patriotic muffins

In Canada, we have this great stuff called Red River Cereal. Not only is it Canadian, it actually originated in Manitoba’s storied Red River Valley–the area surrounding the city I’m from. I don’t know if it’s available in conventional grocery stores in the US, but as with everything else, is available here. (Bob’s Red Mill 7- or 10-grain cereal will also do the trick, though the result will possess a diminished cultural caliber.


As far as whole foods go, this one is tops. Made of just three simple ingredients — cracked wheat, rye and flax– this stuff will boost your High-Density Lipoproteins (the “good” cholesterol everyone is raving about these days) like nobody’s business. HDL Muffins didn’t quite have the same ring to it though.


And just in case the cholesterol pitch wasn’t enough, these babies are high in fiber and protein as well. So pack up your packaged energy bars and whip out your wooden spoons.

Since we’re not swallows who can just peck away at grains laid out on the glistening buffet of late February snow, we humans have to turn cereal into more tender possibilities. Whether it’s cooked on the stovetop to yield a hot viscous pudding with a satisfying chew, or made into these Red River Valley Muffins, I think we might actually have it a little better than the birds.


Red River Valley Muffins

makes 24

Combine in a saucepan:

2 cups chopped and pitted dates
1.5 cups Red River Cereal or Bob’s Red Mill 7 grain (or 10) hot cereal mix
3 cups hot water
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Simmer 5 minutes, cool to lukewarm

Combine in bowl:

3 cups natural bran
1.5 cups whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2.5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt

Combine in another bowl:

2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups buttermilk (or kefir, or milk mixed with a Tbsp vinegar)
2 Tbsp canola or coconut oil

  1. Stir date and egg mixes into dry, using a stand mixer or your own brute strength.
  2. Spoon into muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
  3. Serve with butter and creamed honey.

Nutritional Information per muffin: 191.5 cal, 4.2g total fat, 17.6g cholesterol, 38g carbohydrate , 6.6g fiber, 5.3g protein


18 thoughts on “patriotic muffins

  1. February 22, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Just in case you don’t believe Jen about how good these are, they are amazing. Everyone should go out and get the ingredients (and if you can’t find the cereal, follow the link to the site that sells 6lbs of the stuff for $20) and make these muffins! YUM!

  2. john
    February 25, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    i totally just went to wegmans and bought all the ingredients for these, except i had to go with red mill’s 7 grain, and i’m going to try subbing spelt flour, and, yeah, i’ll obviously be making the necessary vegan adjustments. i’ve been looking for a healthy muffin recipe and i’m psyched that you’ve got one.

  3. February 25, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    John, you should totally consider getting the 6lbs of Red River Cereal that Jen linked to at the top. I think Red River cereal is so good and so pure. It’s worth it.

  4. Jen
    February 26, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Let me know how they turn out “veganified!” :)

  5. March 2, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    I told Mark that when my wife saw these on your Blog – they became her new pregnancy craving.

    I made them for her tonight for the first time (we had to use Bob’s Red Mill) – THEY’RE INCREDIBLE!

    We love them. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. March 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    …oh and we’re trying the Rockin’ Morroccan Stew this weekend when some friends come to town.

  7. john
    March 18, 2008 at 6:58 am

    they turned out awesome veganified. i’m definitely making them again. and while i was eating them, i kept not believing how good they were for me. super recipe.

  8. Jordan
    March 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    I made these two nights ago. They were totally great. I halved the recipe. That was stupid. Now I have to make another batch today. They disappeared too fast…

    I used wheat bran, Red River cereal, and milk soured with vinegar. I omitted the pecans. I soaked the chopped dates in some warm water for 5 mins or so before adding them to the saucepan. That seemed to help make them nice and soft in the muffins.

    I’m 2-for-2 with FCP recipes now. That means (for those other than Jen who bump on this comment) that the FCP granola recipe also proved stellar by me.

    1. January 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Reminds me of my late grandmothers take on rice cripsy treats. She would make a small batch of rice krispies and a small batch of cocoa pebbles then layer it to harden. Top it off with creme cheese frosting and man did that thought make me miss her

  9. Jen
    March 27, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks for your comment, Jordan! I love how you tweaked the muffins to make them your own, that’s what it’s all about. I’m going to try dried cranberries and/or apricots, nutmeg, and cinnamon in the future. Also, I must say I love being referred to as FCP…abbreviation surely signfies the journey to becoming a household name. See you this weekend…

  10. sheri
    March 29, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Well well, I am SO pleased that my recipe has journeyed so far from its humble origins in the Red River valley!

  11. Sheri
    October 3, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Hey, Jen…. Karen made these and wondered about cooking the red river cereal as there is no water listed in the ingredients. The original recipe says 1 1/2 cups hot water that you cook the dates, br sugar and lemon juice in, just thought you might like to correct that!

  12. Jen
    October 3, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I’m so sorry about that, I must have written it wrong! It does still work without the water though–I’ve been doing it that way all along, and so have all the other people who I’ve given the recipe to! It makes for a more dense muffin, I guess.

  13. Darlene
    November 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I don’t like dates, can use raisins? If so how many cups? Or what other dried fruit can I use?
    I have not made these muffins yet. I am excited to try them tho!
    Thank you.

  14. elizabeth
    October 14, 2010 at 11:51 am

    So when you make them, you cook the red river with the dates, sugar and lemon and don’t add the 3 cups water?

  15. Anonymous
    November 7, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Oh Canada

  16. mira cirovic
    February 6, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I use a recipe from a friend which is very simple and has a muffin like texture and taste. Serve with butter or a thin slice of cheese. Mix 3 cups boiling water with 3 cups Red River Cereal, 1\2 cup of molasses and 1 cup wheat bran. Stir in 1 cup of flour ( white or wheat) mixed with 2 tsp. baking soda. Put in a greased pan and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.

  17. May 3, 2014 at 3:02 am

    Which recipe of red river cereal muffins is the most popular and simple??