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Lemon Blueberry Muffin Recipe

July 13, 2010 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. It directly follows a period of fasting and sets the nutritional foundation for the waking hours to come. The tricky part is how to make the most of breakfast while still being mindful of practical considerations such as getting to school or work on time. In my experience, the key to overcoming this commonly cited hurdle is to prepare food in advance. But not just any food will do. A strategic mix of macronutrients is what your body thirsts for first in the morning. Today’s recipe delivers just that and a whole lot more.

It may seem obvious, but I think it’s important to plainly state what the purpose of a morning meal should be. The goal is to fuel your body and brain while simultaneously providing enough nourishment to keep hunger at bay until lunch. This objective can be accomplished by starting your day with an appropriate mix of dietary fiber, healthy fats and protein. In addition, it’s best to keep starches and sugar to a minimum. The net effect of such a combination is long lasting nutrition that will support virtually any type of mental and physical demand.

When you walk through almost any convenience store, health food store or super market you’ll undoubtedly find a wide selection of baked goods intended as quick breakfast options. You’ve got your bagels, croissants, donuts and, of course, muffins. The trouble is that these are all poor choices from a dietary standpoint. But there are exceptions to every rule.

Today I proclaim that breakfast muffins will no longer be the sole domain of nefarious junk food manufacturers! It may sound improbable, but it can be done. Muffins do not have to be loaded with artificial colors, flavors, hydrogenated oils, refined grains and sugar. All of those ingredients extend shelf life and titillate taste buds, but they don’t do the human body any favors.

Here’s how the conversion from junk food to health food takes place. First, you replace the refined grains with almond flour and sprouted flax meal. Next you switch from using high fructose corn syrup and other sugar sources to a stevia-based sweetener. Finally, it’s important to include as many fresh flavors as possible. This means swapping artificial flavors with more wholesome versions including fresh lemon and pure vanilla extract.

Lemon Blueberry Wellness Muffins

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1 cup organic, frozen blueberries

1/2 cup organic, sprouted flax meal

4 organic, omega-3 enriched eggs

4 oz organic, unsalted butter

1/3 cup sparkling water

the rind of one medium, organic lemon

4 tsps NuNaturals White Stevia NoCarbs

1 Tbs organic lemon juice

2 tsps aluminum-free baking powder

2 tsps organic vanilla extract

1/4 tsp NutraSalt or salt

Nutritional Content: Calories: 290. Protein: 9 grams. Fat: 26 grams. Fiber: 6 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 5 grams. Per muffin. Based on 10 large muffins per batch.

Begin by pre-heating the oven to 350°F. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Grate the lemon rind into the flour mixture. Melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, lemon juice, sparkling water and vanilla extract. Stir the dry and wet ingredients together until completely blended. Gently fold the frozen blueberries into the batter. Place paper cupcake wrappers in a cupcake baking tray. Fill cups with batter 3/4 to the top. This should make approximately 10 rather large muffins. However, you can adjust the size based on your dietary needs and preference. Bake for about 20 minutes. Verify doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of the muffins. If it comes out clean, they’re ready to come out.

Flaxseed Flour/Meal May Combat Prostate Cancer
Source: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention December 2008 17; 3577 (a)

Blueberries contain a unique phytochemical that’s very similar to resveratrol, the “red wine molecule”. It goes by the name of pterostilbene and is thought to be responsible for many of the health benefits attributed to these prized fruits. In 2010 alone, blueberry extracts have demonstrated activity against a wide variety of cancers including breast, colon, esophageal, lung and pancreatic cancer. The preliminary research suggests that pterostilbene and other components of blueberries not only inhibit cancer cell proliferation, but also instigate the death of existing cancer cells. (1,2,3,4,5)

I chose sprouted flaxseeds for this recipe primarily because of their nutty flavor and superb nutritional value. Flax is one of richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (alpha linolenic acid). The seeds also contain a fair share of fiber and protein. But their true healing potential is largely thought to come from a class of phytochemicals known as lignans. A recent review in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that flax lignans may confer protection against conditions ranging from diabetes to heart disease. Several current studies in animal models support this contention and expand upon it. Both flaxseeds and flaxseed oil have recently been shown to: a) support healthy blood pressure; b) lower cholesterol and the risk of fatty liver disease; c) protect against diabetes-related kidney damage; d) reduce inflammation in arthritic mice. (6,7,8,9,10)

