Tag Archives: muffins

Healthy Wild Blueberry Bran Muffins

Wild Blueberry Bran Muffins

Even though it’s been cool and rainy here in Colorado, I’m reminded it’s spring every time I walk into the supermarket. Right out in front my grocer has set up a large produce table packed with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

I’m lucky that we grow our own berries in our backyard – mostly raspberries and blackberries, but some strawberries and blueberries, too. Our wild blueberry bushes don’t produce much, so I buy wild blueberries either fresh or frozen at Costco or Sam’s Club.

Health benefits of wild blueberries

Wild blueberries have been named one of nature's super fruits and have the highest antioxidant capacity per serving, compared to more than 20 other fruits. The many potential health benefits of wild blueberries include:

  • Brain health: blueberries may improve motor skills and actually reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging.
  • Cancer prevention: research shows that blueberry compounds may inhibit cancer.
  • Heart health: blueberries may protect against heart disease and damage from stroke.
  • Urinary tract health: like cranberries, blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.
  • Vision health: blueberries may improve night vision and prevent tired eyes.

Learn more about the latest blueberries health studies here.

Cooking with wild blueberries

While eating wild blueberries plain in a bowl is one of life’s better treats. Having them in pancakes, salads and drinks is pretty good, too! And since frozen blueberries are just as healthy and delicious as fresh ones, you can use frozen wild blueberries right out of the package for most cooking — no thawing needed

You can find many wild blueberry recipes on the website of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America at wildblueberries.com/recipes

Here’s their healthy recipe for blueberry muffins. Make them up the night before for a quick and convenient breakfast treat. Or freeze a batch and thaw as needed.

Wild Blueberry Bran Muffins

Yields approximately 36 muffins


  • 3 cups bran cereal
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups non-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups wild blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F conventional oven or 375°F convection.
  2. In large bowl combine bran, buttermilk and yogurt; let stand 15 minutes. Reserve.
  3. In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in wheat germ; reserve.
  4. In another bowl blend egg substitute, molasses, syrup, sugar and oil; stir into bran mixture and mix well. Add to flour-wheat germ mixture and mix just to moisten.
  5. Fold in wild blueberries.
  6. Scoop 1/4-cup batter into each greased 1/3-cup muffin tin and bake in 400°F conventional oven or 375°F convection oven 20 to 25 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  7. Serve warm. Yields approximately 36 muffins.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 148
  • Calories from Fat 28
  • Total Fat 3.1g
  • Trans Fat 0.0g
  • Cholesterol 1mg
  • Sodium 118mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 28.2g
  • Dietary Fiber 2.6g
  • Sugars 13.6g
  • Protein 4.2g
  • Vitamin A 2%
  • Vitamin C 4%
  • Calcium 13%
  • Iron 12%

Nutrition Grade A from CalorieCount 

Weight Watchers POINTS = 2

Picture courtesy of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America.

Recipes from Jillian Michaels Master Your Metabolism Cookbook: Blueberry Banana Muffins

Jillian Michaels The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook I’m always interested to see what Jillian Michaels is up to, whether it’s Biggest Loser, her new show Losing It with Jillian Michaels, or a new workout video. One of her latest projects is the follow up cookbook and calorie counter paperback to last year’s Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!

The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook builds on the three core principles of Master Your Metabolism:

  1. Minimize the foods that are bad for you hormonally
  2. Add the whole foods that will help you
  3. Take in a healthy balance of protein, fat, carbs and calories

Jillian’s diet philosophy is based on her own experience of adrenal burnout and hormone-induced issues like hypothyroidism, melasma (facial pigmentation caused by estrogen dominance), premature aging and slow metabolism. She reviews the basics from Master Your Metabolism, so it isn’t totally necessary to get her first book unless you want to cover the information in more details.

Balancing your hormones for weight loss

First, she goes into why and how you need to balance 12 key hormones: insulin, thyroid hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, norepinephrine, epinephrine, cortisol, growth hormone, leptin and ghrelin. Then Jillian discusses power nutrients like legumes, garlic, berries, lean proteins, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, organic dairy, and whole grains. She’s a big believer in eating local and organic whenever possible.

Finally, Jillian reviews what she wants you to avoid: hydrogenated fats, refined grains, high-fructose corn syrups, artificial sweeteners, artificial colorings and preservatives, glutamates (MSG), nitrates and nitrites. While it’s no surprise that Jillian advises you to cut back on alcohol, I was surprised to she wants you to reduce your consumption processed soy products, which she feels messes with your thyroid. She also recommends cooking all your cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.), cutting back on starchy vegetables, and reduce eating tropical, dried and canned fruit.

She has other “rules” like eat breakfast and don’t skip meals, eat every four hours, don’t eat after 9 pm, and eat 40 percent carbs/30 percent fat/30 percent protein – pretty much common sense. While her “food as medicine,” whole foods approach isn’t different from what others teach, Jillian has a way of explaining things in a direct, personal way that appeals to many people.

Jillian’s Boost Your Metabolism recipes

What I especially like about Jillian’s cookbook is that each recipe (over 125) lists its health benefits. For example, this muffin recipe is good for your heart, boosts immunity, boosts metabolism, and promotes strong bones and healthy skin. However, her cookbook doesn’t list complete nutritional information, just calories, fat, carbs, protein and sodium. It would have been nice to get additional information on fiber, minerals and vitamins.

