whole grain blueberry banana muffins

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My life has been a little crazy, nutso, busy, insane. To sum it up in a few words.

The husband and I have been busy with everything except for cooking. Cleaning, re-caulking bathtubs, patching and painting walls, re-organizing storage rooms and offices, carpet cleaning, etc. Okay, well I can't do anything of those things because 1. I'm not handy and 2. if I'm allowed to help, I have to hold the cord or keep the cats away from "helping". So basically, it's the husband doing it all and I stand, watch, and am on sandwich making duty.

What I've been neglecting is, my laundry, my blog, my baking, my new camera, and all around efficient things.

I made these muffins about 2 weeks ago. One of my good friends was heavily pregnant at the time, 5 days past her due date, and bound to pop at any moment. I thought it would be great to bake up a batch of these, knowing she would not be thinking about making a healthy whole-grain breakfast once the baby arrived.

Well, that baby arrived just over a week ago. Luckily, I had popped some of these muffins in the freezer after I baked them and when I went for my first baby snuggle at the hospital, I came bearing not only with a pink, kitty cat sleeper ensemble (seriously, how could I not buy it? It had a hat with CAT EARS), but a container full of muffins. After a few long days without sleep and crappy hospital food, they were happy to see the muffins, and of course the kitty cat clothing.

Of course, I had to test them before I gave them away, only a good friend would, right? That's what I told myself.

The muffins had a nice moist texture, due to the banana, but were not overwhelmed by banana flavour. the fresh blueberries burst through, giving the muffins a burst of colour once they were cut open. Even though they contain whole grain flour and flax seeds, they don't taste overly healthy. Even the husband ate them. In between carpet cleaning and caulking the bathtubs.

Healthy Banana-Blueberry Muffins
[ adapted from Martha Stewart ]

The original recipe calls for 1 cup of whole wheat flour, I substituted it for a 1/2 cup of whole wheat and a 1/2 cup of spelt flour. If all you have is whole wheat flour, go ahead and use that. Also, frozen blueberries can used in place of the fresh, just make sure they are still frozen when you stir them into the batter.

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup golden flax seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 large, ripe bananas
1/3 cup reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a standard 12-cup muffin tins with liners and set aside.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flours, flax seeds, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each egg is well-blended before adding the next. In another small bowl, (this recipe uses far too many bowl for my liking, by the way) mash the bananas and add the milk and vanilla.

Keeping the mixer on low, alternatively add in the flour and banana mixtures, starting and ending with the flour, until just combined. Fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.

Using a ice cream scoop, divide batter among muffin cups and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 25 - 28 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a baking rack to finish cooling.