Many of you probably read the recent report from the Environmental Working Group on the astronomical levels of sugar in many cereals (more than in snack cakes and cookies), especially those marketed toward children. Although some of these sugar-laden products might come as no surprise–Froot Loops Marshmallows, for example–some of the most sugary cereals on the “10 Worst” list may not strike you immediately as major sugar offenders: think, Quaker Oats Oh!s or Post Golden Crisp. This story really blew up online and in the social media. Maybe it’s because many of us, even though we know commercial cereals contain lots of sugar, somehow believe that a breakfast food should inherently be better for us than a junk food snack like a cookie. The takeaway message is that when it comes to breakfast foods, as in all foods, it’s vital to read the ingredient listings before making a purchasing decision. Some cereals are much better for you than others (EWG recommends Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats and original Cheerios, among others), as are some recipes! To start your day off right, here is a recipe for healthy blueberry bran muffins Natural Home & Garden got courtesy Driscoll’s berries a few years ago. Unlike many muffin recipes, this one is low in sugar and butter. It gets its moisture from yogurt and features whole grain and flaxseed, plus antioxidant-rich frozen organic berries. Enjoy!
Healthy Blueberry Bran Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup oat bran flour
1/4 cup flaxseed
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package (6 ounce) Driscoll’s organic blueberries
1 package (6 ounce) Driscoll’s organic raspberries
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place paper liners in 18 muffin cups.
2. Whisk whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, oat bran flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until blended.
3. Stir yogurt, oil, eggs, orange juice and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir yogurt mixture into flour just until moist.
4. Fold in blueberries and raspberries until just combined. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Helpful Tip: Over-stirring muffin batter tends to cause peaked tops. Use a flexible spatula or wooden spoon to combine wet and dry ingredients, and gently fold in the berries to avoid crushing.
• Instead of plain yogurt, substitute your favorite flavored yogurt.
• Substitute chopped walnuts or almonds for flaxseed.
• Substitute almond extract for vanilla.
• Substitute apple juice for orange juice.