One of the food blogs I follow regularly is Serious Eats. One of their weekly columns is Weekend Cook and Tell, which challenges readers to take on a cooking project over the weekend. This weekend's challenge was to cook using superfoods. When I think of superfoods, the ones that pop in my mind immediately are matcha powder, blueberries, pomegranates, raspberries, blackberries, goji berries. I've baked quite a bit with some of these ingredients, especially matcha. But most of my recipes aren't very "healthy" since there is so much sugar and butter.
Reading the Weekend Challenge made me want to create a healthy recipe that incorporates some superfoods. I decided to try making green tea muffins with blueberries and pomegranates. Three doses of superfoods! Also, I wanted to make the muffins as healthy as possible. Muffins are supposed to be healthier than other baked goods and are often eaten for breakfast. While I love muffins, I feel that most muffins offered these days are basically the same as cakes, since the sugar content is so high. A lot of recipes even interchange the words "muffins" and "cupcakes."
Getting back to basics, I chose to find a muffin base that didn't have much sugar or butter. I probably could have made it even healthier by using wheat flour instead of regular flour, but it's something I haven't baked with before, so I didn't want to experiment with now. I found this green tea muffin batter that has almost no sugar and very little butter from Fresh from the Oven. I used this as my base, with some modifications. For instance, I upped the amount of green tea. And I added blueberries and pomegranate seeds.
I loved how my muffins came out. They were soft and moist. And while the batter wasn't sweet, I still liked it. It reminded me of biscuits, bread or corn muffins. And because the batter isn't sweet, the fruit came out really sweet. Usually when I bake with blueberries and pomegranates, they taste sour because of all the sugar in the dough.
I loved the colors too. The dark blue blueberries looked so pretty next to the pale green matcha batter. These muffins were so easy to whip up. And I felt like I was eating something fairly healthy. However, if you feel that you some sweetness in your muffins, feel free to up the sugar portion.
I fed these to Boyfriend with the warning that these were supposed to be healthy muffins and wouldn't be very sweet. He did not like them at all. So, it's not for everyone. He does however, love my green tea yogurt cakes, which I think are fairly healthy with the use of yogurt and green tea.
Green Tea Muffins with Blueberries and Pomegranates (Muffin based adapted from Fresh from the Oven)
Yield: Approx 12 muffins
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (If you want sweeter muffins, you can increase the sugar amount)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup fat free milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder
2/3 cup blueberries
2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
the oven to 375°F. Line muffin pans. Mix the flour, matcha powder,
baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Add the egg, milk, and
butter, stirring only enough to dampen the flour; the batter should not
be smooth. Fold in the blueberries and pomegranates.
3. Spoon into the muffin pans, filling each cup about two-thirds full.
4. Bake for about 20
to 25 minutes each. Or until the cake tester inserted comes out clean.