Saturday, July 3, 2010

Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

As one with a genetic predisposition to cholesterol problems I do what I can with diet to help keep it under control. I'm no monk and have been known to splurge on the full fat stuff every now and then to satiate the hedonist within, but not always, certainly not for daily living.

The problem with most low and no fat cookery is that it has a definite lack of texture coupled with a certain blandness. It should be no secret that fat is a flavor (and vitamin) transporter so when you reduce fat you need to up the flavor quotient to still get the desired effect in the mouth.

This muffin recipe is an adaptation of one of those cardboard varieties I was passed along as being good. Meh. They were pretty bland and lacked a lot of moisture and taste. To up the taste factor I added a hint of nutmeg, some cinnamon and vanilla which is a blueberries favorite playmate in the kitchen. To combat the moisture loss from all the fat normally found in a recipe I increased the amount of blueberries from 1 cup to 1 pint. (Besides...who picks or purchases blueberries by the cup anyway?)

So here you go. A low fat Blueberry Muffin recipe that still is moist and flavorful with just the tiniest smidge of fat in them.

Low Fat Blueberry Muffins
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 cup non-fat milk
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 T oil (I use vegetable oil, but canola oil would work fine)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • turbinado sugar (optional for sprinkling on tops)

Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

Combine all the dry ingredients in mixing bowl and stir to disperse evenly.

In a small bowl combine the liquid ingredients and beat in the egg. Stir into the dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in Blueberries. Distribute batter evenly between paper cup lined muffin tins. Sprinkle tops with the turbinado sugar. Bake 20-22 minutes until lightly browned and they test clean with a tooth pick.

A couple of things to note. Metal foil cup liners work better than paper variety. The lack of fat in the recipe makes for a wetter batter that soaks into the paper variety and makes them just a bit harder to remove.

Don't over beat your muffin mix either. A spoon and doing it by hand until just moistened yields a muffin that will rise correctly yet have a nice crumb texture. Over beating can cause them to not rise and forms the gluten in the flour so you have a tough texture.

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