Freshly baked muffins studded with juicy berries are one of summer's greatest pleasures. But baking muffins from scratch is something most of us only have time for on the weekends. I wanted to find a boxed muffin mix that would act as a great base for summer berries. And it had to be healthy, tasty, and easy enough to prepare for grab-and-go weekday breakfasts.

Most supermarket muffin mixes are already heavily flavored (apple cinnamon, blueberry streusel, chocolate chocolate chunk, etc.). Many contain high fructose corn syrup, or call for loads of oil. Not exactly the wholesome, whole grain muffin I had in mind. But there seemed to be one good option: Dr. Oetker's Organic Oatmeal Muffin Mix, which can be found at Whole Foods and other well-stocked supermarkets for about $4. The ingredient list is short and all natural, and the mix only calls for two tablespoons of oil, one egg, and water.

20110626-158086-droetker-oatmeal-muffins-3.jpgWhen I emptied the pouch of mix into a bowl I was pleased to see visible pieces of rolled oats. Overall, the mix was a nice wheaty color, and smelled like cinnamon and molasses. In addition to the oil, egg, and water, I stirred one heaping cup of fresh blueberries into the batter.

After 15 minutes in the oven, my muffins emerged with golden brown grainy tops and pockets of bursting blueberries dripping with juice. What I liked best about the muffins was their prominent oatmeal flavor. They tasted wholesome and nutty, and not the least bit like cardboard, the way some whole grain muffins can. They were sweet, but not cupcake-sweet, which let the juicy fresh blueberry flavor really shine through. My only complaint had to do with the muffin tops, which were soft and moist. I would have preferred a crunchier, crispier texture, similar to bakery-style muffins. Ultimately though, these muffins a quick, healthy, and delicious base for summer berries.

I'll definitely be making them again soon.


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