In our latest Oddbox delivery we received some delicious blueberries that had been rejected as they were surplus. Although we love blueberries with porridge, on peanut butter toast or even just on their own as a snack, we decided to get a little creative with these ones. Now, I am by no means a baker, but I do like to give things a go and I do like a nice baked treat.
I also LOVE blueberry muffins. If I go to a bakery I will always pick a blueberry muffin over a chocolate one. Always. It’s the sweetness of the fruit and the pop of a blueberry as you bite into it, mixed with the fluffiness of the muffin itself. But what I don’t like about blueberry muffins from a bakery is that they are still very sweet. I hate the feeling of a layer of sugar coating my teeth that some muffins can leave. You’re just not doing the blueberries justice by smothering them in sugar.
So I thought, alright let’s make some healthy blueberry muffins. Type that into Google and you’ll find endless recipes that substitute sugar for stevia, use gluten free flour or swap butter for coconut oil. The latter is what irks me most. Coconut oil has become the poster boy for healthy eating. Now don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful as a makeup remover, a homemade toothpaste or a hair mask. But did you know it contains about 80-90% saturated fat? This is the fat that we’re told is “bad” and is associated with cardiovascular disease. Now whilst there are some health benefits to coconut oil that make it better for us than other saturated fats, you’re still better off choosing unsaturated fats over saturated where possible.
You could choose the other poster boy for health food and one of the biggest crazes at the moment that there’s whole restaurants dedicated to this one fruit (yes really – check out Avobar if you’re ever in London and fancy an incredibly Instagrammable and tasty meal. I even went for brunch one day and it did not disappoint. And yes, it’s technically a fruit). But I didn’t want to use avocado in my muffins because, well, I just didn’t have any and I didn’t want to go to the store just for that. So I used extra virgin olive oil instead. This has been rated as one of the healthiest oils to use in cooking, and I had it in the pantry as I use it a lot. So olive oil it was!
This recipe is super basic. I told you, I’m not a baker… so anyone can make it! And it really takes no time at all to cook. Although if you’re anything like me you’ll probably sit there for the whole 25 minutes watching them rise in the oven until they have that beautiful golden top.
Hot tip. If you don’t have self-raising flour, you can combine 2 teaspoons of baking powder for each 150g/6oz/1 cup plain flour.
You’ll need the following:
- Self-raising flour
- Baking powder
- Caster sugar
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Large eggs
- Vanilla essence
- A lemon
I found these muffins were a lot lighter than most blueberry muffins I’ve had, and they were definitely not as sweet. A lot of regular recipes will use double the sugar we put in this. Double! Hence the furry sugary teeth feeling. But I don’t get that at all with this one. Obviously you can switch the sugar for a sweetener if you wish, or if you don’t want any then just leave it out completely. Provided they’re in season the blueberries will be sweet enough and the zing of lemon juice will just top it all off beautifully.
Healthier Blueberry and Lemon Muffins
- 12 cup muffin tray
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- 375 g Self-Raising Flour
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 125 g Caster Sugar
- 225 ml Milk
- 125 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1-2 drop Vanilla Essence
- 200 g Blueberries
- Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
- Preheat your oven to 190°C | 370°F, (fan 170°C | 338°F) and grease a 12 cup muffin tin; you can use a little olive oil for this too, just spread it evenly around the tin.
- Sieve 375g self-raising flour and 1/4 tsp baking powder into a large mixing bowl with 125g caster sugar.
- Whisk together 225ml milk, 125ml olive oil, 2 eggs and 1-2tsp vanilla essence in a separate bowl or jug.
- Mix your wet and dry ingredients and fold together until combined.
- Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 200g blueberries and fold in carefully, but don’t over mix.
- Evenly spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tins.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer or knife comes out clean.
- Leave to cool, then enjoy!
Be careful when you remove the muffins as they will be hot! I made this mistake when I was too eager to try one… but it was definitely worth it. Enjoy with a cup of tea, as a light snack or however you want.
I can’t wait to see what’s in the next Oddbox delivery so I can make another delicious treat!