I couldn’t think of any better recipe to christen my blog with than our weekly breakfast staple, Leslie’s Annviersary Bread. I received this recipe from my running buddy, Leslie, hence the namesake. We became fast friends when I joined a local running club and realized that we both shared a mutual obsession with food, cooking, and health in general. We were both training for our first half marathon and spent the majority of our runs chatting back and forth about what we had cooked the night before or over the weekend, hearts pounding as we hit the pavement and mouths salivating as the ingredients were listed.
She crafted this recipe to satisfy the nutritional needs of her husband, Jay, who worked long hours and didn’t have enough time to sit down and eat a proper breakfast. Leslie jam packed it with wholesome ingredients to ensure he had a great foundation for his busy day. And better yet, she decided to put this dough in a muffin pan, so he could grab and go. These muffins supposedly freeze well, but honestly, this goody hasn’t lasted long enough around our house to warrant freezing!
Since receiving this recipe in the spring, I’ve made it countless times and experimented often. I will share those variations with you in the future, but first enjoy the original as Joe and I have for months and weeks on end.
I like to devour this bread toasted with a scrambled egg on the side and a cup of coffee. No better way to start the morning…
Leslie’s Anniversary Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp ground flax seed
½ – ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
2 cups oatmeal (regular not quick cooking)
2 ripe bananas
½ cup natural applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and flax seed in a bowl. Stir in walnuts, cranberries, raisins, and oatmeal.
Mash the bananas in a separate bowl with a fork until smooth and no remaining lumps. Stir in the applesauce, egg and vanilla until combined. Then whisk in the canola oil quickly so it emulsifies. Stir in the maple syrup.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir until combined. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray and then evenly distribute the batter with a spoon. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 1-2 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
These muffins can keep in the fridge for a week, but also freeze well.
A few notes:
- I’ve never made this recipe in a muffin pan. I like to instead bake as a loaf so that we can better control portion size. It needs to cook about twice as long when you do it this way.
- Leslie recommends Motts All Natural (no sugar) apple sauce in premeasured containers. Perfect size for this recipe.
- I substitute organic extra virgin olive oil for the canola oil. No reason in particular. Simply, canola oil is something I’ve never stocked my pantry with.
- I had a surplus of fresh cranberries from the Thanksgiving festivities, so today’s loaf was made with them in place of the dried cranberries.
- I like to sprinkle some oats on the top for a rustic looking bread. Pat them gently on the wet batter so that they become encrusted when baked and won’t fall out!