More (Healthier) Muffins!

This weather makes me want to bake, so I've decided to replenish our muffin supply.  The best cook I know was kind enough to pass along this amazing muffin recipe to me.  I am sharing it with her permission.

I added a cup of chopped, frozen strawberries.  (We picked them at a local organic farm last summer.)

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The kids enjoyed these for breakfast this morning.  Here is the feedback:

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I plan to try a number of different variations of this recipe!


Basic Muffin Recipe in Two Versions

The secret of tender, fine texture muffins is to avoid over mixing; to whisk dry ingredients together once, swiftly add the wet ingredients, to dash the mixture into the muffin pans and into a hot oven without yielding to the temptation to beat. For the basic recipe you will need a large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, a two-cup measure, and a muffin pan.

Ingredients for 12 whole wheat muffins
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour 1 egg, lightly beaten
2 ¼ tsp. baking powder 1 1/3 cups milk
3 T. brown sugar ¼ cup vegetable oil
A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 425.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Beat the egg until light, add to it the milk and oil and toss all into the flour mixture. Stir quickly, just enough to dampen the dry ingredients. Let it sit about one minute to rest, then spoon into lightly oiled or paper lined muffin tins and bake about 20-25 minutes until the tops are light brown and the muffins spring back slightly to the touch. 

If you use jumbo muffin tins, reduce the heat to 375’ and bake 25-30 minutes. The quantities of ingredients do not change for 6 jumbo muffins.

If you do not have whole wheat flour you can use the following recipe. You can also substitute one cup of unbleached flour with 1 cup yellow corn meal or 1 cup rolled oats, then add various additions like a bit of jam on top of corn muffins or a bit of chopped walnut and cinnamon or masticated raspberries on the oats.

Ingredients for 12 wheat muffins – follow directions above but change the proportions to:
1 ¾ cups unbleached wheat flour 1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup wheat germ 1 cup milk
2 T. baking powder 1/3 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup granulated sugar mixed with the dry ingredients or ¼ cup honey or maple syrup added to the liquids

Additions – the fun part
One cup of any of the following can be added after the mixture has rested and before it is spooned into the tins:

1 cup whole berries - blueberries, chopped strawberries, raspberries – top with a sprinkle of crystallized sugar (1 tsp for 12 muffins) If you have frozen berries, they go right into the batter frozen

1 cup finely chopped fruit - pear, mashed banana or peeled and roughly chopped peaches or plums, or any over-ripe fruit you may have laying around. A few chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or shredded almonds) added on the top with cinnamon-sugar is nice. One sliver of crystallized ginger is also nice on top of each muffin.

1 cup finely chopped, seeded tomatoes, with a chiffonade of fresh basil and a spritz of parmesan cheese

1 cup cooked and drained, cooled, finely chopped spinach and parsley with shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup cooked and drained, cooled, chopped broccoli or cauliflower florets with shredded Cheddar cheese mixed through or added to the top with a sprinkle of herbed bread crumbs.

1 cup cooked and drained, cooled corn kernals with a bit of finely chopped red or green pepper


½ cup each fresh cranberries and raisins roughly chopped together in a blender with a bit of orange zest. Here you can also substitute ½ cup of orange juice for ½ of the milk

1 cup raw, shredded zucchini or yellow squash with ¼ cup raisins and a 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Beets, turnips, carrots or parsnips can be cooked and pureed much like banana but my children were always suspicious of these root vegetables in a muffin, even with the addition of chocolate chips, maple syrup or molasses.

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