My Wicked Blueberry Muffins, Just for You

Yesterday I caught up with a friend. We tackled my nemesis, The Stairs, but I went easy on her as it was her cherry-popping session. Only a mere 15 floors. When I saw my healthy, thin friend doubled over, huffing and puffing to beat all hell, at the top of 15 flights, I was so ecstatic. Made me feel like “Hey, this shit really is hard. I AM all that, baby!”

This morning I did 25 floors. Maybe knowing that translates to 650 steps means more to ya, since stair flights are always different. Plus walking 10 blocks, and in less than 30 minutes. I feel great. My right leg is still twitching, but I feel great. Ha.

Now it’s reward time. Muffins! Blooberry muffins made by yours truly.

Muffins are funny. Everyone thinks “healthy” when they think “muffins”, but most muffins, if they’re commercially bought, are about as evil as a slice of cheesecake.

I was dumbstruck when I saw that a blueberry muffin from The Breadgarden had something like 650 calories and god knows how many grams of fat. In fact, the average bakery muffin tends to have 550 calories or more… the ones I’ve been looking into, anyhow. Like, Starbucks.

That’s the equivalent (or more!) of a Big Mac! (I’d rather have a burger then!)

These muffins of mine are heavily modified (don’t try that at home, kids!) from a Cooking Light magazine recipe. I’ve always added flavoured yogurt to my muffins for flavour, less fat, and moisture. By adding a fat-free fieldberry yogurt, I get to cut down on the sugar in the muffins as well, so my muffins are 170 calories and 4 grams of fat for an average-sized muffin. (Which is only about 1/2-2/3 the size of a commercial bakery muffin, but… still!)

These muffins freeze great, and they don’t taste like they’re the high-fibre muffins that they are. I serve mine with slices of a nice tart Granny Smith apple and some mature English cheddar.

Steff’s Flavour-Packed Low-Fat Oatmeal-Blueberry Muffins

In a food processor, put:
1 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats

Quickly pulse oats until they look like coarse meal.

Put oats in a large bowl, and combine with:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (about 2 1/3 ounces)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, combine:
1 cup milk (or soy milk)
3/4 cup blueberry, fieldberry, strawberry yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs

Mix liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring as little as is required to get it mixed. (My home ec teacher taught us to stir 17 times — the more you mix, the heavier your muffins get, so never, ever overwork it. This step is crucial to light, fluffy muffins!)

When it’s almost completely mixed, stop.

Take 2 cups blueberries and toss with a couple tablespoons of flour to prevent from staining the batter purple. Mix into batter.

Fill pre-greased muffin cups with the batter, and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until you can poke them with a finger and the muffin springs back to its shape. (If your finger leaves an indent, they’re not done.)

Makes 16. Enjoy!

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