Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

I love baked goods. Doughnuts, scones, muffins, brownies, cookies…everything! But they’re not great for you considering all the butter and sugar that go into them. And now since food establishments are required to post calorie counts, that little Blueberry Streusel Muffin at Starbucks has 360 calories, 30% saturated fat, and 33 grams of sugar. If you want the same caloric intake, with less sugar and fat, 360 calories equals about 2 medium bananas and 2 of those Dannon Light & Fit 80 calorie yogurt packs. While the latter option sounds pretty good, especially mixed together and with a drizzle of honey, if you really want blueberry muffins, try this healthy and low fat version.

You’ll notice that healthy muffins, including these, are less crumbly than regular full fat ones and a bit more spongy. This is due to the omission of butter and the substitution of applesauce. But while (I’ll even admit) healthy muffins don’t taste as sinfully good as regular ones, they’re good enough and (most importantly!) I won’t have run an extra mile at the gym for it.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Dip a napkin in the canola oil and lightly grease a muffin tin, enough for 12 muffins.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients of flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients of applesauce, buttermilk, oil and egg.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir together so everything is just incorporated.
  6. Stir in blueberries.
  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, dividing the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.
  8. Bake 15 – 18 minutes.

Cook’s Notes

Buttermilk always comes in large cartons. Since this recipe only calls for 1/2 cup, I knew I wouldn’t really use the rest of the carton. A (low fat) substitution for buttermilk is a 50/50 mixture of plain yogurt and milk. So for the 1/2 cup buttermilk, I mixed 1/4 cup of nonfat plain yogurt with 1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk.

I don’t think the temperature measurement on ovens is 100% accurate. Like microwaves, the power varies from oven to oven. It might say 400F, but it’ll probably be either a few degrees colder or hotter. For baked goods, I always set the timer a couple of minutes short of what the recipe calls for. Then I check for doneness and adjust the baking time accordingly.

To test for doneness, stick a wooden skewer or knife into a muffin. The muffins are done when the skewer or knife can be cleanly pulled out.

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