Blueberry Corn Muffins (Size Matters)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Manhattan Muffin Comes to Boston


A special breakfast treat, and delicious with black coffee.  (Note the size.)

Does the combination of blueberries and corn sound weird to you? It did to me the first time I stumbled across one in Manhattan. I used to live in New York on 65th St at Lincoln Center and there was this tiny hole-in-the-wall bakery up the street that sold them. The first time I saw them I thought, “Huh. Blueberry bran, sure, but blueberry corn? Weird.”

Best muffin ever, it became one of my favorite food treats in New York.

I use the word “treat” here rather specifically, so I can be very clear that eating muffins for breakfast is not terribly different from beginning your day with dessert: peanut butter on whole grain toast is a much better choice for your regular breakfast, or a whole grain cereal like oatmeal. Eggs are also a good option, in moderation, especially when combined with a variety of heart-healthy veggies. (Try my Southwestern scramble or breakfast taco, for example.) Like muffins, pancakes and French toast should also be considered less-than-ideal breakfasts from a health perspective that should be relegated to the “once in a while” category.

Blueberry Corn Muffins (May Include Peppers)

Some muffins are more healthful than others, of course; this muffin lies somewhere in between. It’s not loaded in butter and sugar, as I note in the recipe yesterday, but it doesn’t have the fiber kick of, say, a bran muffin. Nonetheless, the idea stemmed spontaneously while I was making cornbread and then remembered I had blueberries in the refrigerator, so there you have it.

My intention had been to split the batter in half and add the savory ingredients to the bread and the blueberries to the muffins. Alas, I mixed up the full batter with the peppers and corn then said “oops,’  quickly followed by “what the hell, I’ll continue as planned.”

Still delicious, though. Brought me back to living in New York. Well, kind of. Theirs didn’t have poblano peppers. Sure, you can omit the veggies if you like, but combining sweet and savory elements worked a lot better than you’d think. (See the many fruited salads on my recipe page, for example.)

I was very happy I made them indeed.

Make Your Muffins Mini

I hope you noted that these muffins are not quite as large compared to what used to be a standard muffin size. (And don’t get me started on the jumbo sizes you see today, which are simply ridiculous.) Between having a somewhat smaller tray and filling them up less than usual, these muffins turned out to be the perfect size. In fact, I often make things mini when baking to control portion size hence calorie intake. Yes, one day I had two, I’ll freely admit, as they are small and I was fueling for a long run, but for the most part, I just ate one. Further, one still remains in my fridge, one week later, and my husband also had one, so I didn’t eat muffins every day all week long. That wouldn’t be very moderate of me, would it?

For scale: my muffins are smaller than these (small) apples.

Plus, to be absolutely honest, as much as I love blueberry corn muffins, I can only go so many days without my regular breakfast of peanut butter on toast or oatmeal.



Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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