Monday, May 9, 2011

(Slightly) Healthier Blueberry Muffins

Alexa loves to help bake, and I love to let her, but a ton of baked goods sitting around isn't really good for any of us.  So for this weekend's baking, we started with my favorite blueberry muffin recipe (I love the lemony blueberry jam on top), and made a few changes.  The first swap was white whole wheat for all-purpose flour.  Not a whole lot of effect on taste or texture, but a boost in whole grains.  Next, a few tablespoons of wheat germ added to up the vitamins and minerals.  Finally, no-fat Greek yogurt is subbed for the buttermilk for some extra protein.  Now, with a cup of sugar, these still aren't exactly healthy, but they're definitely more filling, and more nutritious.

And even better, the flavor and texture weren't affected.  These muffins are still moist and tender, and go nicely with a cup of coffee on a weekend morning. 

Blueberry Muffins
adapted from Cook's Illustrated

What's in them:

1 + 1/3 c granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 c frozen blueberries, divided
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp wheat germ
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 c vegetable oil
3/4 c plain no-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 c low fat milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

How to make them:

For the topping, stir together the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 and adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position.  Generously spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of blueberries with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the lemon juice.  Cook over medium heat, stirring and mashing the blueberries often.  Continue to cook until the mixture has thickened and reduced to about 1/4 cup, 5-6 minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Toss the remaining cup of blueberries into the flour mixture.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and remaining sugar until completely combined.  Whisk in the butter and oil, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract.  

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the flour-blueberry mixture, being careful not to overmix.  There should be lumps remaining and the batter should be just moistened.

Portion the batter into the muffin tins, using a spoon to create a depression on the top .  Drop a scant teaspoon of the blueberry jam into the each depression.  Sprinkle the lemon-sugar over the top of each muffin.

Bake 17-19 minutes, until the tops are golden and firm.  Cool in the muffin tin 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack before serving.


  1. These sound great! I love when baked goods are made with "healthier" ingredients. I don't feel so bad when I eat them. :)

  2. These look delicious! I love taking my favorite sweet treats and making them a little healthier, so I don't feel so guilty. I use white whole wheat flour a lot, and don't notice a huge difference in taste. You can also sub out the butter for applesauce...but it tends to give baked goods a more rubbery texture.

  3. These really sound great. This is my first visit to your site and I've spent some time browsing through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary