There’s something about blueberries and whole grains that make them work well together, especially in this particular recipe. The whole grains are just hearty enough to be satisfying and then before you know it, there’s a burst of blueberries. I can’t say this enough – these are quite possibly the most addicting ‘healthy’ muffins I’ve ever eaten. I shouldn’t even put the word ‘healthy’ in there because they are so surprisingly lovely. The whole grains are complex carbs so you won’t get lethargic after eating these either.
Mom and I came up with this recipe after reading a recipe for strawberry muffins on a vegan blog, http://www.egglesscooking.com. The recipe on that site doesn’t call for whole grains though. Recently, I’ve been reading a number of books on whole grains including Ultra-metabolism by Dr. Hyman and A Cook’s Guide to Grains by Jenni Muir (an excellent book about grains from around the world). Jenni Muir’s book illustrates several recipes where whole grains are utilized in all types of foods. So we modified the muffin recipe to suit our healthy palate.
The whole grains utilized in this recipe include whole wheat flour and millet flour (or bajri/bajra flour). Yes, millet flour is made from millet which is also well known as bird food in the U.S. What is not well known is that it is gluten-free and packs a protein punch. It’s also easy to digest. It is used in some unleavened bread recipes in Indian food because of it’s nutritional qualities.
The whole grains provide a nice complexity that compliment the smooth blueberries. This recipe makes 12 muffins.
Ingredients for Blueberry Whole Grain Muffins
- 1 cup millet flour (bajri or bajra flour is millet flour in hindi)
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (from the standard grocery store, this is not ‘atta’)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (or other less refined sugar)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup applesauce (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup oil (canola or olive)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 + 1/8 cup water (at room temperature)
- 4 oz frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the millet flour, whole wheat flour, sugar and soda. Mix for a minute to introduce air into the mixture. Note: The whole wheat flour that is sold as ‘atta’ at the Indian stores is more refined as it is used to make unleavened bread (chapathi, etc). The one used in this recipe is more coarse and has more fiber and was purchased at the local grocery store.
In a second bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mix. Mix until combined. At this point the mixture should resemble cookie dough, so add 1/4 cup of water and mix. The batter should be slightly thicker than pancake batter, and less thick than cookie dough. If it’s still a bit thick, add another 1/8 cup of water.
Then toss in the blueberries. Frozen berries are less likely to get damaged during the process, however, one could try fresh blueberries. Mix and then equally divide into 12 lightly greased cupcake holders and place in a muffin baking pan. The cupcake holders should be about 3/4 full. Bake for 22 minutes. We are baking these muffins at 5000 ft elevation, so the cooking time may be a bit less at sea level. The muffins are done when a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean. You can also bake this as a cake in a 9 inch pie plate or similar sized rectangular dish. It will take about 35-45 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.