) it was really unappetizing. I bravely swallowed every last spoonful in my bowl though, because I felt really badly for wasting such good food. Instead of throwing away the rest of the oatmeal (the microwave instructions followed were for two servings, but Hubby didn't want any! Can you believe that?!), I decided to bump up our fiber intake even more and add the steel cut oats to my bran muffins. This is what the steel cut oats look like. You'll notice how they are not rolled flat like the instant oatmeal. The steel cut oats look like the stuff my Dad feeds his birds! How's that for appetizing? Yeah, I thought so.

The steel cut oats & bran muffins turned out to be a hit! Well, only for me since Hubby wouldn't even eat one! I think the ingredient that made the muffins almost yummy was the handful of raisins I threw into the batter. I did add a bit of honey to the recipe though.

STEEL CUT OATS & BRAN MUFFINS
1 cup wheat bran
1 - 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk
A few tsp. of honey (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup honey, but I don't like using that much)
2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, beaten
Cooked steel cut oats (I don't know exactly how much I put in because it was the leftover from the 2 servings I cooked and I just had a bowl/one serving). I guess whatever one serving is, that's how much I put in.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Stir together the bran, flour, soda and baking powder. Stir in raisins and set aside.
Blend milk, honey, oil, egg, and leftover cooked steel cut oats. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.

Spoon into 12 greased muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes or until muffins pull away from sides of cups.

Makes 12 fabulously fiber-rich muffins!

9 comments:

Autumn's Mom said...

I would eat them in a bran muffin for sure...but I don't think i could stomach steal cut oats :( I'm barely able to take the simple just add water kind ;) yay you for trying it.

jan said...

My cholesterol is not a problem, but everyone I cook for has a problem, so thanks for the recipe.

t said...

lol! you crack me up chris! you are so brave to eat oatmeal with nothing else in it! i can't do that; i need me some brown sugar!

C said...

Autumn's Mom:
LOL! I'm totally with you on that one! The steel cut oats were kind of hard to choke down! Maybe next time I won't try to go au naturel and may give in and add some honey. Oh! I didn't even think of adding cinnamon! Maybe that would have helped!

C said...

Jan:
I went to a healthy eating conference last year (or was it the year before? I can't remember). Bonnie Stern was one of the speakers and she was saying that if you add oatmeal to your cooking, it can lower cholesterol. Like when you make meatloaf or when you make banana bread or muffins, just add some oatmeal. I thought that was pretty neat.

Neither Hubby nor I have high cholesterol, but I try to prevent these things. Plus, I like oatmeal! Hmmmm...well, maybe not the steel cut oats so much!

C said...

T:
I know. What was I thinking? LOL! I used to eat oatmeal with some flax seed oil drizzled on top and some blueberries and raspberries mixed in. It tasted okay. It was a little bit bland because I didn't put sugar or salt like the recipe called for. The berries do add a little flavour though!

If you decide to try the recipe, make sure you cook the oatmeal first! The steel cut oats take more time to cook than the instant oats. They're really hard if you don't cook them. Now, that's what I call "roughage"!

caninecologne said...

i tried orange metamucil too when i was pregnant - i didn't really like it.

this fiber post reminds me of that old SNL commercial (i'm sure you can YouTube it), Colon Blow.

Uncivil said...

Oh C.......you gotta google the " colorectal surgeon song " tehehe

C said...

Canine & Uncivil:
Okay, friends! I've searched the internet to find out what you guys were talking about! I found some videos and have posted them! Too funny! :)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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