It’s cold outside. Winter has begun to bluster kindling a genuine appreciation for warm fires and hearty holiday meals this late November. The refrigerator is stocked with the traditional excess of the season and I am baking Blueberry Tropic Oat Muffins, with warm notes of coconut and ginger.
What does coconut have to do with the holidays? I guess it’s just the way my mind travels. Remember a young George Bailey talking to Mary at the drugstore soda fountain in It’s A Wonderful Life?
CLOSE SHOT – GEORGE AND MARY AT FOUNTAIN
GEORGE - Made up your mind yet?
MARY - I'll take chocolate.
George puts some chocolate ice cream in a dish.
GEORGE - With coconuts?
MARY - I don't like coconuts.
GEORGE - You don't like coconuts! Say, brainless, don't you know where coconuts come from? Lookit here – from Tahiti – Fiji Islands, the Coral Sea!
He pulls a magazine from his pocket and shows it to her.
MARY - A new magazine! I never saw it before.
GEORGE - Of course you never. Only us explorers can get it. I've been nominated for membership in the National Geographic Society.
Exploring Holiday Flavors
Lots of festive holiday recipes include coconut. Unfortunately, like Mary, I never really cared for the kind of sweetened shredded coconut most often used for holiday treats. Over the years, however, I have realized that it isn’t the taste of coconut that I don’t like as much as the texture. In fact I find the flavor of coconut quite appealing.
Here’s a recipe for a delicious muffin that whispers of the tropics, George Bailey and holiday classics. These fresh flavored oat muffins include a healthy handful of fresh or frozen blueberries, then add a touch of adventure in the form of coconut milk, to lend coconut flavor without the stringy texture. If you are not as adverse to the texture as I am I invite you to add some shredded coconut to the batter instead of, or along with, the white chocolate chips. Or sprinkle a little on top, before baking, for a pretty presentation.
1 cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
1 cup lite coconut milk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
Mix oats and lite coconut milk in a medium bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.
Add egg whites, safflower oil, ginger and vanilla, mixing until well blended.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
Stir dry ingredients into the oat mixture, just until moistened.
Gently fold in blueberries and white chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups nearly full.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool muffins in tins on a wire rack. After 5 minutes remove muffins from pan.
When cool, drizzle with Coconut Glaze.
Yield: 12 Muffins
1½ Tablespoons lite coconut milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a small bowl, whisk the coconut milk and vanilla into the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
When thoroughly mixed drizzle the glaze over cooled muffins.
Serve and Enjoy!