I'll be featuring Jillian's Master Your Metabolism recipes throughout the week here at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet.

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Make up several batches and freeze what you don’t plan to eat right away. These are great for a before workout snack, breakfast or dessert.


  • Olive oil spray for the tin
  • 3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2)
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 21/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 generous cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)


  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly spray a 12- cup muffin tin with olive oil or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, place the bananas, yogurt, honey, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir together until well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the fl our, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and the nuts, if using.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Place the tin in the oven and reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve warm.
  5. For longer storage, let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Nutritional information

  • Calories: 216.0 kcal
  • Fat: 6.8 g
  • Protein: 4.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.1 g
  • Sodium: 234.5 mg

This Mama’s tips

  • I’m surprised that Jillian recommended honey, when agave nectar has a lower glycemic index. You could also use stevia, but since it’s a powder, you may need to add additional yogurt to the batter to keep the muffins moist.
  • Normally I would recommend substituting toasted pine nuts for the walnuts for those with nut allergies. However, Jillian is against pine nuts because, like soy, it has goitrogenic effects, meaning it swells the thyroid gland.
  • Substitute no-fat Greek yogurt for the plain yogurt for an extra protein boost. However, if the batter seems dry, add a little water to it.
  • I like adding flaxseed to baked goods for the extra fiber and ALA Omega-3. Jillian believes you should consume flaxseed only in moderation.

Disclosure: I received review copies of Jillian Michaels The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook and her calorie counter paperback. I purchased Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!

Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Healthy eating with the Mayo Clinic’s Morning Glory Muffins

Young businesswoman eating a muffin at her deskPart of the reason I write this blog is to encourage myself as well as others to eat in a more healthful way. You can learn more about my healthy eating and fitness philosophy at my interview at Bizymoms.

To inspire you to start your day off the right way, check out this muffin recipe from the weight loss experts at the Mayo Clinic and Donald Hensrud, M.D., M.P.H., authors of TThe Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well. Enjoy Life. Lose Weight.

I bet the kids would like this one, too! Sneak in a couple of teaspoonfuls of ground flaxseed or Salba seeds for extra fiber and Omega-3s.

Morning Glory Muffins

Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

Makes 18 small muffins


  • 1 c. all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 c. whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • mayo clinic diet book 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. egg substitute
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. chopped apples, unpeeled
  • ½ c. raisins
  • ¾ c. grated carrots
  • 2 tbsp. chopped pecans (omit if you have nut allergies)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to blend evenly.
  3. In a separate bowl, add egg substitute, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Stir in apples, raisins and carrots. Add to the flour mixture and blend just until moistened but still slightly lumpy.
  4. Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and bake until springy to the touch, about 35 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve.

Nutritional information:

  • Calories 170
  • Protein 3 g
  • Carbohydrate 25 g
  • Total Fat 7 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
  • Saturated Fat 1 g
  • Cholesterol trace
  • Sodium 195 mg
  • Fiber 2 g

Weight Watchers POINTS = 3 per muffin

Reprinted from The Mayo Clinic Diet, © 2010 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Good Books (www.GoodBooks.com). Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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Gimme a coffee and a muffin: giveaways at This Mama Cooks! Reviews and a heart smart muffin recipe

cook up a batch of muffins Join me for some coffee and muffins at This Mama Cooks! Reviews. I’m giving away bags of Peet’s Uzuri African Blend coffee and sample coupons of FiberOne Frozen Ready-to-Eat Muffins.

The muffin giveaway ends at midnight MT on Monday, March 8, 2010. The coffee giveaway ends midnight MT on Monday, March 15, 2010.

If homemade muffins are more your thing (and if you read my Fiber One vs. Weight Watchers muffin review, I’d have to agree with you) try this recipe from Relish magazine.

Heart-Smart Sweet Potato Muffins

Recipe by Mary Carter, The Healthy Table, March 2010

Makes 12 muffins


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup finely grated raw sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried pears
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Combine whole-wheat flour and next six ingredients (whole-wheat flour through salt) in a mixing bowl.
  3. Combine milk, egg whites and oil in a separate bowl. Whisk well.
  4. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined. Gently fold in sweet potato and pears.
  5. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until centers spring back when touched.

Nutritional Information:

Per muffin: 150 calories, 1.5g fat, 0mg chol., 4g protein, 32g carbs., 2g fiber, 240mg sodium.

Weight Watchers POINTS = 3


  • Can’t find dried pears? Substitute other dried fruit like cranberries, cherries, apricots or prunes.
  • For an extra Omega 3 boost, try adding a tablespoon full of ground flaxseed or ground or whole grain Salba.


Disclosure: All links to Amazon.com are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Wheat Germ and Banana Muffins

My sister, Auntie Mimi, who lives in Switzerland, the land of pain au chocolat and other decadent goodies, is a big believer in healthy snacks. She writes in,

"I made these this weekend and they were hit with all boys big and small. I found it on epicurious.com and made certain substitutions, but they turned out really well."

I told her I’d have to pass on making the muffins since they contain eggs, and Boo Girl can’t have them. But try them out and let me know what you think.

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