Friday, 8 March 2013

I love food, but I'm picky about what I eat. By that I do not mean that I am a picky eater, I just know what I like and what I don't and I eat what I like.

For example, I LOVE lemon cranberry muffins. What I don't like about lemon cranberry muffins is that they're usually a few cranberries thrown into a boring white flour/white sugar dough with some lemon thrown in. Despite the cranberries, it is not remotely healthy, so I decided to see if I could come up with a healthier version that still had the flavours I so enjoy.

I searched through recipe books, online recipes, etc., and finally did enough tweaking to come up with something that I think works; it might not be everybody's cup of tea but I like them! Here is the recipe I came up with.

Healthy Lemon Cranberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 cup bran (your choice, either oat or wheat)
1 cup ground flax seed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (about a pinch)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 lemons, juice and zest of
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup grape seed oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Soak oats in buttermilk for about an hour; add the baking soda and let sit another 5 minutes. Add eggs, oil and vanilla, mix well. Add zest and juice of lemons (see note). In a separate bowl, mix flour, bran, flax seed, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar until well blended. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until moistened. Fold in cranberries until incorporated. Spoon in batter into greased muffin cups (or lined with paper cups) and bake for approximately 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 10 minutes then release from muffin tin and enjoy!

(Note: When I use lemons for rind and juice, I always thoroughly wash my lemons first with soap, water and a scrubbie; even if you use organic lemons it's good to wash the outside. I mean, who knows how many people touched it before you? To get the most juice out of your lemons, let hot water run over it for a few seconds, then roll them lightly on the counter before juicing).

If you want the nutritional analysis of this recipe, you'll find it below.

Calories per serving: 229
Calories from fat: 64
Total fat: 7.1 g (11% of your daily value)
    Saturated fat: 1 g (5% of your daily value)
    Trans fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 28 mg (9% of your daily value)
Sodium: 93 mg (4% of your daily value)
Total carbohydrates: 30.4 g (10% of your daily value)
    Dietary fiber: 10.6 g (43% of your daily value)
    Sugars: 10.8 g
Protein: 9.3 g

(I got this from a neat online tool called Calorie Count )

And the results? Flavour wise, I think it hits the mark while adding lots of healthy fiber. Good for breakfast on the go! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.