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Classic Blueberry Muffins

With just a few basic ingredients, these blueberry muffins come together quickly and easily, offering that classic blueberry muffin taste that is so comforting and sweet, with a hint of  zing from some lemon zest.  This recipe works with fresh or frozen blueberries, so you can make these crowd-pleasing treats at any time of the year.  Plus your kitchen will smell amazing as they are baking!

Last weekend, we had a cherished (and rare, these days) lazy Saturday morning, and I asked the kids if they wanted blueberry muffins for breakfast, since we had some blueberries in the freezer.  Yes, they definitely wanted them. “But,” said my daughter, “can you not make them too healthy this time?”  Oh…by healthy, I guess she was referring to the wholesome blueberry muffins I sometimes make, which are really tasty, but are more crunchy, (probably more nutrient-rich), and less like cake.

Well, it’s all about balance in life, so I indulged her and made these yummy, fluffy, and classically delicious blueberry muffins.  And yet they are not really unhealthy, much healthier than some muffins, in that they are homemade, with high quality ingredients, including fruit, and no preservatives.  And we enjoyed every last one of them!  If you are looking for a basic, simple, reliable, and delicious recipe for blueberry muffins, this is a great one.  Even better when you can enjoy them warm, right out of the oven, in a warm, cozy room or on a sunny porch.

classic blueberry muffins on plate 2The recipe I use for these muffins is based on one from my well-loved Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Tenth Edition, that I have had for many years. The only thing I change when I make these, is that I use melted butter instead of cooking oil, because I really like the flavor of butter from grass-fed cows.  Frozen blueberries work great, when fresh ones aren’t available.  And the lemon zest adds a great blast of flavor, which we really appreciate.  If you don’t like lemon, you can certainly leave that part out.

We are getting closer and closer to feeling like spring here.  The temperatures have been warm and cold, changing almost daily, but those warm days feel so good.  And the colors outside are starting to brighten. The sunlight is more vivid, the grass is starting to turn a fresh, bright green, and the daffodils are starting to bloom.  I hope you are all having a great week!
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Classic Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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  • 1 and 3/4 cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest), optional


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a muffin tin, or line with paper baking cups.

Heat the butter in a small pan on the stove until just melted.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center of the bowl.  In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredient mixture all at once into the well in the center of the dry mixture bowl.  Stir until all the ingredients are just combined.  The batter will be a little lumpy.  Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest, and stir gently until just combined.  Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden.  Remove the muffins from the tin to cool.  Serve warm. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Tenth Edition.



Revitalizing Berry Smoothie

Treat your body to a smoothie full of vibrant flavors and important nutrients.  Frozen blueberries, tart cherries, and cranberries give this smoothie lots of flavor and antioxidants, not to mention a naturally beautiful color.  Ground flax seeds and hemp seeds add Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, protein, and lignans, among other nutrients, which is probably why these little seeds are sometimes called “super seeds.”  Just add a splash of cranberry juice and a handful of ice, blend it all up, and you have a bright, tasty beverage full of anti-inflammatory properties.

berry smoothie with purple 6There is a lot of talk these days about chronic inflammation and how it contributes to a lot of health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, and depression.  And apparently, in our modern society, many are at risk of developing chronic inflammation with our processed foods, high sugar intake, and fast-paced lifestyle.

berry smoothie with glassI am definitely not an expert on inflammation in the body, but what I read makes a lot of sense.  According to Paul DiCorleto, PhD, in an article for the Cleveland Clinic, inflammation is the body’s natural way of fighting an illness or injury.  When the illness or injury is healed, the inflammation response is supposed to shut off.  However, sometimes the body’s inflammation response does not stop, due to chronic anxiety, diet, or other factors. “Over time, you can end up with too much of a good thing. With chronic inflammation, your body is on high alert all the time,” says Dr. DiCorleto.  This can cause lots of problems within the body.

DiCorleto and other experts recommend making lifestyle choices that will help reduce the risk of developing chronic inflammation. These include regular exercise and eating and drinking lots of plant-based foods, which contain anti-inflammatory properties.  Berries, flax seeds, and hemp seeds are all considered anti-inflammatory foods.

berry smoothie on towelSometimes when I am very stressed out and not taking good care of myself, I can feel like my body is out of balance. That is when I reach for things like this smoothie, and I feel like I am putting good things back into my body, soothing it and energizing it at the same time.  It’s all about striving for that balance.

