Blueberry muffins are packed full of sugar, so here’s how to make a healthier version at home

By Prudence Wade. Published 2020-03-24
BOLD-Food
Research has revealed the eye-watering amount of sugar contained in many store-bought muffins.

As we begin to face the social distancing and self-isolation, why don't we as Boldies Facetime, Skype or use another internet video type systems to connect with our grandchildren, relatives, friends and neighbours and bake some healthier muffins together.

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% of muffins they assessed contained an eye-watering six teaspoons of sugar or more. This is the upper daily sugar limit or children aged 7-10 years.

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While this probably won’t come as a huge surprise to people (let’s face it – muffins are just slightly bigger cupcakes that sometimes include fruit), 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.

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Ingredients: (Makes 18 muffins) - 250g wholewheat flour - 200g natural oat or wheatbran - 4tsp baking powder - 2tsp bicarbonate of soda - Salt - 450ml natural yogurt or buttermilk - 180ml vegetable oil - 2tsp vanilla extract - 2 eggs - 100g light muscovado sugar - 350g fresh blueberries

Method:

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.

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.

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

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.