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Healthy Living: Whole-wheat corn muffins

When it comes to eating more healthily, I’m a big believer in incremental changes. It’s hard to give up meat cold-turkey, or replace every potato chip with a carrot stick – but a few, smaller choices, made daily, will have a big difference in your overall  diet.

Take whole grains. Add just a bit of whole-wheat flour into your favorite recipes, and your family may not even notice the difference – but you will know.  A cup of whole-grain, whole-wheat flour has an average of 15 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein.  A cup of all-purpose white flour has an average of just 3 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein.

This recipe for whole-grain corn muffins uses both whole-wheat flour and a little bit of white, to maintain a texture similar to regular cornbread. If you can, try using stone-ground cornmeal. This kind of old-fashioned cornmeal is a little coarser than regular cornmeal, because the hull and germ of the corn have usually been left in during the grinding process. That means you are getting still more whole grain!

These muffins are delicious served warm with a little honey for breakfast; you can freeze leftovers so you can grab one for breakfast on your way out the door.

Whole-wheat corn muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 3/4 cups cornmeal (stone-ground if available)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
One half stick butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
Baker’s sugar, for tops (optional)

Pre-heat oven to350 degrees . Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners OR spray cups with nonstick cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, stir together cornmeal, both types of flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Melt butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Let cool slightly, at least five minutes. Then, stir in honey, eggs and buttermilk, mixing well to combine.

Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir gently, just until well-mixed. Small lumps are OK.

Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with a few grains of coarse baker’s sugar, if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and centers appear done. Serve warm.

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