We may not be able to hold ourselves in balance for long periods of time, but we can continually try to keep bringing ourselves back into balance.  It’s in that process that we feel alive.  According to poet and philosopher Rumi, “Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”

I hope you all have a great weekend! One of the things I am  looking forward to is Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Steffi @ Ginger & Bread and Andrea @ Cooking With a Wallflower.berry smoothie on towel 2berries and seeds berry smoothie on towel 3

Mixed Berry Revitalizing Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
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  • 1/4 cup of frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of frozen tart cherries (preferably tart Montmorency cherries)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of ground flax seeds (you can buy them already ground, or you can buy them whole and grind them in a coffee grinder)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of hemp seeds
  • 2 cups of cranberry juice
  • a handful of ice


Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Wholesome Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries….Using blueberries right now feels like clasping the hand of summer one last time before saying goodbye. These blueberry muffins are delicious, satisfying, and full of nutrients.  Oats, pecans, flaxseed, Greek yogurt, and applesauce give them a deep, rich flavor, and more vitamins and minerals than the average blueberry muffin.  Mornings can be a bit rushed.  Actually, so can afternoons.  It is nice to be able to grab something (or give something) you know will be full of good stuff to carry yourself or someone you love through a busy part of the day.

This fall, among other things, I will be looking for quick, healthy, filling foods that can be eaten on the run.  My kids have extremely busy schedules right now, and are burning a lot of calories with running, soccer, and marching band.  They need lots of food, but I want it to be fueling their active bodies in a healthy way.  (My husband and I are pretty busy and active too!)  These blueberry muffins fit the bill.  This recipe is based on a few different muffin recipes I have played around with over the years, and it produces moist, tasty muffins that are healthy but don’t taste too “healthy,” meaning my kids enjoy eating them.

blueberry muffins on purple bench 8 This week mother nature has given us quintessential end-of-summer weather, with such beautiful sunrises and sunsets, cool mornings and evenings, and warm, drowsy afternoons. Although fall is my favorite season, I will miss this summer and all it has given us.  We are probably seeing the last of the fresh Michigan blueberries, and they don’t taste as sweet as they did earlier in the season (that is why I put them in muffins!).  However, as fall and winter come, you can also use frozen blueberries in this recipe.

plate of blueberry muffins in hand 2

Cooking and baking and preparing food day in and day out can get tough once in awhile.  My family would be the first to tell you I am not always inspired about being in the kitchen.  (Luckily, my husband and kids do help out too).  But sometimes, cooking, baking, and preparing food feels like so much more than just a chore.  Sometimes, it is elevated to a higher level.  There is a kind of alchemy that occurs, where food can bridge gaps, fill empty spaces, or give meaning to chaotic feelings.  In the kitchen, sometimes I feel I am creating something beautiful and transformative out of very ordinary ingredients.

muffins in trayFor whatever reason, I felt that way with these muffins.  I felt like they were helping us navigate the passage from summer to fall, from relaxation mode to work/school mode, from spending lots of time with family to spending more time with friends and classmates, new teachers, co-workers, and learning new things.  I felt like making these muffins allowed me to grasp the most of what remains of the summer.  I was able to turn a pint of rather sour blueberries into a dozen healthy muffins bursting with tartly sweet blueberry flavor.  And in giving these muffins to my family I was giving them not only nutrition, but all those other things as well: energy to face new challenges, memories of our good times together this summer, strength to grow.

I may not be able to change to world, or solve large-scale problems from the kitchen, but I can contribute in my way.  According to the Dalai Lama, “Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into the water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.”  Blueberry muffins are only a little pebble dropped into the water, but they are also part of something larger.

That is one of the things that keeps drawing me back to the kitchen:  the alchemy that I often feel there, the ordinary becoming extraordinary, the making sense of intangible feelings through tangible food, and the feeling that what I do there is important.  Whether a muffin is just a muffin, or the poet in you sees the symbolic in food the way I do, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I am taking a plate of these of to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Judi at Cooking with Aunt Juju and Quinn at Dad What’s for Dinner.blueberry muffin ingredientsblueberry muffins in tinblueberry muffin in half

Wholesome Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Print


  • 1 and 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour if you prefer)
  • 1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal (if you have whole flaxseeds, just grind them in a coffee grinder to make the meal)
  • 1/4 cup of pecans
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt (either plain or flavored–I use whatever I have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup of applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of fresh blueberries (or about 8 ounces of frozen blueberries)


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with butter (or line it with paper liners).

In a blender or food processor, chop/mix the flour, oats, flaxseed meal, pecans, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Process until the mixture is finely ground and combined.

In a large mixing bowl, briskly stir together the butter, yogurt, brown sugar, egg, applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are absorbed into the wet–be careful not to overmix it.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Distribute the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the tray for a few minutes, then remove them to a plate or cooling rack.  Enjoy!

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