I’ve been experimenting with blender muffins ever since these Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins happened. They are just so easy and magically use no flour. Whole-grain oats give the muffins their body and, in this case, sweet dark cherries add so much sweetness, you can really reduce the added sugar.
I’m going to admit…after the first batch came out of the oven, I felt like these may need tweaking. The granola crunch is a bit messy, but I found that once you pull the wrapper away from the muffin you can kind of dip pieces of the muffin into the crunchy topping and it’s wonderful! If you’d rather a less messy option, add one egg white to the topping to hold it all together, but personally, I love the messy version best!
These cherries are kind of special to me…
One of the wonderful things that this blog has brought me are the amazing people I work with. I’m so fortunate to be able to carefully choose brands that share the same values and passion for healthy, quality food as I do. I’ve been having so much fun working with Stemilt Growers for over a year now. I’ve developed some recipes and done some photography for their site and for their eBooks. So, when I was asked to go out to Washington state to spend a couple of days with them, I’m not going to lie…I may have squealed a bit and happy-danced through the kitchen!
We spent a few days in Seattle before heading to Wenatchee, where Stemilt is located. Seattle is such a beautiful waterfront city with amazing food, incredible coffee (this was my favorite) and beautiful art and architecture. The people are so friendly and always willing to point you in the direction of their favorite spots. We walked non-stop and covered most of the city from touristy sights like the Space Needle, to hole-in-the-wall local bars, then took a ferry across the water to Bainbridge where we ate phenomenal ice-cream for dinner and tasted delicious wines for dessert!
We drove out to Wenatchee, a small, quaint town surrounded by mountains. I finally got to meet the wonderful folks I’ve been working for along with some other talented bloggers and food writers. We spent the next couple of days eating (of course), chatting, laughing and touring Stemilt’s orchards and facilities.
We met Kyle Mathison, a fourth generation grower in his Amigos Orchard that sits about three thousand feet above sea level. Kyle has a contagious passion and love for the cherries he grows. He and his crew begin their days in the orchard at 4:30 in the morning and begin picking cherries with a spiritual devotion. There’s a lot of science that goes into being a grower and Kyle can explain it all so that anyone can understand (even me), but it’s the subtle things that make Stemilt world famous. Kyle’s “moon cherries” are spectacular. Warm days and cool nights produce sweet and firm cherries, but, if you’re lucky (and we were), a full moon during picking season will produce an even sweeter cherry. Kyle explained that the gravitational pull of the moon increases the sugar content of the fruit. All I know is, they are the best cherries I’ve ever eaten…so I believe him! We followed the path of the freshly picked cherries to their mobile hydro-cooling area, then on to their meticulous packing plant were cherries are cleaned again, sorted and thoughtfully packed to be quickly shipped all over the world.
That evening, we were treated to a beautiful dinner at the home of Tate and Lauren Mathison, high up into the mountains, overlooking Wenatchee. The view was breathtaking and their hospitality was heartwarming. Speaking to Tate, it was clear, that the passion of growing high quality produce in a responsible way runs deep. I left feeling completely inspired and incredibly proud to be working with Stemilt.
We meandered back to Seattle, stopping in Leavenworth’s Bavarian village to stroll, and took in some short hikes and waterfalls here and there with a fantastic dinner in Kirkland before ending our trip.
Visit Stemilt for more information, as well as recipes and nutritional information. And…if you see a bag of Kyle’s cherries, be sure to pick some up so you can make a batch of these super crunchy muffins!
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg white (optional, see above)
- ½ cup almond milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 small to medium ripe bananas, peeled
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2½ cups rolled oats
- ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar or dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pitted and quartered fresh cherries
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners (see Notes).
- In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix until combined. Set aside.
- In your blender, combine all of the muffin ingredients in the order listed, except the cherries. Blend on medium high speed for 35 to 40 seconds or until smooth and well blended. Remove the blender pitcher from the base.
- Add the chopped cherries and mix in lightly with a spoon or spatula. Pour the mixture into the muffin tins about ⅔ full.
- Top each muffin with about 2 tablespoons of the topping mixture. Press the topping into each muffin a bit.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Allow to cool in the tins for about 3 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.