Power Punch Blueberry Muffins

I feel like whenever I’m on the go or in a rush and need a good solid breakfast, I reach for a muffin (or wish I had some). They’re just so easy, so delicious, what can go wrong?

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Well it seems quite a bit can go wrong. Some muffins are a stone’s throw away from a cupcake. Filled with simple carbs and processed sugar. I wanted to create a recipe that was healthy yet delicious, but with a purpose. As I started brainstorming, I thought “what do I want out of breakfast?” I came up with the following:

  • Satisfaction- I want to feel satisfied after my  breakfast so I don’t go reaching for a snack right away. Something that keeps me feeling fuller longer. Therefore I knew I needed fiber and protein in my recipe
  • Nutrition- you want to start your day off right. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, you name it. For me, my breakfast sets the stage for the majority of my eating that day. From here I deduced the need for an “super food” ingredient.
  • Flavor- I want something that tastes good! No one wants to trudge their way to work forcing down something they don’t enjoy

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With my above constraints, I got to work. I wrote out my desired benefits, and began brainstorming what ingredients would fit. Let me break it down.

Fiber- I immediately thought of rolled oats. They’re a great base for baking and are filled with a number of nutritious factors. First, they contain large amounts of beta-glucan. This is a soluble fiber that reduces LDL and blood sugar, keeps you feeling full, and increases the growth of good bacteria in the digestive track (1).

Protein- easy. Chocolate protein powder. Mixes well ,doesn’t change consistency too much, and if you get the right kind it tastes pretty good. I added almond butter as well for an extra kick and it’s texture I knew I’d need in the batter

Nutrition- I’m a fan of berries and banana in the morning. No idea why, it’s just my thing. So I knew I wanted to incorporate both. As a fitness junkie, Potassium is high on my list of things I need. For my berry, I narrowed it down to blackberry versus blueberry. Strawberries seem odd to me in a muffin, and raspberries I’ve used but usually in a lemon muffin. I decided on blueberries for their famous antioxidant properties but also for their effects on lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of diabetes, and low position on the glycemic index (2).

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“Power Punches”- what really sets these muffins aside are 2 ingredients. Chia seeds and ground flaxseed. Are chia seeds still cool? They blew up a few years ago and I feel like they kind of lost their mojo, but I’m still a huge fan. The name Chia literally means “strength” in ancient Mayan…enough said. They’re filled with fiber, protein, omega-3s, calcium, etc (3). Then you’ve got even more omega-3s from the ground flaxseed along with lignans and you guessed it, more fiber. Lignans contain both plant estrogen and antioxidants (4). They’ve been linked with having a positive impact on cardiovascular health and have been seen to have the ability to lower the chances of breast cancer (5).

So without further rambling, let’s get to it. The recipe is simple, and can be whipped up pretty quickly. I spent some time browsing tons of muffin recipes to get ideas for measurements. I’ve tested this out a few times and haven’t had any problems.

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Ingredients:

3 medium ripe bananas, or 2.5 large ripe bananas, or 1 cup apple sauce (go for one with no added sugar, I get mine from Trader Joe’s
1 cup unflavored almond milk
1/2 cup almond butter
3 eggs
1/4 cup honey (preferably raw honey)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp baking powder
2-3 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 cups rolled oats
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
2 cups blueberries (honestly I just grabbed a bunch of hand fulls)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with paper cups or grease with a coconut oil spray. This recipe makes about 15 muffins.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas as best as possible. Try to get most of the chunks out before adding in the dry ingredients.
  3. Once you have your dry ingredients in the bowl, add all wet ingredients including the eggs. Don’t add the blueberries yet.
  4. Begin folding the ingredients together. I used a rubber spatula and first broke up the yolks of the eggs before beginning to fold.
  5. One the batter is completely combined, and I KNOW it looks too thin, just trust me it will work, but anyways once it’s combined add in your desired amount of blueberries. Fold them in pretty gently.
  6. Spoon a hefty amount of the batter into the muffin pan. Don’t worry about overflowing a bit, this muffins won’t rise so you want a good amount in each cup.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes (it took me exactly 31 minutes)

 

References:
1. https://authoritynutrition.com/9-benefits-oats-oatmeal/
2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710.php
3. https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/
4. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed#1
5. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-flaxseed-lignans-8277.html

 

 

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