Summer is a season of sunshine, picnics, and a burst of delightful flavors. And what better way to celebrate the season than with the star of the berry world – blueberries! Blueberry picking is a delightful summertime activity that allows you to connect with nature while harvesting fresh and juicy blueberries. These tiny, vibrant gems not only add a pop of color to any dish but also offer a plethora of health benefits. Join me as we embark on a berrylicious adventure, exploring the wonders of summertime blueberries and discovering a healthyish blueberry muffin recipe that will make your taste buds dance with joy!
These muffins were a HIT with my kids! I’ve played around with other muffin recipes to see what they’ll actually eat, and these were without a doubt a MOM WIN! Sometimes, when I try to get “too healthy” with all the ingredients, the kids take one bite and are done. I think using the all-purpose flour and honey as the sweetener was the perfect blend of healthyish to keep mom and the kiddos happy.
One Healthyish Berry
Blueberries are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious, offering a host of health benefits. These tiny berries are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, which help protect cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals. By combating oxidative stress, blueberries have been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, and neurodegenerative disorders.
When it comes to heart health, blueberries shine. The antioxidants and fiber present in blueberries contribute to improved cardiovascular function. They can help lower blood pressure, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and promote overall heart health. Additionally, their low glycemic index and fiber content make them a suitable option for individuals looking to regulate blood sugar levels, making them particularly beneficial for those with diabetes.
Dubbed as “brain berries,” blueberries have garnered attention for their potential cognitive benefits. The antioxidants found in blueberries may help enhance brain function, improve memory, and protect against age-related cognitive decline. By reducing inflammation in the body, blueberries have also shown promise in mitigating the risk of chronic conditions associated with inflammation.
The fiber content in blueberries supports a healthy digestive system. It promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and contributes to maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. Furthermore, the antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin C, present in blueberries offer benefits for skin health. They help protect against damage caused by environmental factors and oxidative stress, thereby supporting healthier, more radiant skin.
What’s not to love?
Healthyish Muffin Ingredients
This is where my muffins get the healthyish tag. I decided to use the all-purpose flour instead of subbing in a healthier flour option. Like I said earlier, I was playing around to see if my kids would actually eat these and give me the thumbs up (and they did). When I try to get “too healthy” the usually recipes flop with the kids!
One key point to remember is that all-purpose flour itself is not inherently bad for you when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. However, it is important to understand that all-purpose flour is a refined grain that has undergone processing, which removes the bran and germ, stripping away some of its natural nutrients and fiber content.
With these healthy(-ish) muffins, I decided to eliminate the white sugar all together and sub in some honey and applesauce for sweetener. Honey is a natural sweetener that contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which contribute to its nutritional value. The antioxidants found in honey can help protect the body against oxidative stress and free radicals, which are associated with aging and chronic diseases.
Ok, I’ll take a side of anti-aging please and thank you!
Have you tried flax seeds? I love adding them to my daily routine, I add them in my kids pancakes, to my oatmeal, salads and muffins- among many other recipes!
Flax seeds offer several health benefits. They are a rich plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain and heart health. Flax seeds are also high in dietary fiber, aiding digestion and promoting regular bowel movements. They contain antioxidants called lignans, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Lastly, if you haven’t jumped on the avocado oil train….hop on! Avocado oil can indeed be used in baking, offering a healthier alternative to traditional baking oils. With its mild flavor and high smoke point, avocado oil is a great option for a wide range of baking recipes. Avocado oil adds moisture and helps maintain the desired texture in baked goods. It works well in recipes such as cakes, muffins, cookies, and quick breads, contributing to a tender and moist end result.
Using avocado oil in baking also provides a health-conscious choice. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy fats. By substituting avocado oil for oils high in saturated or trans fats, you can make your baked treats EVEN more nutritious.
Best healthyish blueberry muffins
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup flaxseed
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 cups blueberries rinse and sprinkle with flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners, this recipe will make about 20 muffins.
- rinse blueberries with water and toss the blueberries with about 1-2 teaspoons of flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla until well combined.
- Add the flax seed, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and mix together. Then add flour and mix until combined.
- Add blueberries to mixture. Stir and fold them in gently so as not to crush the blueberries.
- Fill the muffin liners about 2/3 full and sprinkle each muffin with the light brown sugar.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until the tops spring back lightly to the touch. Remove from the oven and immediately remove the muffins from the tins to cool completely on a wire rack.
I hope you enjoy these healthyish muffins! Let me know what you think!
~MaryClick here to read more from my blog