Having good, wholesome, healthy, and clean snacks around the house is always a good idea and making muffins (of any kind) are my absolute favorite. Store bought muffins, and those you find in many cafes and bakeries can be full of sugar, processed ingredients, and have little to no nutritional value. Making muffins at home and from scratch allows me to use the best ingredients for my health. These muffins are made with fresh and clean ingredients such as bananas, blueberries, walnut oil, whole wheat flour, maple syrup, and a pastured & organic egg.
In many store-bought muffins, ingredients are chosen primarily to prolong shelf life, rather than being chosen to improve the health of the consumer. For example, the blueberry muffins bought at Safeway contain propylene glycol, which is used in many household items such as antifreeze, polyurethane cushions, and paint (um…gross). However, the FDA has labeled this ingredient as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) because it, like many others, falls under this category due to the fact that it was brought to the market prior to October 15, 1994, which is basically when the FDA decided that if the ingredient hadn’t notably caused anyone harm, then it must be safe for human consumption………mmm ok.
To give you an idea of the difference between a store-bought muffin ingredient list and baking at home, I’ve put together ingredients for both below. As you can see, the amount of ingredients going into a box of store bought muffins is almost 4x higher than the amount actually needed for a nutritious muffin.
Starting with Plants Ingredients
Whole wheat flour, bananas, blueberries, walnut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, pastured egg
Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Water, Soybean Oil, Blueberries, Eggs, Modified Corn Starch, Contains 2% or Less of: Partially Hydrogenated Shortening (Soybean Oil, Cottonseed, or Canola Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters of Fatty Acids, Mono and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, BHT), Emulsifier (Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Monoglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate), Salt, Nonfat Milk, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum.
For one, I have found that baking with whole wheat flour is just as easy (and tastes better) than baking with enriched bleached flour. Enriched bleached flour has so many ingredients because it has been stripped of the vitamin and mineral filled bran of the wheat germ and has to have the B vitamins added back in to maintain nutritional value. But if you can use whole wheat flour (which has all these vitamins naturally occurring in it) then you are getting your nutrients in their most natural form.
Additionally, there is no need for the long list of processed ingredients used in store-bought muffins (unless, of course, you are trying to make your muffins sit on your counter for a couple of months without spoiling). Baking at home is not only fun, makes your kitchen smell amazing, provides a way to share food with family and friends, and creates healthy snacks at home, but allows you to know what is going into your food and make sure that it has the highest benefit to your health.
- 1¼ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾-1 cup fresh organic blueberries (washed)
- 3 medium bananas
- ⅓ cup walnut oil
- ⅛ cup maple syrup
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 large organic pastured egg
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin pan with plant based oil or muffin cups
- Blend bananas in a mixer (or mash well if you don't have a mixer)
- Add flour, walnut oil, maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and egg and mix until blended
- Fold in blueberries gently into batter and fill each muffin cup almost to the top with batter
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until no batter comes out on a tooth pick