Skinny Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

20160830_075702It is said that eating a healthy breakfast leads one to make healthier choices throughout the day. However, if you are anything like me, you will find it hard to even wake up in the morning much less make a wholesome breakfast. If you are a parent, the task becomes even more challenging.

20160829_181726With most kids back to school (or about to be), now is the time when parents scramble to find simple breakfast options. Although a balanced breakfast consumed at the table with family is ideal it is not very practical. That is why I love these skinny blueberry oatmeal muffins because they are quick but also nutritious enough to kick off any adult or child’s morning. What is even better about this breakfast option is it can be made ahead, leaving more time in the morning to get ready…or catch a few more precious minutes of sleep. Simply make a big batch on a day you’re not busy and store in an airtight container.

20160829_180928This twist on a family favorite is made healthier by replacing the majority of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour and oats. Whole-wheat flour contains more nutritional value compared to white, providing fiber and essential vitamins. Oats contain potassium, calcium, and soluble fiber, which keeps blood pressure low and leads to improved heart health. Vitamin C found in the blueberries also destroys free radicals and helps prevent cancer.

20160829_181740In addition to all of the overall health benefits these muffins provide, they are also a tasty way to increase lactation in mothers who are breastfeeding. I recently gave birth to my second baby girl at the beginning of August so I am currently trying to maintain my supply as long as possible. These muffins contain oats which are proven to increase supply. If you are making these muffins solely for lactation and not to be shared with the rest of the family, you can also add brewer’s yeast and ground flaxseed.

I always recommend using fresh, organic produce and this recipe is no different. I prefer fresh, organic blueberries in this recipe but if you want you can also use frozen blueberries. If you are using frozen blueberries, make sure that you toss the blueberries with a bit of flour to prevent them from turning the batter purple while baking.

Note:

  • If consuming these muffins for an increase in lactation output, add 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal and only 1 tablespoon of brewer’s yeast for added benefits. I keep the brewer’s yeast to 1 tablespoon due to the harsh taste it has to many but if you can tolerate the taste you may increase it to 2 tablespoons as well.
  • If you elect to use frozen blueberries instead of fresh, toss the frozen berries with 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour before proceeding with the recipe as written.
  • This recipe will yield 18 muffins. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you do not plan to consume all of the muffins within 3 days you may freeze them for up to 3 months in a freezer bag. Be sure that muffins have cooled completely before freezing. To thaw, simply set out at room temperature or heat in a microwave until desired degree of warmth (approximately 30 seconds each).

Skinny Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups Quick-Cooking Oats
  • 3 oz. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2.35 oz. Whole-Wheat Flour
  • ¾ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ cups Low-Fat Buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp. Pure Lemon Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 cups Blueberries; fresh or frozen
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • Turbinado Sugar

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place oats in a food processor and pulse until oats resemble coarse meal (approximately 5 or 6 pulses). Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add oats and stir until combined. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
  3. In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, oil, extract, and eggs. Pour milk mixture into the center well of the flour mixture; stir just until moist.
  4. Gently fold blueberries into the batter. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with a generous amount of Turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched in the center. Remove muffins from pans immediately and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Muffin)

SkinnyblueberryoatmealmuffinNutritionLabel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers: 5 Smart Points, 4 Points Plus, or 3 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JENNIFER MARTINKUS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

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Red, White, & Blue Mini Independence Day Cakes

20140703_192909Happy Birthday America. Today is the 4th of July, 2014 and the day America celebrates its Independence. Today across America we will be having barbecues serving traditional American fare and watching firework shows bursting with the colors of red, white, and blue. Here in America we usually like to spread the traditional themes into everything we do, including dessert. With that said, I present to you the red, white, and blue mini cakes.

IMG_20140703_200603I really must say this is the perfect Independence-themed dessert and I am not just referring to the colorful layers. The reason I adore these little cakes so much is a lot to do with their ease of transport to any festivity you may be attending. Also one single batch yields so many little cakes that you don’t have to worry about doubling or tripling a recipe just so that everyone in the family has a chance to try at least one. With this recipe you can let everyone have seconds or depending on the size of the party, possibly even thirds. Needless to say you will have plenty of little cakes for the abundance of fingers ready to snatch one after the other.

In case you are wondering what makes up each colorful layer, let’s break it down. To begin this holiday treat, I turned to Red Velvet cake to deliver a rich red color and sturdy foundation for the other layers. The white layer is a light & fluffy whipped cream to balance the rich density of the red velvet cake. To make sure the whipped cream held up to summer heat I made sure to stabilize it with some gelatin. This not only keeps it from melting as quickly but also creates a smoother and creamier topping. For the final touch, the quintessential blue is found with the garnish of a little blueberry. If you wanted to get creative and mix up the color scheme, you could make blue velvet cake, use the same white whipped cream and top with a fresh raspberry or cherry. Really any fruit that could give a pop of red. I prefer red velvet cake over blue and I also feel the blueberry does not add too much weight to the whipped cream making it simple for new bakers or rushed bakers needing a quick dessert to bake and take.

