If you’re going to get to know me then you must know how much I adore blueberries. Not just because they are a nutrition powerhouse but because they bring me back to my childhood.
Growing up I spent plenty of time visiting my grandparents, spending some weekends with them or time during the summer. Some of my favorite memories are mornings when I would wake and find my grandpa cooking blueberry pancakes using a cast iron double griddle on the stove or sitting and watching my grandma make her scrumptious blueberry yum yum. In fact, I’ve often requested grandma’s blueberry yum yum for my birthday as opposed to birthday cake. It’s just that delicious!
Then there were days when my mother would drag us out to search for wild blueberry bushes where we would spend hours picking blueberries and eating half of what we picked. Of course, I’m sure I grumbled and complained about all the time spent picking them but those are some of my fondest childhood memories. Both Mama and Grandma would measure out the fresh berries into freezer bags and freeze them for future use.
I guess you can safely conclude that blueberries are a comfort food for me. That they are so nutritious is a bonus! Tiny little houses of powerful antioxidants, they are rich in plant-nutrients such as soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and also pigment anti-oxidants that contribute to the berry’s deep indigo color.
They are easy to include in many favorite foods; top cereal with them, stir them into Greek yogurt, toss them on top of your salad (ask my colleagues if I don’t do this nearly daily). Or just grab a handful and enjoy a guilt-free snack. Delicious and nutritious!
Today I’m going to share a recipe and it should come as no surprise that it is blueberry muffins. My kids ask me to bake fresh blueberry muffins regularly. I made changes to my standard recipe to lower the calorie content and experiment with how they would turn out given the changes. I replaced the oil with applesauce, the sugar with maple syrup, and replaced half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Replacing the oil helped lower the calorie content and adding in whole wheat pastry flour increased nutritional value by adding fiber and other nutrients. Comparatively speaking, granulated sugar and maple syrup each contain about the same amount of sugar but maple syrup is more nutritious as it bring trace minerals with it. Granulated sugar is stripped of all nutritional value.
I noticed a difference in the color of these muffins, finding them a bit brown due to the whole wheat and maple syrup rather than the golden color we are used to. However, as my boys tasted them I received the following responses to my question of “how do you like it?”:
Seven-year-old: “Mmmmmmmmmm….” (message received, young one)
Eighteen-year-old: “They don’t taste any different to me.” (EXTREMELY valuable response coming from a teenager)
So it would seem that even with a few small changes, my blueberry muffin recipe is still a big hit. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have. 🙂