Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday: Power Muffins

Please go to Shan's place for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

As so many of us these days, I struggle with my weight. For that reason, many of my recipes have been designed with health in mind. As I've learned how to bake over the years, I've found that far less sugar is usually needed no matter what the recipe, and that whole wheat pastry flour can often be subbed for white flour, depending on the recipe. Other "finds" have included buttermilk instead of fat, olive oil to sub for some butter on occasion (milder oils, too), and that oat bran can really help muffins, scones, etc. to be tender, when fat is cut severely or all together. Egg whites, as well, can be subbed in various cases, and when you use all these tricks, you can create some very healthy treats.

The muffins below contain all these treats, and the result is a great-sized, tasty, healthy muffin for about 85 - 95 calories a piece. The fat content is usually negligible - 1.5 grams, at the most. The reason I'm guesstimating here, is that I make and remake this recipe all the time, depending on what I have on hand. The original base recipe called for 2 mashed bananas and chocolate chips; the version I made here was blueberry/cherry/strawberry, with a sprinkling of granola on top. I've made these successfully with peaches, pineapple, apples... you name it.

My favorite "power breakfast" is one of these with about a 1/2 TBS of peanut butter for spreading, and 8 oz. or so of skim milk. That will easily tide me through my morning. Enjoy!

Jen's Blueberry/Cherry/Strawberry Power Muffins


1 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg whites or 1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 cups mixed blueberries, strawberries and cherries (pitted)


1. preheat oven to 400.

2. spray muffin pan with cooking spray.

3. Mix dry ingredients up through the salt.

4. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

5. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.

6. Stir in the fruit

7. Drop into muffin tins in even amounts (I use a scoop for this).

8. Bake at 400 for 20 - 25 minutes or until done.

Number of Servings: 12

Nutritional Info

Fat: 1.1g
Carbohydrates: 17.5g
Protein: 3.2g

Nutrition information supplied by


Anonymous said...

those look fantastic! I think I would be tempted to add flax seed. :)

glamah16 said...

Great recipe. I thought I was alone in the struggle. But I want to eat tasty treats too. These look fabulous.

Goofball said...

ooooh a healthy muffing recipe. i'll pass it on to Jan, he's my muffin man ;).

He has already tried to replace real sugar with those diet sugars but for breadpudding and self-made ice cream it's better not to do so.

anno said...

Mmmmm! I've been lucky to enjoy some of these, and I can vouch for them: they're fantastic!

Jen said...

Marye, flaxseed would probably be a great addition! It would turn my son off, though - he has "texture" issues.

No, Glamah, you are far from alone in this struggle, sadly.

Goofball, I have reactions to both aspartame and Nutrasweet and I really try to stick with non-chemical, unprocessed things.

Thanks, Anno! I'm not sure if you've tried this particular version, but I know you've tried the basics. ;-)

Anonymous said...

These look like a great post run snack! Thanks, I always grab the first thing I see to eat after a run and a handful of M&M's usually defeats the purpose.

One question, can you freeze them? If I make a batch, will they be okay if I eat some now, freeze some for later?

Jen said...

Yes, Dingo, they freeze wonderfully! I often double the batch and freeze one batch. Just let them sit out for 10 minutes or so to defrost them, and then you can microwave or toast them to make them even better after defrosting.

Ben said...

Yes, healthier muffins. That is exactly what I need to star my days! I know what I am making for breakfast this weekend :)

Mae Travels said...

I'm just too weak -- I love things with white flour! And my favorite breakfast is Kellog's Smacks. Well, maybe I'll be good in another life.

Shan said...

Oh these look great! I'm adding them to my recipe box!

Jen said...

Ben, they're really easy and good.

You know, Mae, it's so funny - there are some things that I still like white flour for, but my tastes have really changed. You could easily make these with white flour, too, though. They just wouldn't taste as good. ;-)

I'm so glad they look good to you, Shan!

Anonymous said...

Jen, I think I will make these for myself when school starts. I like to eat my breakfast while I drive to school. I know that this is anti-slow food, but I'm not getting up at 5am to have a formal breakfast!!

Jen said...

Patti, I think that anything that gets you going in the morning is the right way to start. Heck, if I had your commute, I'd probably be eating breakfast, drinking coffee, reading the paper AND getting dressed in the car. (See why it's a good thing I don't have your commute?)

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Excellent tips, Jen, and that power breakfast is right up my alley. YUM :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

usually "healthy" muffins are either loaded with sugar or taste like cardboard.

These sound delicious and moist. Yum

Jen said...

Michelle, I'm glad this will work for you. You can use a mix of whole wheat and white if the pastry flour isn't available. You can get buttermilk, right?

NYC - I think that using so much fruit is what makes these still taste good. I hate the commercial "healthy" muffins

Betsy said...

These sound delicious! I'm always looking for healthy alternatives to stuff into lunch boxes around here, and these sound perfect!

Jen said...

Betsy, these are real hits with kids - especially the banana/chocolate chip (I don't use many, just a little bit, and if you don't have chips in Germany, just chop up some Milka or equivalent) and apple cinnamon.

Anonymous said...

I bow at the altar of your yummy cookingness. These look fabulous.

Jen said...

They're pretty good, Amy! Different from commercial muffins, but I like them better. And again, your potato salad SO rocked. It's definitely become a fave around here!

BusyDad said...

That's the perfect "late for school eat in the car" breakfast! I need to try these. And by looking at the ingredients, good for you too!

Jen said...

They are, Jim... that's one of the things I love about them. Anything healthy, good, EASY and not-processed that my son will eat - YAY!

Momisodes said...

This looks so good. I'm AMAZED with the ingredients. Muffins without a heaping helping of butter? I MUST try this :)

I don't have whole wheat pastry flour, but I will have to find it :)

Jen said...

Sandy, "Bob's" packages whole wheat pastry flour, but it's cheaper in bulk. I'm not sure if Whole Foods carries it in bulk, but virtually any other food co-op, natural food store, etc., would carry it. The buttermilk really does replace the butter, amazingly enough.

allaboutattitude said...

I need to bake i need to bake! So satistisfying to savour your own yummy muffins

Jen said...

Attitude - it's nice to have fresh baked goods around the house. And they're usually healthier, too!