The genesis of this recipe came about when a friend mentioned being bored with her everyday food options. Boredom is a dangerous state of mind when you’re trying to lose weight and/or otherwise maintain a healthy lifestyle. My intention is that the recipes I post here will help make your menu plans a bit more varied and appealing on all levels. In the process, I hope to demonstrate that optimal food choices can be delicious as well. I hope you agree with me and, if so, that you’ll share these culinary creations with the people you hope to inspire in your own life.

Be well!

JP

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9 Comments & Updates to “Lemon Blueberry Muffin Recipe”

  1. Nina K. Says:

    Good Morning, JP ☺

    looks delicious, will try that when the weather is cooler, baking is a nogo at the moment ☼☼☼

    Greetings,
    Nina K.

  2. JP Says:

    Thank you, Nina. :)

    Save this one for the Winter!

    Be well!

    JP

  3. Alicia Says:

    Thanks for the recipe, I try to avoid processed food as much as I can, it’s hard to find good, all natural recipes.

  4. JP Says:

    You’re welcome, Alicia.

    I hope you try it out sometime and enjoy it as much as I do.

    Be well!

    JP

  5. Nancy Says:

    I wonder if I could substitute coconut flour? Where do I find aluminum free baking powder? (I didnt know baking powder contained aluminum!!)I have a huge contianer of ground flax seed, do you suppose I could substitute that for sprouted flax? I’m on a budget and have to use what I have.

  6. JP Says:

    Nancy,

    I think the coconut flour might require some experimentation. In my experience, it’s much drier than almond flour. Don’t get me wrong, I like it a lot. It’s just different.

    I think unsprouted flax meal would work out just fine. The nutritional content is slightly different but the taste is almost the same.

    Be well!

    JP

  7. Janet Says:

    I went to my local supermarket to look for stevia but could none. What brands of stevia to you recommend and where to you suggest I look for it?
    Thanks
    Janet

  8. JP Says:

    Janet,

    In our local supermarkets, in the Los Angeles area, the two most common stevia brands are Purevia and Truvia. I have more experience with Truvia. Among the health food store brands, I mostly use the NuNaturals liquid stevia products – usually the non-alcoholic, unflavored variety.

    Be well!

    JP

  9. JP Says:

    pdate: Flax oil may protect the brain from stroke damage and possibly promote recovery …

    http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/s12937-015-0012-5.pdf

    Nutrition Journal 2015, 14:20

    Oral consumption of α-linolenic acid increases serum BDNF levels in healthy adult humans

    Background aims Dietary omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids have remarkable impacts on the levels of DHA in the brain and retina. Low levels of DHA in plasma and blood hamper visual and neural development in children and cause dementia and cognitive decline in adults. The level of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) changes with dietary omega-3 fatty acid intake. BDNF is known for its effects on promoting neurogenesis and neuronal survival. Methods In this study, we examined the effect of the oral consumption of α-Linolenic acid (ALA) on blood levels of BDNF and Malondialdehyde (MDA) in healthy adult humans. 30 healthy volunteers, 15 men and 15 women, were selected randomly. Each individual served as his or her own control. Before consuming the Flaxseed oil capsules, 5cc blood from each individual was sampled in order to measure the plasma levels of BDNF and MDA as baseline controls. During the experiment, each individual was given 3 oral capsules of flaxseed oil, containing 500mg of alpha linolenic acid, daily for one week. Then, plasma levels of BDNF and MDA were tested. Results The plasma levels of BDNF and MDA significantly (P < 0.05) increased in individuals who received the oral capsules of ALA. Plasma levels of BDNF increased more in the women in comparison with the men. Conclusion ALA treatment could be a feasible approach to reduce size of infarcts in stroke patients. Thus, ALA could be used in adjunction with routine stroke therapies to minimize brain lesions caused by stroke.

    Be well!

    JP

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