Almond and Blueberry Muffin

by Carolina Jantac, MS, RD, LD
Yum

People say the best presents come in small boxes, and I must agree! There are numerous examples that support this, including diamond earrings, pearl necklaces, ruby rings and just about any jewelry. Mother Nature has also packaged some of her best gifts in small boxes when you think about it. A sunflower seed is full of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and fatty acids all combined in just one single tiny capsule. In fact, the same is true for most nuts and seeds, despite their not-so-intimidating size, they are packed with a tremendous punch of nutrition, which explains why to benefit from their power, all you need is a serving size of 1 to 2 ounces at a time.

Once Again Nut Butters helps by grinding some of our favorite nuts and seeds and turning them into butters allowing you to use one or two tablespoons at time. Thankfully when it comes to nutrients, variety is key, so you are encouraged to vary your choices by having a couple tablespoons from each of your favorite Once Again Nut Butters per day! Start the day with almond butter for breakfast; add peanut butter to your snack time fruit, and end your day with some tahini, for example.

When speaking about “itty bitty” sizes, one of fruits that tops my list is wild blueberries. Just like regular blueberries, they are rich in a range of natural oxidants. But wild blueberries are especially high in anthocyanin, a flavonoid with potent antioxidant capacity. The deep blue color of these tiny berries comes from anthocyanin, and are responsible for landing wild blueberries one of the top spots on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale. USDA research found that one cup serving of wild blueberries has more total antioxidant capacity than 20 other fruits and veggies, including cranberries, strawberries, plums, raspberries and even cultivated blueberries.

Wild blueberries are twice as powerful as regular blueberries when it comes to their capacity to neutralize free radicals and help prevent cell damage. Their high antioxidant content also protects against inflammation, brain aging and other degenerative diseases.

So let’s put some of these miniature gifts from nature to good use by combining them in another one of my favorite “small boxes with the best presents” example: Almond Wild Blueberry mini-muffins! They are bite- sized baked goodness that allow you to portion control while still indulging in a treat. And if I haven’t said it enough, mini-muffins are the solution for busy moms and working adults since you can make a big batch and freeze them to enjoy throughout the week.

These almond and wild blueberry mini-muffins also call for yogurt, which in combination with the Once Again Almond Butter holds all the moisture and softness within without needing any butter or oil! You have the option of sweetening them with honey only and omitting the sugar, or using a little bit of both. When making them for breakfast, I would recommend using just ¼ cup honey, but when baking them for an afternoon tea time, or to bring to a party as a treat, then double up on the honey or use the ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup sugar. They do work out well in large muffin tins, too. And if you are feeling extra generous, top them off with about ½ tablespoon of pure Once Again Creamy Almond Butter for a beautifully delicious finish. Almond Wild Blueberry Muffins recipe below:

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