I'm now balancing out my last post about gooey caramel cookies with this one about healthy muffins! It's actually quite possible that modifying muffin recipes to make them healthier has helped me become a more adventurous cook and baker. If it's a new recipe, sometimes I'll only modify a few things or if I'm feeling crazy I might modify a lot. I remember when there was no way I could possibly deviate from a recipe - vanilla extract instead of almond? White wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? Inconceivable!
Anyway, I'm incredibly happy with this muffin recipe. It's 100% whole wheat, uses no butter or oil, and is full of blueberries and nuts. I've been making these muffins every week, slowly tweaking the recipe. These muffins are a bit dense but in a perfect healthy muffin way. I, of course, still love my fluffy, soft, sweet, cake-y muffins, but for something I can eat everyday and feel good about, these muffins are perfect.
Tips for making healthier muffins:
-replace half of the flour with whole wheat flour, or replace half with whole wheat flour and the other half with whole wheat pastry flour (the idea is to figure out a good balance of flours that are healthier but still produce a yummy soft baked good)
-try different types of flour (ex. spelt, amaranth)- an easy one is grinding oatmeal in a food processor or blender until it's fine like flour
-replace the oil with applesauce
-use "flax eggs" instead of eggs, or add ground flax to your muffin batter
-try reducing the sugar by 1/4 of the amount or more
-add fruits, nuts and/or seeds
-add cinnamon or your favourite spice to give it more flavour
-use muffin liners instead of oiling your muffin tin (this one I don't like because it involves using paper that's not really needed)
Other healthy muffins:
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Inspired by The Garden of Vegan
Makes 8 good size muffins. This recipe is easily doubled.
1/2 cup 1% milk (or you can use non dairy milk)
1 cup oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flax seeds
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 to 1 cup of chopped nuts (I usually use almonds, pecans or walnuts)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare muffin tins with muffin cup liners.
2. Prepare the "flax eggs" by first grinding the flax seeds. Add the water to the ground flax seeds and blend together until it starts to thicken up a bit.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the "flax eggs", milk, applesauce, vanilla and sugar. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and gently fold together. Gently stir in the blueberries and nuts. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Suggested modifications: Make these muffins with your favourite dried chopped fruit instead of the blueberries, and use 3/4 cup or 1 cup of milk instead. Replace the milk with soy milk to make these vegan. I like my muffins a bit drier so you might prefer to add up to 1 cup of milk.
Note: I put a vegan tag on these muffins because they can easily be veganized by using soy milk instead of cow's milk (since they contain no eggs or butter). I am not intending to imply that cow's milk is vegan.