Thursday, August 7, 2008

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries are now in season, about 2lbs of those juicy navy babies are about $8 on discount. We've had a box sitting in the refrigerator for over a week, and were just about to turn all squishy. I love muffins and used to have at least one every other day. Then I found out one of those crunchy-top suckers had like 500 or 600 calories because they were filled with butter and oil. I decided to perfect the art of healthy muffins to satisfy my muffin-lust. And also, my friend Joey was in town from Australia, what other way to be hospitable than to serve up a batch of warm blueberry muffins with chai latte for breakfast? These muffins are perhaps healthier than most because it contains a good dose of milled flax-seed for Omega-3 and uses a minimal amount of sugar and oil. Serve warm with a little bit of marmalade and butter for breakfast. For tea, you can serve it with some fresh strawberries and clotted cream while for dessert, you can serve warm with ice-cream and some whipped cream.

Healthy Blueberry Muffins
(Makes 12, 200 cals per serving)
Prep time = 15 mins
Cook time = 30 mins

Dry ingredients
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp milled flax-seed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients
1 cup soymilk
1 tbsp lemon peel
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/4 cup honey
1.5 cups fresh blueberries (you can also use thawed frozen blueberries)

For the streusel topping (optional)
2 tbsp slivered almonds
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1.5 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup uncooked regular oats

1. Pulse almonds 2 or 3 times in a blender or food processor until chopped. Add brown sugar and 1 tablespoon flour; process 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse 5 or 6 times or until mixture is crumbly. Stir in oats; set aside.

1. Combine and dry ingredients in a large bowl then create a well in the center.
2. Whisk together soymilk, lemon juice, oil, applesauce and egg; add to well in the flour mixture, stir and combine and just moistened. The trick is to stir about 20 times, do NOT overstir.
3. Wash, drain and toss blueberries with 1.5 tablespoons flour and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar in a colander. Fold in to flour mix, stirring to coat.
4. Spoon batter into muffin pans lined with paper cups till about 3/4 full.

To make streusel topping:
5. Pulse all streusel ingredients in a food processor until crumbly.
6. Sprinkle top of muffin batter generously with the topping, about 1/2 tablespoon for each muffin.

7. Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, the muffins are done when you insert a skewer in the middle, and no crumbs stick on the skewers when you remove it.
8. Remove immediately from pans, and cool on wire racks.

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