But before you get out the muffin pan, let’s tackle some of the issues we often run into when making muffins. Typically, the batter is made with white flour and a ton of fat and sugar. It’s a delicious combination, but one that makes blueberry muffins more an indulgence than a healthy choice.
It was easy to swap some of the white flour with whole wheat, but I also added oat flour to the mix. I worried oat flour might be hard to find, but that’s when I discovered that making your own is easy; just pulverize the oats in a blender until smooth. I loved what the oats brought to the recipe besides lots of fiber and nutrients, principally a sweeter and heartier flavor than wheat flour. They also made the muffins moister.
Thanks to the mashed banana, which contributed moisture of its own, this recipe for a dozen muffins required only 3 tablespoons of butter. Just make sure the banana is very ripe to get the most out of its flavor and natural sugars. I also substituted low-fat — and big-flavored — buttermilk for the full-fat milk usually called for.
Finally, I jacked up the pleasure quotient by adding lemon and cinnamon — which always pair up beautifully with blueberries — and conjured some crunch by topping the muffins with a little extra sugar.
Considering that this recipe requires only 25 minutes of hands-on time, you might frequently find yourself whipping up batches of blueberry muffins in the dead of winter. They are sure to banish those blueberry blues.
HEARTY BLUEBERRY-BANANA MUFFINS
Start to finish: 50 minutes (25 minutes active)
Makes 12 muffins
1 cup oat flour (made by pulverizing 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons old fashioned oatmeal in a blender or processor until smooth)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small very ripe banana, mashed (about 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
11/4 cups frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Heat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or coat it with baking spray.
In a large bowl, combine oat flour, 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, white whole-wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, combine banana with buttermilk, egg and butter. Mix well.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until they are just combined.
In a medium bowl toss blueberries with remaining 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, then transfer them to a strainer and shake off excess flour.
Add blueberries to the batter and gently fold them in.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan.
Batter should be slightly mounded above the edge.
Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over tops of batter, then bake muffins on oven’s middle shelf for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted at center of muffins comes out clean.
Let muffins rest, in pan, for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 170 calories; 40 calories from fat (24 percent of total calories); 4.5 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 4 g protein; 210 mg sodium.