(Lightened) Up & (Slimmed) Down Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Everyone loves a bakery-style muffin with their morning cuppa, right?  Sometimes I want the bright flavors of a cafe-inspired treat without all the guilt.  This recipe does this trick with big lemon and berry flavors and significantly reduced fat and sugar content.  Dr. Oz thinks that coconut sugar is the best new sugar alternative, so why not give it a try?

As you’ll notice from the pictures, this isn’t the most photogenic of muffins, but what it lacks in appearance, it more than makes up for in deliciousness.  Start to finish, you shouldn’t have more than 45 minutes in this recipe.

vegan lemon blueberry muffin

i'm ugly, but tasty!

Drop into the Earth Zone to pick up the coconut sugar needed for this recipe; everything else should be available at your local grocery store.  Remember to buy organic lemons for this recipe because we will be using the zest.

(Lightened) Up & (Slimmed) Down Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients
1.0 cup whole wheat flour
1.0 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup blond coconut sugar – available at Earth Zone Nutrition Center
1/3 cup organic granulated sugar
1.5 TBS poppy seeds
1.0 TBS baking powder
0.5 tsp granulated sea salt
0.75 cup almond or soymilk (vanilla or plain are both fine)
0.25 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually about two lemons – remember to zest first!)
0.25 cup sunflower oil
0.25 cup nondairy yogurt (I tried both amande and WholeSoy ;  I like the flavor of vanilla, but lemon or blueberry yogurt would also be great!)
1.0 TBS lemon zest, finely grated
1.0 TBS vanilla extract
0.5 tsp lemon extract (optional)
0.75 cup blueberries (I used frozen for convenience)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375F. Place muffin liners in a 12-muffin tin.

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (wheat flour through sea salt). In a smaller bowl, mix together wet ingredients (nondairy milk through lemon extract). PRO TIP: Toss your blueberries in the dry mixture before adding the wet ingredients to the bowl. This will help to keep them evenly disbursed in the batter, rather than sinking to the bottom. After adding blueberries to the dry ingredients, make a well and add the liquids. Stir gently – just enough to incorporate! (If you overmix your muffin batter, you will overdevelop the gluten and have gummy muffins. This will make you sad.)

Fill muffin tins 3/4 way full (this is roughly a 1/4 cup of batter for each muffin) and bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 23), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool & enjoy!

yeah, I just got a fisheye lens and wanted to play with it.

Recipe copyright 2012 Dominique Taylor, healthyvegrecipes.com, used with permission

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