Muffins are an American fave, but unfortunately many of them can pack in the calories and fat like crazy! Baking with fruit (like blueberries, in the summer) can be a great way to incorporate antioxidants and fiber to our food. Experimenting in the kitchen is fun and it can be shared with family and friends.
A great way to have your muffins (and eat them, too!) is to make smart substitutions to the recipe. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can bump up the nutrition and cut down on the guilt in healthy blueberry muffins you can have ready for breakfast all week long!
Check out the recipe at the end that puts all of these swaps into action!
All muffins call for flour, but using half or ¾ whole wheat flour in place of the white flour the recipe calls for will increase the amount of fiber in them (by 2 to 4 grams, depending on the brand.)
Cooks that have experimented more with this type of baking recommend using up to ¾ whole wheat flour (instead of ALL wheat flour) to preserve the texture of the muffin.
The next ingredient in muffins is sugar. You can substitute white sugar with a mix of honey and brown sugar. We’ve already discussed how the body metabolizes sugar the same way, no matter the type of sugar, and how consuming excess added sugar can contribute to weight gain. In the case of a recipe, everything is carefully measured so you won’t end up adding an excessive amount. Also, brown sugar and honey contain a little more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than white sugar, according to the National Honey Board.
Muffins also require some type of fat to provide moisture in the mix. This recipe calls for mashed bananas and Greek yogurt as a replacement for oil. Mashed bananas provide vitamins like potassium and also fiber. Greek yogurt is high in protein and it also provides healthy probiotics. These two ingredients will make the muffins soft and moist.
Next, muffins need a binder. Eggs are usually used at this point (and so does this recipe) but I know that substituting flax seed meal will also provide you with the texture you are looking for. Flax seeds are packed with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and have no cholesterol. To replace 1 egg, use 1 Tbsp of golden flaxseed meal in 3 Tbsp of water. Golden flax seeds are better for baking because they don’t turn your food a darker color.
Lastly, the recipe calls for ¾ cup of milk. The good news is that you can use any milk you like: whole, skim, almond, rice or soy. I always have almond milk in my fridge, so that’s what I would use for this recipe.