I buy a ton of frozen berries and veggies.
I use the berries in breakfast smoothies and on top of greek yogurt as a yummy snack. The veggies go into soups and stews or are just served as a quick and easy side to a weeknight dinner. As of lately, I am obsessed with baby peas – did you know they are packed with protein?
The great thing about frozen fruit and vegetables that many people don’t know, is that they can actually be healthier than their fresh counterparts. Why? Because they are frozen at peak ripeness, so they are jam-packed with nutrients. Fruits and veggies found in the fresh-produce aisles in grocery stores are often picked before they are ripe, so they don’t often develop all of their vitamins and minerals.
Don’t me wrong – I love fresh produce, but lot’s of people knock the frozen kinds, when in reality they’re great!
I also love to bake with my frozen berries. In fact, I would argue that they give my baked goods even more flavor than fresh berries.
I spent way too many hours this weekend researching the perfect healthy blueberry muffin.
I love when lemon is paired with blueberry, so I knew some lemon zest would have to be added into the mix.
I also wanted a muffin that wasn’t overloaded with sugar, butter or oils.
I was determined to use all whole wheat flour (as opposed to a blend of white and wheat), knowing quite well that 100% whole wheat muffins can turn out pretty dense and unpleasant sometimes.
Well, my friends, I believe these muffins turned out pretty darn amazing. I had a slight mishap during the baking process – my oven decided to turn off on me in the middle. I was nervous they were ruined and I would have to toss the batch, but to my surprise they were still great!
Next time around I am going to add a cinnamon-sugary topping!
Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Muffins
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you can sub whole wheat flour here, but expect a denser muffin)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons milk (I used skim)
1.5 cups frozen blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tray or line with baking liners and grease the liners.
2. In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, lemon zest, butter, egg, vanilla and milk. Gently fold in the blueberries. Try not to over mix the batter.
3. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Place the muffin tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the tray and allow them to cool on a wire rack.