As we walked our property in late July/early August last summer, Dick and I marveled at the abundance of bright green clusters of native hazelnuts growing on huge bushes that formed hedgerows along a roadside. We regularly checked on them, until one day, we knew harvest time was near... just a few more days.
Then, in horror, we found the bushes stripped bare! The squirrels had gotten to them before us. The squirrels know such things. They gather them before they are fully mature to assure that they are one step ahead of humans. Humans are intelligent creatures, too. We know that hazelnuts (aka filberts) come conveniently packaged ready-to-eat... and there will be yet another year to outsmart the squirrels... maybe netting placed over the bushes.
From Smart Muffins by Jane Kinderlehrer
2 bananas (about ¾ cup)
3 tbsp honey or molasses
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup yogurt or buttermilk
1 ¼ cups sifted whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp oat bran
2 tbsp wheat germ
2 tbsp wheat bran
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
In a mixing bowl, blend together the eggs, bananas, honey or molasses, oil, and yogurt or buttermilk. In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 400°. Oil the bottoms of 12 regular-size muffin pan cups or line them with paper baking cups. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet, mixing briefly only until no flour is visible. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Top each muffin with chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Yield: 12 muffins.