Sunday, August 8, 2010
A Healthy Breakfast Muffin...Oh, so delicious!
Goji berries were discovered in the Himalayas over 3000 years ago. They are considered one of the world's most nutrient rich fruits, even surpassing blueberries with antioxidant properties. (They can be found at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or your local health food store.) In addition to baking with them, Goji berries add a delicious taste to cooked or cold cereals, yogurt, trail mix, and salads. I first ate them on a flight to Taiwan to pick up our granddaughter, Madison. In fact, they are widely used in Chinese and Tibetan cultures, not only as a food source, but in medicines; they facilitate the flow of vitality!
Walnuts were the next ingredient I wanted to use. They are one of the best plant sources of protein--something I get asked about a lot being as a vegetarian, "where do you get protein from?" They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, and also, antioxidants. Nuts, in general are high in plant sterols, and fat, but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, and high in Omega 3 fatty acids (the good fats). They have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol levels, which is a really good thing. I toasted walnuts for this recipe, but eating them raw is a good way to start any day.
Lastly, to boost flavor and add more nutrients, I added the zest of one whole orange and the juice of two. Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, but did you know they are high in folate, fiber, and antioxidants?
These muffins are easy to mix up; just a bowl and a spatula or flat whisk is all you need. I baked mine in a bundt muffin pan, which made six large muffins, but you could also use a regular muffin pan with papers. I had mine with some homemade yogurt (yes, I have a new gadget) but your favorite low-fat yogurt and some berries would be a nice accompaniment too.
A Healthy Good Morning Muffin
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cardamon
1/2 tsp. freshly, grated nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs
zest of 1 naval orange
3/4 cup fresh orange juice, approximately 2 oranges
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts (measure after chopping)
1 cup Goji Berries
Preheat oven 350F-degrees. Place walnuts on a small baking sheet and toast for 7 minutes. Coarse-chop the walnuts. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the first 7 dry ingredients and use a flat whisk (or spatula) to combine. Grate the zest of one orange over the bowl and mix well with the dry ingredients.