Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Healthy Breakfast Muffin...Oh, so delicious!

When your mother says, "breakfast is the most important meal," you should believe her.  Taking time, even for a simple muffin, will give you the necessary energy to begin your day, and with this muffin, you'll also begin with a smile.  My focus for creating this morning's muffin was to incorporate some really healthy ingredients--Goji Berries, Walnuts, and Oranges, but not compromise on taste.

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.
Cut the two oranges in half and use a hand reamer to juice.  You should get 3/4 cup of orange juice.  Make a "well" in the center of the dry ingredients and add the two eggs, orange juice and oil.  Mix well, but do not beat!  Finally, incorporate the Goji berries and walnuts in the batter.
Fold in these ingredients.  The aroma of the zest and juice was so fragrant!  If you use a bundt muffin pan, like I did, spray with a non-stick baking spray with flour.  I used my one-third cup scoop to put the batter in the openings.
Bake 20-22 minutes in a pre-heated oven or until golden brown and the tops spring back when lightly touched with your index/middle fingers.  Let cool 10 minutes in the pan before flipping them out.
Having a healthy breakfast doesn't have to be tasteless or have a "cardboard" texture.  I split my muffin and added some Peach/Mango jam.  Your children will love these as much as you do and with flu season approaching, why not boost your immune system and like doing it.  Enjoy!


  1. oh my just posted a message and not sure that it went through, so trying again !

    I would have brought the sunflowers, huge bunches of them, we would have sipped freshly brewed coffee and eaten one or maybe two of these yummy muffins, we'd laugh, chat and cry alittle, sharing our joys and our sorrows .. we would have delighted in our friendship.
    Happy Week, love to you and all of yours.

  2. Denise~If you make mine tea, I'll be there! Your post was so inviting and that's how I imagine your home and family. Love to you all, Susan

  3. I'll bring english breakfast tea and we can make a big pot xx