Monday, March 12, 2012

Flax Muffins Recipe

Want to add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet? Need a bran boost for fiber? Step away from the fish counter and the cereal section, brothers and sisters. Head over to the baking aisle for some flax seed meal, instead.

Flax, both seeds and oil, are great sources of fiber and alpha-linolenic acid, the plant version of omega-3. In fact, it contains 150% more fiber than oatmeal, and 500% more omega-3 than the next highest plant based sources, canola and walnut. With all health benefits, you’d think it would takes like a box of cardboard. Instead, flax has a wonderful nutty flavor.

Flax meal, oil, or whole seeds, can be added to a wide variety of baked goods, cereals, or fruit smoothies.. One of my favorite things to do with flax meal  is to make tasty whole-grain muffins. Who said you can’t have your whole-grains and enjoy them, too?

This recipe is chock full of tasty stuff that just happens to be good for you. For sweetness and moisture we add brown sugar, carrots, apples, and raisins (optional). For increased nuttiness and texture you can add chopped nuts or sunflower seeds. The addition of oat flour adds even more robust flavor. In spite of all of this, these muffins won’t weigh your gut down. They’re actually quite light.

Equipment needed
Measuring cups and spoons
Muffin pans
Paper baking cups
Mixing bowls
Large spoon
Cooking spray

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup oatmeal or oat flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 /2 cups shredded carrots
2 apples, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease muffin tins with cooking spray, or line with paper baking cups and set aside. Grind the oatmeal to a fine powder in a spice grinder, or use oat flour.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the different flours, flaxseed meal, oat flour, brown sugard, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the apples, carrots, raisins (if using) and chopped nuts or seeds. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until all is well moistened. Do not over mix!

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with the batter and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to cooling racks to completely cool.

Makes approximately 15 muffins.

I like to eat them with jam or cream cheese.

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