It’s Thursday and that means its Recipe for Life day.
Because I know firsthand how difficult it can be for caregivers to eat properly and care for themselves, once a week, I share a healthy recipe or two. Most recipes have to meet three simple criteria:
The recipe has to be healthy. Not just basically good for you. It has to have something “extra.” Maybe a boost of B-vitamins to help relieve stress or some extra fiber to keep the colon clean and clear.
The recipe has to be simple. The last thing most caregivers can afford to do is spend hours in the kitchen. So, my goal is to give recipes with ingredients that are easily accessible and instructions that are simple to follow.
The recipe has to be inexpensive. I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in Pennsylvania, food prices are literally rising on a weekly basis. I also recognize that there are costs associated with caregiving as well. Therefore, my commitment is to use ingredients that are reasonably priced.
Today’s Recipe for Life
Blueberry Muffins to Live For!
“Based on data from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (Boston, MA), blueberries are among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity. Using a test called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), researchers have shown that a serving of fresh blueberries provides more antioxidant activity than many other fresh fruits and vegetables. Check out www.blueberries.org for more information on the wonder fruit.” (source, www.blueberries.org)
“Whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood coagulation. Whole grains have also been found to reduce the risks of many types of cancer. They may also help regulate blood glucose in people living with diabetes. Other studies have also shown that people who consume more whole grains consistently weigh less than those who consumed less whole grain products.” (source, www.healthcastle.com)
3/4 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla (optional)
2 tsp. lemon extract or zest of 1 lemon (optional, but gives nice zing)
2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
1/3 cup canola or LIGHT olive oil
1/3 cup milk, maybe a little more per instructions (I use soy)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar (I use turbinado or demerara)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup margarine cubed (I use earth balance as it is non-hydrogenated and has no trans fats)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200C). Line muffin cups with muffin/cupcake liners.
Crumb Topping (make first and set aside)
Mix together all ingredients (brown sugar, flour, margarine and cinnamon (if using) with a fork.
Combine 3/4 cup unbleached and 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
Pour oil into 1 cup measuring cup and add enough milk to fill the cup and add sugar. If using turbinado or demerara mix well and allow to dissolve as the crystals are larger than processed white sugar.
Combine wet and dry ingredients (I mix by hand, so as not to over mix)
Fold in blueberries (I dust blueberries in a small amount of flour, it keeps them from sinking to the bottom and ensures that you get a blueberry in every bite).
Fill muffin cups to the top (should make about 8 muffins) and sprinkle with crumb topping (don’t press down).
Bake 20-25 minutes or
till done (toothpick or knife in center that comes out clean means they are done).
Remove from oven, cool (if you can wait) and ENJOY! If you are smart, you’ll make a double batch and freeze them.
Made 3 batches of these THIS week. Let me know how you and yours enjoy them.