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Get a grip on muffins

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I read what was supposed to be a scathing denunciation of muffins on the Huffington Post. But before you begin to look for it to find out what you are doing wrong, I’ll let on what the article is about. It denounces store-bought muffins, muffins that are more like cupcakes than muffins and muffins that are loaded with sugar, such as muffins drizzled with chocolate. Actually, I can’t argue with that.

A good general rule for food is that a dish should look and taste like what it is supposed to be. For example, as in the article I mention, muffins should be muffins and not dumbed-down cupcakes. Fruit that is drizzled with sweetened cream cheese should be served as a dessert, not as a salad. So if you are looking for a muffin candidate to accompany you off to work in the morning, look for a recipe that contains whole grain and fruit, and one that is not contrived to be a breakfast cake. That is because cake should be cake, or perhaps a cupcake, but not a breakfast food. Chocolate-chip muffins are not much more than unfrosted cupcakes.

Blueberries are considered a staple in muffin recipes, so I looked for something you can make once a week and have to take to work, along with coffee, perhaps a hard-boiled egg and some applesauce in a single-serving container. That would be enough to get you going if the muffin is what it was intended to be. In this recipe you can count on the Spelt flour for a healthy whole grain that doesn't push its flavor on you. And since fresh blueberries are available almost all year around, you can probably find them in the stores of Tucson right now. And you can add in a nice depth of flavor if you use cinnamon-flavored applesauce.

FRESH BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Ingredients:

2 cups organic Spelt flour
2/3 cup organic granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup organic milk
½ cup organic applesauce (any kind you like)
1 large organic egg at room temperature
1-1/2 cups fresh organic blueberries

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk the dry ingredients together quickly in a mixing bowl and set them aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce and the egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir them together with a wooden spoon (don’t whisk or they could become tough).

Fold in the blueberries gently.

Prepare a muffin tin with nonstick spray or parchment-paper liners (which don’t stick). You can make a dozen regular muffins or the larger ones. Divide the batter evenly among your muffin cups and bake them for about 20 minutes; large muffins will take longer. When the top is not moist and springs back when you touch it lightly, the muffins are done.

These muffins meet high standards for nutrition and taste. A handful of walnuts could also be added for some super-food power as well. And check my video for a savory breakfast muffin that doesn't have to be loaded with salt.

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