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.
* 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