Saturday, July 9, 2011

Whole-grain Blueberry Muffins

 Last week, I started a summer activity that is fun but educational, called Alphabet Adventure with my 5 and 3 year old.  To be honest, I thought the kids would get bored with it after the first couple of letters, but they really got into this game and are excited about starting it up again this week. It's not just entertaining for the kids, but I am really getting into it as well (especially when it involves Donuts on letter D day!). We started with letter A last Monday and do four letters a week (M-Thu). I usually try to plan a fun activity, at least one food, and a coloring page for whatever letter we are doing.

That's how these blueberry muffins came about. The kids helped me make them for letter B day, and boy (see...another B word!) were they delicious. They are packed with fiber from the oats, flax seed and whole wheat flour mixed in. My favorite part? They have frozen blueberries in them! Blueberries don't have to be in season for you to make them, so you can whip these scrumptious muffins up any time of the year. 

Also, these muffins are vegan, so if you have any food allergies or just don't care to consume any animal products, this recipe is for you!
E-mail me or comment on this post if you are interested in the Alphabet Adventure itinerary I am following. This is our first year doing it, and it's been a blast so far!

  **The recipe is adapted from the Eat Me Delicious blog  . If you are interested in seeing the original recipe, click here.

Muffin Recipe 
Serves: 16-20 Prep: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

 2 TB flax meal
4 TB water

2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or whatever flour you have on hand)
2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups milk (I used soy)
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup agave syrup ( or whatever sweetener you have on hand)
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. If you so choose, line your muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Add the water to the ground flax seeds and blend together in a medium bowl until they start to thicken up.
3.Add milk, applesauce, vanilla and sugar to the ground flaxseeds.
4. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and gently fold together. Gently stir in the blueberries and nuts. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~Stir together dry ingredients and set aside.
~Chop up walnuts and set aside.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 

~Instead of blueberries try a dried fruit instead like dried cranberries or raisins.
~Chop up some roasted almonds or pecans instead of walnuts.
~Add 2 TB lemon juice and 2 tsp lemon zest to make these a lemon-blueberry muffin. 
~Throw in 2-4 TB poppy seeds into the batter. 
~For a new twist, toast the oats before adding them to the dry mixture.

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