Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

There's nothing that makes my Sunday morning ritual of reading the newspaper and watching CBS Sunday  morning with a hot cup of coffee more special than muffins or scones fresh from the oven for breakfast. When the farmer's market isn't on the Square and I can't get a scone from my favorite healthy scone purveyor each Saturday, I like to bake something special, freezing extras to be had for weekday breakfasts. Recently I was gripped by a craving for blueberry muffins, which were more than satisfied by this healthy and flavorful recipe. For those looking to explore "alternative" flours, spelt, which pairs beautifully with berries, is a great place to start, but even if you don't have an eclectic collection of flours as I do, these are still delicious when made with whole wheat pastry flour or a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. Subtly sweet, tender, and moist, these muffins are a great way to start any day, whether a relaxing weekend morning or hectic weekday, and healthy enough that you can indulge in the jumbo size without any guilt (as I did). On that note, because I made jumbo muffins instead of standard size (and my oven often seems to run a bit hotter than it should) I've left the baking instructions as written by Whole Foods, but I would encourage you to start checking the muffins early so they don't dry out. A solid version of an old standard, these muffins are sure to please almost any palate and a great way to get your family to enjoy whole grains.

Blueberry Spelt Muffins
makes 1 dozen regular-size muffins, or 6 jumbo muffins
from Whole Foods Market

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) softened butter or canola oil, plus more for greasing the pan
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper muffin liners. In a large bowl, cream together butter or oil and sugar. Stir in applesauce, eggs, orange juice and vanilla.

2. In a second large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, zest and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter-egg mixture until just combined. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

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