In a hurry? Muffins are a quick and easy breakfast. They come in a cup, so there is relatively little mess. You can eat a muffin with one hand and drink coffee with the other.
Then there’s the penultimate factor: Muffins taste good.
Today is National Oatmeal Muffin Day. Here are some facts about muffins:
1. English muffins which are yeast raised and cooked on a griddle, may date back to the 10th or 11th century in Wales.
2. American muffins are “quick breads” made in individual molds. Quick breads were not developed until the end of the 18th century.
3. The McDonald’s Egg McMuffin was introduced in 1972, it consists of American cheese, Canadian bacon, an English muffin and an egg.
4. Do you know the Muffin Man? The Muffin Man, the Muffin Man. Do you know the Muffin Man, Who lives in Drury Lane? The muffin man went door to door delivering English muffins along Drury Lane. Many of the households on Drury Lane would have their food delivered to them. The rhyme was first published around 1820.
5. Four U.S. states have adopted a State Muffin. (Massachusetts — Corn, Minnesota — Blueberry, New York — Apple and Washington — Blueberry).
6. The yeast-free, dense muffin that commuters eat in their cars today dates back to the 19th century.
7. A decline in home baking, health fads and a trend toward gourmet coffee throughout the ’70s and ’80s significantly increased the popularity of muffins, but also created a need for preservatives — such as sugar and fat — that took away any health value muffins may have had.
8. Nutritionally, most muffins are similar to cupcakes.
9. The English have their own muffins: flat, disc-shaped light bread leavened with yeast. These muffins predate the American variety and even inspired their own song about a “Muffin Man” who lives on Drury Lane.
10. Eating too many muffins can cause your pants to fit too tightly around the waist, resulting in the dreaded “muffin top” look.
OATMEAL AND RAISIN MUFFINS
1 cup whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons untoasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons wheat bran
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1⁄3 cup chopped pitted dates
1⁄3 cup raisins
1⁄3 cup dried cranberries 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup boiling water
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in oats, dates, raisins, and cranberries. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in boiling water. Let batter stand 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.
— Compiled by Mike Spence