Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Almond Streusel

So, I mentioned that I'm really into Stevia, right?  The kind I've been using in my coffee is much sweeter than sugar, so you just need to add a little bit.  I hadn't tried baking with Stevia, but then my boyfriend brought home a big thing of Stevia that's designed for baking and measures cup for cup like sugar.  I decided to experiment by putting the stuff into some blueberry muffins.

The other healthy thing about these muffins is that they are made with whole grain pastry flour.  But, that part is pretty much an accident...I was totally tricked by deceptive labeling.  I was at Whole Foods looking for cake flour, and couldn't find any.  All I could find was pastry flour, and the only indication that it was whole grain was a tiny, vertical label on the left-hand side.  When I got home and saw this, I was not happy.  But since these muffins are an experiment anyway, I decided to throw that in.  I have to use it up somehow! (Note: I actually used this flour for half of the flour in these cupcakes since I ran out of all-purpose flour, and did not notice any difference.  Who knows what 100% would be like in cupcakes, though?)

Turns out these muffins were a successful experiment!  To me, the Stevia did not cause any noticeable difference.  The whole wheat flour did change things a bit, but I still wanted to (and did) gobble up several muffins.  If you are not completely ready to jump on the healthy muffin bandwagon, I understand.  You should try this with half Stevia and half sugar, and half whole wheat and half white flour.  They are not noticeably "healthy-tasting" at all when made like that.

I am a big fan of almonds, and of blueberries and almonds together.  If nuts are not your thing, these would be delicious without, too.  This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Muffin Ingredients (highly adapted from A Bitchin' Kitchen):

2 1/4 cups whole grain pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 rounded tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
3/4 cup Stevia (use the kind designed for baking)
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 cups frozen blueberries (or use fresh)

Streusel Topping Ingredients (adapted from Annie's Eats):

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 rounded tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup raw sliced almonds

To make the muffins, melt the butter and set aside to cool.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper liners (or if you don't want to use paper liners, just butter the muffin cups).

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  In another bowl, beat the egg.  Add the sugar and beat again.  Add the cooled butter a bit at a time while whisking constantly.  Add the buttermilk the same way, then stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and almond extract.

Add the blueberries to the dry ingredients and toss to coat (this helps keep them all from sinking to the bottom of the muffin cups while baking).  Fold in the wet ingredients just until combined.

Spray some cooking spray on an ice cream scoop, and use it to fill your muffin cups.  It's okay if the batter comes all the way up to the top.

To make the streusel, cut the butter into small cubes.  Crush the almonds in your hand to break them up a bit.  Combine all the ingredients, and mix with your hands until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over the filled muffin cups.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until muffin tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Is your muffin buttered?  Would you like me to assign someone to butter your muffin?
P.S.  Tomorrow I am leaving for a week-long trip to Jamaica!  I had this big plan to save up posts to publish while away, but turns out I can't wait to publish a post once it's finished.  So I'm thinking maybe I can write up a post or two about the local foods I've tried, and post some pictures of that.  Is that something you'd like to see?  I'm thinking about tropical cocktails, lots of jerk chicken, and something involving conch.  When I get back, maybe I can try to learn to cook some Jamaican food!



  1. ... so beautiful and delicious-looking ...

  2. Sounds like a deliciously happy accident! I haven't baked with Stevia or whole wheat pastry flour before, but both sound like they're worth trying -- your muffins look amazing! And have a wonderful trip to Jamaica! (Just remember enough sunscreen. ;])


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