Good Morning Santa Barbara!

Normally I’m super lazy on Sunday mornings, preferring to stay in my pjs until noon while I bake a yummy deliciousness for us to enjoy.  But for some reason I got a bee in my bonnet this morning (that’s right, I just rocked the idiom “bee in my bonnet”), and decided we should go hiking before breakfast.

So Paul and I rallied, grabbed Sherman and his leash, and off we went.  We ended up having the quintessential autumn Santa Barbara morning.  It was chilly to start out but the sun quickly yet gently warmed our creaky, old bones.  Sherman was stoked to go on his first hike and had his nose to the ground the entire way up the Jesusita Trail.  When you reach Inspiration Point, you can see all the way from Ventura to Point Conception.  The islands were clearly out and proud sitting in the sparkly, blue water and the whole town was quiet.  Such a great way to start our day.

Once we got home, I was starving so I sent Paul off to get his coffee and our weekly breakfast burrito while I started organizing ingredients.  The blueberries have been crazy good lately so I decided to go with this recipe.  The muffin is extremely easy and will make your kitchen smell like a professional bakery.  It’s got a really nice balance of lemon and blueberry which is a delicate compliment to the heartiness of the oats.

I changed the topping from the simple one they suggest, trying for a more streusel-like one.  But in truth, the oats and flour combination made the topping a bit dry.  I would either use their topping or skip the oats altogether and make a regular streusel topping.  Otherwise, these muffins would make any morning a bit sunnier and happier.

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Muffin (care of quakeroats.com)

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

INGREDIENTS:  1 3/4 cups oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked, divided), 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar, 1 cup flour  (add an additional 2 tablespoons if using old fashioned oats), 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional), 1 cup skim milk, 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute with yolk or one egg, 2 teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)

DIRECTIONS:  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 12 medium muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside.  For topping, combine 1/4 cup oats and brown sugar; set aside.  In large bowl, combine remaining 1 1/2 cups oats with remaining dry ingredients; mix well.  In small bowl, combine milk, egg whites, oil lemon peel, and vanilla; mix well.  Add to dry ingredients; stir jut until moistened.  Do not overtax.  Gently stir in berries.  Fill muffin cups almost full; sprinkle with topping.  Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown  Cool muffins in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Serve warm.

UM, WOOPS!  So while I was typing the recipe, I realized I may or may not have used 2 tablespoons of oil rather than 2 teaspoons.  OOPS!  Oh well, they turned out fine despite my lack of attention to detail.  And while I’m at it, I used way more vanilla than called for and to make it easy, I just grated an entire lemon ~ more lemon peel than called for but it smelled and tasted great!  Lastly, I doubled the topping which I would highly recommend, regardless of what type of topping you use.

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