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The More the Berrier with Summery Blueberry Muffin Tops

The best part of the pizza? That very first bite of the pointy triangle end.

The best part of a cinnamon roll? The ooey-gooiest center.

The best part of the muffin? The top. Duh!

blueberry muffin tops

My completely made up statistic that 99.5 percent of people would rather eat the top of the muffin exclusively, rather than what a friend of mine calls “the stump,” is the reason an entire pan has been created to let you accomplish such baked good sorcery. There’s no waste; just bake the part people actually want to eat!

I know it’s warming up outside and the last thing you want to think about doing is firing up the oven. But berries are in season! So, you kind of have to. Rules and what not.

blueberry muffin tops pan

Blueberries are one of those can’t-fail foods, at least from a mom perspective. I don’t care what my four-year-old’s mood is, what she is or isn’t liking that week, or where we are — blueberries always get a yes. They are one of the original super foods, so it’s a no brainer to add them to pancakes, salads, smoothies, or just devour a fist-full every chance you get. One of the few, rare “blue” foods that occur in nature, those juicy little beads of sweetness can stand on their own with a healthy dose of fiber, a bit of protein, potassium, vitamin c, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and a host of other good-for-you goodness.

blueberry muffins

So when I tell you this recipe calls for blueberries, do not be shy. Dump ‘em in! The more the berrier, right?

You’ll notice we don’t add any sugar to this recipe. A generous, drizzly pour of honey with some natural applesauce really take on the heavy responsibility of sweetening these muffins. It’s not a two-man job though, the lemon juice, vanilla yogurt, and of course the blueberries, all carry their own weight in that department, too.

honey and applesauce

However, just before baking, I do sprinkle the tops with just a pinch of raw turbinado sugar. This gives the muffin that glazy top that you’d ordinarily create with a streusel topping, but without gobs of butter and white sugar.

sugar topping muffins

I use half-and half all-purpose and whole wheat flours. This gives me the bulk of fiber in a better flour with the texture we’ve all become accustomed to with white flours. To make up the difference, I add just a bit of uncooked oats for more fiber and a denser bite.

baking muffin tops

After it’s all whisked and folded together, scoop that batter into a pre-formed muffin top pan. Roughly 20 minutes later, you’ll have a pile of muffin tops that are just jam-packed with blueberries! You’ll want to save them all for yourself, but they’re so darn cute that sharing will seem like a reasonable option, too.

Blueberry Muffin Tops
makes 6

INGREDIENTSmuffin tops recipe

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp honey
1 egg
1/4 cup natural applesauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. raw turbinado sugar, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.

3. In a second bowl, beat the egg with the other wet ingredients.

4. Fold the wet ingredients in to the dry, then gently add the blueberries.

5. Lightly mist the pan with cooking spray, then add the batter. If you choose, sprinkle the tops with raw turbinado sugar.

6. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

ALSO TRY THIS!

Turkey Burger Sliders with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction

S’More Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe is In Season!

 

Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke

 



Add Yellow to Your Meals for Health and Bright Color

By Rebecca Scritchfield, RD a nutrition expert based in Washington, D.C. www.rebeccascritchfield.com.

March is National Nutrition Month and we are eating our way through the rainbow-ROYGBIV style. Today’s color is Yellow! What makes these foods the color of the sun? The bright yellow color shows you these yellow foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals. The bright yellow color in fruits and vegetables comes from flavonoids, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, which helps prevent against aging, cancer and build overall health!

Make sure to color your plate with these yellow foods!


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What’s In Season: November Fruits and Vegetables

One of the best ways to lose weight and be healthy is to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies and make them a large part of every meal and snack. Filled with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and water, fruits and veggies fill you up and give you quite the nutritional bang for your bite. In fact, studies show that high consumption of fruits and veggies can prevent cancer and lower blood pressure.

Although you may think of summer when it comes to the best fresh produce (strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon, oh my!), fall and winter are also a surprisingly tasty time to eat fresh. The in-season fruits and veggies for November are hearty, chock full of nutrition and darn delicious, and because they’re in season, these guys are usually cheaper and easier to get fresher than out-of-season produce. Bonus!


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Lemonade Weight Loss Diet Leaves a Sour Taste

Another day, another diet? It sure does seem that way. The latest diet du jour is the Lemonade Weight Loss Diet.

This 14-day diet is calling itself the new “Master Cleanse“, (which, in my book, isn’t something to brag about), and promises drastic weight loss of 5 to 17 pounds by just taking two tablets with each meal. The tablets contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, along with similar ingredients to the Master Cleanse, such as maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon. The manufacturer claims that the tablets aid digestion, speed the metabolism, reduce hunger and cleanse the colon.

Just like most crash diets these days, it has a celebrity behind it. Kym Johnson of Dancing with the Stars endorses the Lemonade Weight Loss Diet on its website and in a recent press release. With the holidays just around the corner, Johnson claims it’s her secret to keeping the weight off without giving up her favorite holiday foods.
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Add a twist with your green tea

According to a recent study on green tea, the catechins, a kind of antioxidant, have a better absorption rate if you squeeze a bit of citrus juice in your cup of the healthy brew. Most of the catechins are never absorbed so even though you think you are getting a hefty slug of some disease-preventing antioxidants, you aren’t getting nearly as many you thought. The study found that lemon juice seemed to have the best boosting effect followed by orange, lime and then grapefruit juice. To get the most antioxidant punch for your tea, opt for a 50/50 split between green tea and the citrus juice of your choice.