20140703_193140

These mini cakes serve about 60 people. You can use any recipe you have for red velvet cake or use a box mix.

 

Red, White, & Blue Mini Independence Day Cakes

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix or your favorite Red Velvet Cake recipe
  • 1 tsp. Powdered Gelatin; unflavored
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • 2 ¼ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Confectioners’ Sugar; sifted
  • Blueberries; for garnish

 

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Prepare red velvet cake according to box mix directions or if using your own recipe follow directions to make batter. Once batter is prepared, pour evenly into the prepared mini muffin tin, filling each muffin cup just above halfway. Bake for approximately 16 minutes. Remove from oven and place cakes on a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat steps with remaining batter.
  2. Once cakes have cooled completely prepare the whipped cream topping. Combine the gelatin and water in a medium bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften. Meanwhile, bring ¼ cup of Heavy Whipping Cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once simmering, whisk in the gelatin mixture until no clumps remain. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 3 to 5 minutes. With an electric hand mixer set to medium-high speed, beat the cooled gelatin mixture, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining cream to stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
  3. To assemble the mini cakes, place the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a small star tip. Pipe a rosette onto each each mini cake, making sure to build up enough cream on each cake to hold the weight of the blueberry. Once all cakes have been iced with the whipped cream topping, garnish each rosette center with a blueberry. Refrigerate mini cakes until set, about 2 hours. Cakes can be stored up to 24 hours ahead of time before serving.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

 

 

Very Blueberry Streusel Muffins

dsc_0253For the past few days I have been plagued with the worst cold known to man. Okay maybe it isn’t that bad but it really is the first time I have been sick since having my first child and trying to balance it all has been a bit overwhelming. My first clue that I was coming down with something was when I went to drink one of my favorite beverages and it didn’t taste right. Of course if the taste buds are going then it’s a dead giveaway that a severe cold is on the horizon. What is also a dead giveaway of a poor blueberry muffin is a lackluster, watery tasting blueberry.

dsc_0245Sadly, the most readily available blueberries provided in markets across the country are very bland in flavor. If you use these in even the best muffin formula, you will be extremely disappointed. The key to the greatest blueberry muffin is starting with a great blueberry. But what is one to do if you do not have fresh, wild blueberries to pick. Most formulas will just add more blueberries. A lot of times more equates to better but in a muffin formula like this it is quite the opposite.

dsc_0265-1If you choose to add too many blueberries to the muffin batter they will simply sink to the bottom of the pan, weighing down the muffin and not evenly distributing blueberry flavor throughout. In order to properly intensify the blueberry flavor of the muffins, a mixture of fresh blueberries and blueberries cooked down to a jam consistency and mixed into the batter just before baking. By cooking down the blueberries with a bit of sugar, the watery blueberries become flavorful and able to boost the muffins much like a wild berry does.

dsc_0248I truly enjoyed these muffins. They were delicious and even with my taste buds not at their prime I was able to taste the blueberry flavor shining through. My boyfriend exclaimed they taste just as good as they look and coming from a person who is not the biggest fan of sweets that means a lot to me. This formula makes 12 large muffins so you may want to make a double batch 🙂

dsc_0242Note: If you don’t want to top the muffins with streusel you may make a Lemon-Sugar topping by mixing 1/3 cup sugar with 1 ½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest.

Very Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 ½ oz. (½ cup plus 3 tbsp.) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 5 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted

Muffin Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. (2 cups) Fresh Blueberries, washed & picked over
  • 8 oz. (1 1/8 cups) plus 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 12 ½ oz. (2 ½ cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 4 tbsp. (½ stick) Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

Streusel Formula:

  1. Combine sugars, salt and flour in a small bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture and toss with a fork until until evenly moistened and mixture has pea-size pieces throughout. Set aside.

Muffin Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat oven to 425°. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup of blueberries and 1 tsp. sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the blueberries and stirring them frequently, until they have broken down and mixture has thickened into a jam and reduced to about ¼ cup, approximately 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 8 oz. of sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg mixture and remaining cup of blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened. Be sure not to overmix. The batter will appear lumpy and have a few areas of dry flour. Do not try to mix them in or the muffins will become tough.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to properly divide batter into the muffin tin. Batter will completely fill the muffin cups and may mound slightly. Spoon 1 tsp. of cooked blueberry jam into center of each mound of batter. Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure eight motion. Sprinkle the muffins evenly with the prepared streusel topping.
  4. Bake muffins until the tops are golden and just firm, approximately 17 to 19 minutes. Be sure to rotate the muffin tin halfway through baking. Cool muffins in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool for another 5 minutes. Serve warm or store in an airtight container for 3 days.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM YVONNE RUPERTI

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013