Thursday, March 5, 2009

Healthy Fruited Muffins, in this case Cranberry and Lemon


It's been a long day of writing.  And grading, and reading and I'm just about all art'ed out.  You know the kind of hunger you get from a day of mental exertion, as opposed to a day of physical exertion?  The latter is somehow so much more primal, but the former, so much more emotional.  Do you think there is a difference between fueling the body and fueling the brain?  I'm inclined to say yes.  Yes, definitely.


I'm not talking about emotional eating in the sense of trying to fill a void.  But sometimes the brain craves sustenance at the very moment when the body, having been inactive most of the day, is not interested in heavy things.  Yet at moments such as this, raw carrots just will not do.  And when your head is already spinning, sugar is definitely not what's called for.


My solution?  Healthy muffins.  I know, I know, healthy baked goods are usually nothing to write home about.  But sometimes, a cakey muffin is just not in the cards.  I think that would actually make my stomach turn at this moment.  

These muffins aren't overly sweet, they derive most of their flavor from the fruit.  But they are satisfying, especially if you've had an ascetic day of coffee and not much else.  Then, they are pure comfort.  The recipe is mostly for the batter.  You can use any kind of fruit you want: fresh, frozen, dried.  I put cranberries in this batch, along with some lemon zest, which goes well with most things.  Since it's a low sugar recipe to begin with, nothing masked the cranberry's assertiveness.  So if that's a bit too much personality for you, try it with blueberries or even frozen raspberries.   Sure to make you feel a little less tortured.  


Healthy Fruited Muffins, Cranberry Lemon
makes about 7 muffins, adapted from Canyon Ranch Cooking

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup non-fat milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup fruit, diced if needed (in this case, frozen cranberries)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Oven preheated to 350.

Oil your muffin tin and set aside.

Mix the flours, baking powder, salt and agave nectar in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, whisk beaten egg with the milk and butter.  Pour these wet ingredients over the dry, then add the zest and fruit.  Fold until just combined.

Fill your muffin cups 3/4ths of the way full.  Bake for about 20 minutes, although you might start checking at 15.  They should pass the toothpick test.  Cool slightly before removing to a cooling wrack.

Notes:

* Try other fruit combinations, fresh, frozen or dried
* There's no need to defrost frozen fruit, just mix it in and it will plump up with cooking

13 comments:

Snooky doodle said...

these look nice and satisfying a sweet tooth :) such a nice and healthy treat

unconfidentialcook said...

Perfect for an after-school snack...or midday pick-me-up. Thank you!

Donna-FFW said...

These sound just like what you needed. Its nice to be able to get comfort from something unlike a hot fudge sundae. That would be me. They look really delicious!

Hayley said...

I love recipes like this. Sometimes you want something comforting, but not heavy like most of those kinds of foods are. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you're feeling less stressed. The weekend is almost here!

Elra said...

Wow Andrea, this recipe sounds so delicious, and more importantly is healthy too. I like that!
Cheers,
elra

The Food Librarian said...

These look like the perfect breakfast or snack! I hope you have a relaxing weekend after all that hard work!

Chrissy said...

These look really yummy. And two of my favorite flavors combined!!

Deb Schiff said...

Fantastic! Love the use of agave nectar.

Kristen616 said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and an extra big thank you for posting this recipe! I obviously loved it and will make it time and time again! It's a perfect breakfast muffin!

Lori said...

Hi! I just made these muffins today and really enjoyed them. I was wondering if they would freeze well..do you think?

Thanks!

Andrea said...

Lori, I do think they'd do fine in the freezer. I feel like quick breads like this sort of thing are fine once thawed. If you try it, let me know!

Lori said...

Thanks for responding. They are in the freezer so we'll see how it goes next week!

Tamara said...

A great addition to my collection. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try this especially for my family.