Thursday, December 5, 2013

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins with Nuts

The death of Nelson Mandela affected me more than I thought it would. I was born long after India had gotten it's independence from British rule. The freedom struggle and sacrifices of a lot of Indian leaders was what I had studied and learned through history books. Around the time I was learning of India's long and arduous fight for freedom in history books, in another part of the world people were fighting for their freedom through non-violent means that Mahatma Gandhi had used for the freedom struggle in India. So in many ways that fight for freedom seems more closer than the struggle for Indian independence because we were hearing about it as it was happening.

I bet the fight of Nelson Mandela and his people struck a chord among Indians who read about it. It was also in South Africa that Gandhi as a young lawyer stood up for his rights. So hearing of his death brought on a reaction that is hard to explain. Sadness for South Africa that has lost leader who is very hard to replace. I am sure his passing away has affected a lot Indians and rightfully so the India government declared 5 days of mourning.

The US government on the other hand had a long and complicated relationship with Nelson Mandela but even here there was wall to wall coverage of his death. There is absolutely no body who can ignore what Mandela has done for his country. May he rest in peace.

Didn't mean to make anyone sad but moving on to the recipe,

We are a family it seems that loves muffins. While even the word oatmeal brings groans and fake cries of misery, even the sight of muffins brings pure joy to those very faces. I do not have a problem with muffins for breakfast but the fact that it has as much sugar as a cupcake. Eating that for breakfast just does not sit well with me. It is perhaps OK for the kids but for the adults in the house trying to avoid the mid bulge it is not such a great thing.

Anyway I have meaning to regularly bake some whole wheat muffins with the amount of sugar that is just enough and never got around to it. I had avoided buying muffins and it was not going to last any longer. So I got down to it and made some muffins.

I consulted a bunch of recipes and settled on the Pioneer Woman's recipe. While Smitten Kitchen's recipe also looked good, I did not want to add butter. So sought of took elements from both.

Mixed batter, check the consistency - should be thick and barely wet.
Out of the oven and ready to eat.

I used Greek Yogurt and that is perhaps why I had to add milk so the batter would be the right consistency. If using plain yogurt the milk might not be needed. The consistency of the batter should be thick ice cream scoopable consistency. Should not be loose. If it is loose the muffin will not cook properly and will be soggy inside. I added 3/4 cup of sugar first and then added another 1/4 cup because it was bit too bland.

Looks pretty good inside - crumbs.

The whole wheat flour did not change the texture of the muffins. They are not as soft as the white flour but not so dense that they don't look like muffins anymore. Try these once and you will not go back to white flour muffins.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:30-35 minutes
For a 12 muffin tin, 4 ramekins and a 4 1/2 inch cake pan
  1. 3 cups flour (2 cups of White unbleached Whole Wheat Flour and 1 Cup of unbleached Whole Wheat Flour)
  2. 3/4 - 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 tsp of baking powder
  4. 1 tsp of baking soda
  5. 1/4 tsp of salt
  6. 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/2 cup olive oil (vegetable oil can be used)
  9. 1 cup Greek yogurt (plain yogurt should work too, if using plain yogurt do not add milk or reduce accrodingly)
  10. 1 cup Milk
  11. 2 cups of blueberries
  12. 1/2 cup of light roasted pecans chopped
  13. butter or spray for the baking dishes
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Grease the muffin tins and all the other baking dishes you are using.
  3. Whisk together flour, soda, baking powder,salt. Set aside.
  4. Beat the egg till it is nice and frothy. Add the yogurt, oil and the sugar and beat all together till smooth.
  5. Now add vanilla extract and the egg mixture to the flour and gently mix them in (using minimal strokes as possible to mix). Use the milk if the flour is still dry. I had to add all of the milk but use only as much as required to get a very thick batter. Mix in the blue berries and pecans with a few strokes as possible.
  6. Scoop the mixture into the muffin pans, ramekins and the cake tin filling them only 3/4th of the way.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. The bigger baking dishes needed 30 minutes.
  8. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
  9. I am never going back to store bought muffins.
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