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A Patriotic Muffin for the Fourth

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:52pm

Before moving on to vegetarian entrees, I’m sharing a 4 th of July muffin, one that’s red, white and blue in all the right places.

Warning: they are addictive. Kevin and I have already eaten our way through four of them in one day. Because they are nutritious, too, we're telling ourselves we did for medicinal purposes. (I promptly zipped up the remainder and plunked into the deep-freezer).

I'v e based the recipe around one of my template muffin recipes, one that I vary throughout the year (cranberry-orange in winter, pear & brown sugar in fall, etc.). I use the King Arthur white whole wheat flour —it’s more expensive, but you get so much more nutrition with everything you make.

You can always use my favorite justification for buying more nutritious, but slightly more expensive ingredients. It's borrowed from a good friend in grad school (she used it to justify clothes-shopping sprees at sales): "You see, I have to spend money to save money." In the case of the white whole wheat flour, it goes something like this: “You see, I could only buy two or three muffins from Starbucks for the amount of this flour, so by baking at home, I’m saving a fortune (as well as eating so much better).”

White whole wheat flour can be used in just about any recipe that calls for all-purpose flour. It’s made from a different, softer strain of wheat than traditional whole wheat flour, so the baked result is tender and light—but with most all of the nutrition of regular whole wheat.

Raspberries were on sale for a dollar a package at our local Kroger, so I bought a ridiculous (according to Kevin) amount. I’ ve been gobbling the plain, in yogurt, for breakfast, lunch and snacks, and with a bit of cream and sugar, for dessert. But I switched into baking mode to use up a few more, in part because I have guests arriving on the 4 th ; I thought I’d get some advance prep done while I'm in the mood (we have a Texas-size deep-freezer, and I know from experience that these muffins freeze very well in heavy freezer bags).

Delicate and lush, the raspberries almost melt into these muffins when they are baked; somehow they taste even raspberry-er. (Oh good grief; inventing new words is my cue to wrap it up and call it a night.) Happy baking!

Red Raspberry, White Whole Wheat Flour, & Blueberry Muffins

2 cups white whole wheat flour (e.g., King Arthur’s brand )

1 cup sugar, divided use

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup lowfat milk

1/4 cup canola oil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°F. Paper-line 12 regular-size muffin cups (or spray with nonstick cooking spray).

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Set aside 1 tablespoon sugar. Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Make a well in center of mixture.

Whisk the vanilla, milk, oil, and egg in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (do not overmix or muffins will be flat and tough). Fold in raspberries, blueberries and nuts. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with reserved sugar.

Bake 15-18 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Run a knife or spatula around outer edge of each muffin cup. Carefully remove each muffin; place on a wire rack. Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition per serving (1 muffin):

Calories 192; Fat 6.1g (poly 2.5g, mono 2.6g, sat 0.9g); Protein 6.5g; Cholesterol 2.8mg; Carbohydrate 27.9g; Sodium 297mg)

(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1 )

Raspberry Nutrition Notes:

Refined, gorgeous, and unmatchably delicious, raspberries are also packed with great nutrition. One cup has a mere sixty-four calories, but plenty of fiber (8 grams, 32% of a day’s supply), lutein (good for vision), vitamin C (54% of a day’s supply), and considerable levels of antioxidants , including ellagic acid , which is believed to help fight against cancer.
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