I have a muffin problem. The muffin is my “go to” breakfast food vehicle of choice. Now, most muffins you see in a glass case at the coffee shop or at the store are little more than fist size sugar bombs. Take a moment and look at the nutrition information from Panera.
A blueberry muffin, with fresh blueberries, is 460 calories and delivers 40 grams of sugar. The same muffin also only has 2 grams of fiber. You might as well be chugging a soda for your breakfast.
So, my muffin problem has turned into a baking odyssey. I want to control what is in my ritual morning breakfast. Naturally this has led me down a rabbit hole of ingredients (e.g. wheat bran versus oat bran, maple syrup versus molasses, etc.). One of the major issues that I faced when perfecting my morning muffin was a source of local, organic flour and bran. Enter Early Morning Harvest:
Early Morning Harvest is a diversified farm operation located in Panora, Iowa.
At less than 170 miles from my house I am going to count them as local. Sometimes those 100 mile limits seem arbitrary as 170 miles in Iowa might take you the same amount of time in a car as fifty miles in Los Angeles.
The farm produces vegetables, eggs, tilapia through aquaculture, honey, grass fed beef, herbs, and milled grain products.
For my recipe, which will be forthcoming in a future blog post, I use whole wheat flour and wheat bran from Early Morning Harvest. It is certified organic and stone ground. The flour contains the entirety of the wheat grain. Nothing has been removed. The result is a whole wheat flour, owing to its freshness and completeness, that bursts with wheat flavor. It kind of reminds me of the concept that Mark Schatzker was making in The Dorito Effect: the better a food tastes, the better that food will be from a nutritional perspective.
I was able to find the Early Morning Harvest products at the New Pioneer Food Coop. The products are also available at a variety of stores in Iowa as well.