Healthier blueberry muffins

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It feels as though we’re constantly being told we’re eating far too much sugar, and now the latest food to be revealed as shockingly bad for you is the humble blueberry muffin.

Often seen as a healthier choice than a slice of chocolate cake (there’s fruit in it, so it must be good for you, right?), research from Action on Sugar and the Obesity Healthy Alliance has revealed that 61 per cent of the muffins they assessed contained an eye-watering six teaspoons of sugar or more. This is the upper daily sugar limit or children aged seven to10 years.

While this probably won’t come as a huge surprise to people, it’s still something to be wary of.

The research chose to look into blueberry muffins, specifically, because they’re readily available and popular. Many of us find ourselves hungry when we’re out and about, and it’s often hard to know exactly what is in the manufactured treats we pick up.

Alternatively, it can be healthier and cheaper to make your own blueberry muffins at home, to reach for when cravings strike.

Even though it’s not quite as easy as buying one at the supermarket, this recipe from Seasonal Berries is straightforward to follow, and lighter on the sugar front.

Makes: 18 muffins

Ingredients

  • 250g whole-wheat flour
  • 200g natural oat or wheat bran
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • Salt
  • 450ml natural yogurt or buttermilk
  • 180ml vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 350g fresh blueberries

Method

1. Line two muffin tins with 18 paper cases or grease lightly with a little oil. Mix the flour, bran, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt together in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the yogurt or buttermilk, oil and vanilla to a second, smaller bowl, then add the eggs and sugar and fork together until smooth. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients and fork together until just mixed.

3. Add the blueberries and mix briefly, being careful not to overmix. Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin tin.

4. Bake at 200°C/gas mark 6 for about 20 minutes, until tops are firm when pressed. Lift out of the tin, transfer to a wire rack and serve while warm, or leave to cool completely before eating.

What’s your favourite type of muffin? Do you look at the sugar content when choosing snacks? Have you baked using low sugar recipes before?

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