Friday, August 26, 2011

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook on February 26, 2011

For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published in Simple and Delicious, December/January 2011.

I have to be honest; I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  If I do get a craving, it is usually in the morning and can be taken care of with a cup of coffee with cream & sugar.  Of course, that isn’t the healthiest option and doesn’t leave me full to make it to lunch.  Because of this, I am always looking for easy to make and semi-healthy morning pastries.  I don’t try to fool myself: Muffins, bagels, donuts are not the healthiest option for me, but every once in a while, I just gotta have one!!!

I was really excited that this recipe used a whole wheat flour blend.  I really want to start cooking with more whole grains, and this was a great place to start.  Simple and slightly healthier than normal – I’m in!

My finished meal:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Yes, my muffins are purple.  That aside, they had a fantastic smell and were moist and nicely browned.  I’ll be honest though, I’m not sure how well the tops were browned because THEY ARE PURPLE!  The blueberry-to-muffin ratio was quite nice, so Ace Rothstein would be pleased.

Picture published with recipe:
© Simple & Delicious
Simple & Delicious, how I hate you so!  Seriously, how did they get these looking so perfect?  I followed the directions, even to keep your batter a “normal” color.  They look overrun with blueberries, perfectly browned and ridiculously delicious.  Just as I thought I was getting better at baking, the self doubt creeps in.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessEH – Whenever I have to measure flour, I seem to make a gigantic mess.  If you aren’t a klutz, like me, you probably wouldn’t have any mess at all.  If I’m being honest here, the rating probably should be a SIGH since I had a major flour spilling disaster and I made a blueberry-mess. 

Start-to-Finish Time: UNDER AN HOUR – I can’t figure out why this took me so long.  It feels like it should be done much quicker than that.  Still, tasty muffins in under an hour is still pretty good.

Prep Work: ALL FINGERS STILL HERE – One of my favorite aspects of baking is that there really isn’t much prep work.  Maybe you have to chop some nuts every once in a while, but for the most part, it is measure and mix.  There was nothing to do here but throw the ingredients into a bowl and pour it into muffin pans (or not… more on that in a little bit).

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – If you bake with whole wheat flour, then you probably have everything you need for this recipe in your house, except for the buttermilk and possibly blueberries.  You won’t need any fancy equipment and it’s a basic mix-and-bake recipe.  Your kids could probably help you with this for a nice family experience.

OverallSORRY HONEY, NO LEFTOVERS – Even though they may not have been pretty, they were moist and tasted great.  We were eating them as dessert and I almost had to arm wrestle the last one away from my husband.

Recipe Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of Nutrition Data.  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 18

Nutritional Information (1 muffin)
  • Calories 158
  • Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 1g)
  • Cholesterol 24mg
  • Sodium 167mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 21g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Protein 3g
  • Diabetic Exchanges:
    • 1 starch
    • 1 fat
    • 1/2 fruit
Even though I made it pretty close to the correct timing, it just seemed like it took me a long time.  I think it may be because I had a flour spill disaster and seemed like I had to clean blueberry off of everything.  My timing came out as the following:
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Assembly of Muffins: 19 minutes
  • Bake Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time 39 minutes
When we’re talking about baked goods, it’s really hard to have anything that can be deemed “healthy”.  Obviously, the recipe writer was trying to make it a little better by adding in the whole wheat flour instead of totally all-purpose flour.  That does help people suffering from diabetes.  That being said, this isn’t your healthiest option for losing weight.  Remarkably enough, when I ran this recipe through the nutritional data assessment (I’m using a new one by the way) it came out **gasp** slightly healthier.

Nutritional Information (1 muffin)
  • Calories 138
  • Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 1g)
  • Cholesterol 24mg
  • Sodium 175mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 16g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 2g
  • Protein 3g
Nutrition Data places this recipe right on the cusp of being balanced for nutrition to calorie count, but it is a little calorie dense, so they say it is best to eat in moderation.  The good news is that it is a good source of the antioxidants manganese and selenium.

Changes denoted by red text
© You Want Me to Cook?
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Ingredients - Dairy & Fruit
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Cooking Spray
© You Want Me to Cook?
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Ingredients - Pantry

Ingredient Notes:
Frozen Blueberries
  • I have nothing against fresh blueberries.  It is just that my husband bought a ridiculously large bag of frozen blueberries when he went to Costco and I had plenty at my disposable.  (He’s on a blueberry oatmeal & smoothie kick right now) 
  • The editor’s note that I included with the recipe said to leave them frozen so as to not discolor your batter.  That didn’t make one bit of difference when I made mine.  They still turned out purple.
Cooking Spray – I didn’t want to use paper liners and wanted to stay away from adding extra butter or shortening to the pan for greasing.  Cooking spray was a nice alternative.

Equipment Needed:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Large measuring cup with spout
Spoon (mixing)
Large bowl
Muffin cups
Wire racks

Equipment Notes:
Large Measuring Cup with Spout – The recipe called for a large bowl, but I decided that my extra large glass measuring cup with a spout would work nicely to pour the batter into the muffin cups.  Of course, I didn’t anticipate not being able to pour the batter, but my heart was in the right place.

Wire Racks – I used to laugh at the whole “cool on wire racks” portion of recipes.  I thought it was just a way for baking pan companies to make more money.  Then someone gave me one from Pampered Chef.  The first time I tried it was making Christmas cookies and I couldn’t believe the difference in how crispy they were.  If you don’t want your muffins to be “soggy” I recommend buying a cooling rack.

(1)  In a large measuring cup with spout, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

(2)  In another bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

I used a fork to beat the ingredients together.  At first I was going to use a whisk, but then I realized that normally a recipe tells you to specifically use a whisk and I didn’t want to risk ruining the recipe.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Raw Batter
(3)  Fold in blueberries.

So my batter was ridiculously purple, as you can see in the picture.  Also another note, blueberries stain!  If you get them on your counter, clothes, hands, etc… wash it off ASAP!

(4)  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375°F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

You may be able to tell from the picture that the batter turned out REALLY thick.  It made it difficult to pour, so I had to spoon the batter into the muffin cups.

One of my favorite tools is my cake tester.  Honestly, I have no idea where I got it from, but it saves me from having to find a toothpick or making a huge gash in my baked goods.

(5)  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm.

These were really a great treat to eat with my morning coffee, and as I said before, we snuck them in as dessert too.  They were filling and delicious which is exactly what you want from a treat.

After reading the Readers’ Reviews, it looks like a couple of them used ALL Whole Wheat flour instead of a blend and they said it didn’t affect the taste or consistency.  I was curious how this would affect the nutritional data and it didn’t change much (slightly healthier), but it did significantly lower the glycemic index, which is good news for the diabetics in my family.  Therefore, next time, I’m going to use all Whole Wheat flour and enjoy!

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