Friday, March 1, 2013

Lowfat Wheat Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Have you ever tried to bake or cook something over and over again and never get quite the results you want? But then as soon as you decide to make it for someone it just works, like it was a piece of 'muffin' :D

I love blueberries. I can have anything blueberry..yep, have tried a blueberry bagel with blueberry cream cheese..just yummmm. I was on a hunt for a healthy Blueberry Muffin and have tried numerous recipes. I used buttermilk, then yogurt, some with whole wheat, others with just milk and how can I forget the blueberry jam swirled in..ufff..None worked. I mean they would bake, but I absolutely never got them to rise beautifully. Also, either they would be too dry or way too wet. I failed..TERRIBLY.

This past weekend our close friends, Bhawna & Vishal, were having us over for lunch. I know how much Bhawna loves blueberries and co-incidentally I had lots of fresh blueberries on hand. How convenient..I know, right?? Well I wanted to bring the Hosts a Thank You goodie and so I finally tried one last recipe that I had bookmarked long long ago. And this time it worked. The couple loved the blueberry muffins I made them, especially the blueberries that burst in there while baking. They tasted good but, when she asked me for the recipe the wires in my head started jolting.
A little under-baked I believe and a bit too dry..didn't cut it for me.
 I came home and started dissecting the muffin. I had replaced half the white flour with whole wheat flour which I felt made them a little dry. I also felt they were under-baked, in that they did not have brown tops. These were good muffins and a little dry..good but not awesome. I really needed to make these better before I passed on the recipe to B. She loves blueberry muffins, these better work for her. So, off I went to make a brand new batch.

Then the wires in my head jolted even more. Didn't I say I wanted to make them healthy? I know healthy is a very relative term. Besides anything that has sugar, egg, flour and fat is not healthy. But, I definitely wanted to make these more healthier. So, I decided to replace the oil in the recipe with Applesauce. Switched the baking powder to baking soda and the muffins turned out great. They rose gorgeously, not dry at all and tasted perfect.

Only this time, yeah there always is a twist..the muffins stuck to the liners. I would lose about 1/4th of a muffin to the silly liners. Vaibhav picked up one and peeled the liner and said, "Should you have sprayed the insides of the liners with some PAM?" Imagine what happened to the wires in my don't have to..just watch Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory when he is highly caffeinated or thinking too hard.
Perfect looking Muffin tops..and low fat too!! Me likey!!!
I researched over the net and Vibes was right..this is a rare occurrence guys..but he was right. Turns out lowfat muffins, obviously, because of no grease tend to stick more to the liners. An easy fix is to spray the liners with some oil. I know, defeats the whole purpose of a liner, but oh well, whatever helps me keep it lowfat.

So I baked yet another batch...Ha like the wires would have stopped jolting..they never do. SUCCESS..These are incredibly moist, light and fluffy muffins without the fat and no more sticky liners. You can make them Blueberry, or Chocolate Chip, of course with the same batter. Please see notes for the variations.
Lowfat Blueberry Muffins
I would officially like to Thank Vaibhav for putting up with all these baking experiments and providing valuable inputs like 'spray PAM' while munching away the goods.
Lowfat Choc Chip Muffins
Vishal & Bhawna, Thanks so much for having us over and the wonderful food. Maybe you guys can guest post the awesome Minced Chicken Skewers you made :)

Presenting the Lowfat Blueberry Muffins for ya!! Enjoyyyy!! :)..If you did like the ones I brought you, simply follow the original recipe with only 3/4th cup sugar.

Lowfat Blueberry Muffins
yields 6 standard size or 12 mini muffins* (See Notes)
adapted from The Shiksa in the Kitchen

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour (Indian store-bought flour - atta works great for me)
1/2 cup White Flour*
1 Cup Blueberries
6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) Sugar* (See Notes)
1/2 cup Buttermilk* (I make my own..See Notes)
2 tablespoons Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda* (See Notes)
3/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon*
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil (I use great)
3/4 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg
Turbinado Sugar for dusting (optional)

Place the oven rack in middle. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a Muffin tin with paper liner. I tend to use the center muffin cups, which leaves 3 cups on each side empty. Grease the liners lightly with a cooking spray. Alternately, you can also use simple foil liners. My research shows they are best for lowfat muffins. I have got to buy some.

Rinse the blueberries in a colander and drain well. Pat dry with a paper towel. Keep aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Don't skip the sifting, it's what makes the muffins light and fluffy.

To this sifted flour mixture, add 3/4th cup blueberries. Reserve the remaining 1/4th cup for later.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Whisk well.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine using as few stirs as possible. Stir only until combined, the batter will be rather lumpy and a little runny. You will also be able to see the buttermilk and soda producing lumps. Do not over-mix. As few strokes as possible.

Fill each muffin cup all the way to the top with batter. Now distribute and add the remaining 1/4th cup blueberries between the 6 cups. Don't push them inside, these will burst on top while baking giving it a wonderful blueberry flavor.

You can even sprinkle the top of each muffin lightly with turbinado or coarse sugar. This will add some sweet sparkle and texture to the top of each muffin. This is optional, I skipped it. However, next time I may try a mixture of Turbinado Sugar with some Cinnamon for dusting. Try it and let me know how that turns out.

For Baking: The muffins should be baked for a total of about 16-18 minutes at 400°F.

Begin with baking the muffins for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes rotate the muffin pan 180 degrees around to ensure even baking.

Bake for additional 6-8 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and the muffin tops are springy to touch. Start testing at the 6th minute mark and immediately remove the muffins as soon as their tops turn springy. They continue to cook after removed from the oven, so do not overcook.

Let them cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes and then allow them to further cool on a wire rack.

Dig in!! Happy Muffining!!

Recipe: The recipe yields 6 standard muffins. Simply double the recipe to make a dozen. It doubles with no problems at all.

Buttermilk: I make my own. For a 1/2 cup of buttermilk; add 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar to an empty measuring cup and then add milk to bring it to the 1/2 cup measuring mark. Let stand for 10 minutes until the milk curdles. I use 2% milk.

White Flour: I haven't tried the recipe with Whole Wheat flour only. I am definitely going to experiment with it. But, if you do happen to experiment before me, please let me know your findings. As usual, I will blog about mine.

Sugar: I don't like overly sweet muffins, hence I use 6 tablespoons of sugar only. However, if you like it to be more sweet feel free to add 2 extra tablespoons of sugar to it.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon gives this muffin batter a kick. It takes the recipe to whole new level. I also feel you don't need extra sugar if using cinnamon.

Baking Soda: The original recipe calls for Baking Powder, however, I used baking soda because the vinegar in buttermilk goes very well with soda to give the muffins their much needed rise, height and beautiful muffin tops.

Variation: You can use this same batter to make Chocolate Chip Muffins. Simply switch the blueberries for 2 ounces of Dark chocolate. I use 70% dark chocolate bar. Chop it up and mix them with the dry ingredients. Once the muffin cups are filled, sprinkle a few semisweet chocolate chips on top. Oh, and keep the cinnamon even while making them Chocolate tastes divine.


  1. Thank you so much Jyoti for YUmmmm... muffins and sharing the recipe, will try this recipe :)

    Love Bhawna

  2. Thanks so much Bhawna!!! It was fun working with the recipe!! Glad you like 'em :D
    Love, Jyoti