Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Super healthy whole wheat muffins

So, I love big, cupcake like muffins with the perfectly crusty puffy tops. But, they're nutritional disasters and send me off into crazy sugar land resulting in feeling great for an hour, a horrific crash, and several subsequent days of cravings. For some of us, sugar acts on our body like crack or some other highly addictive drug, and so I'm always trying to find a muffin recipe that helps with the craving for some carb-y goodness without sending me into a sugar spiral. I've been working on these whole wheat muffins for a while. They are a great base from which you can go either sweet or savory and they're nice plain with soups and salads. I use standard whole wheat flour, so be sure to mix as minimally as possible to avoid making tough pucks! For portion control and storage, I recommend making a batch, letting them cool, and then freezing them individually in little freezer bags. You can stash them in your lunch and they will thaw by the time you want to eat them. I just threw together a blueberry batch because I needed an excuse to turn the oven on. And, I'm eating one right now with a little unsweetened jam! So, so good.

1 1/3 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t each baking soda and baking powder
1/2 t salt

3/4 c unsweetened plain soy milk
1 T olive oil
3 T agave nectar (if you're going for sweet muffins) OR 3 more T of soy milk or veggie broth for savory muffins
1 t vanilla for sweet muffins

Optional mix- ins:
1/2 c frozen berries, 1/2 c finely chopped fruit, 1/2 c caramelized onions and shallots, 1/2 c chopped herbs, nuts and seeds, raisins, etc.

Preheat the oven to 350. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined. Toss the mix ins in with the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the large mixing bowl and fold gently with a spatula. I'd say to make five folds and then stop! It is better to have lumpy batter than tough muffins. Portion the batter out into a muffin tin (This recipe makes about 8 muffins in my standard muffin tin.) and bake for 13- 15 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before eating and cool completely before storing or freezing. These puff up pretty good, but if you want that big top, fill the spaces in your tin to about 1/8" below the top. When I make 8, they puff, but there isn't enough batter in each muffin to make a big top...Perhaps its time for a smaller muffin tin!