The holidays are busy whether you are expecting guests or plan on traveling during the season. One of the best things I can do to prepare my family for an influx of visitors in our house or even our family heading out on a road trip, is to make a batch of muffins to freeze, having them ready to go for any occasion. Muffins tend to freeze well allowing you to pull them out when guests arrive, or for lunches and snacks as needed.
Muffins were not something we ate growing up. In fact it wasn’t until I was a teenager that my mom started to cook more and became really good at cooking. She changed her own diet to eat healthy, incorporate whole wheat flour into her baking and she started eating better, which meant everyone ate better!
When I finished school I moved to Vancouver and can fondly recall many drive buy coffee and muffin trips while en-route to some big adventure. When my children were born I started making their food from scratch. Muffins were an easy way to get a healthy bite into them, especially mini muffins, and so I would make them regularly as they were requested often. One trick I like to use when making muffins is to combine half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. It makes me feel good knowing I am able to gets some extra nutrients into my family without them knowing. These Blueberry Cardamom Muffins quickly became a family favourite.
My mom recently passed away suddenly and I’ve found myself looking back at many of her recipes including ones we made together. This Cranberry Orange Muffin is reminiscent of our times spent in the kitchen together baking.
- 1.5 cups frozen cranberries, halved
- ¼ cup + ¾ cup sugar
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp or rind from one orange
- ¾ cup white chocolate, chopped
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1½ cup milk
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a bowl combine cranberries and ¼ cup sugar. Set aside.
- Mix together both flours, ¾ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in orange rind, white chocolate and cranberries.
- In a second larger bowl beat eggs and oil together. Mix in milk and orange juice. Pour flour mixture into egg mixture and stir just until combined. Pour into paper lined muffin tins or use parchment baking cups.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Baking with whole wheat products has been a part of my life for such a long time. That’s why for this post I’ve partnered with Life’s Simple Ingredients to talk about wheat and why it’s important. The memory of my mom, her switching up her food routine back in the 80’s and 90’s after consulting a dietician to include wheat and whole grains, and sharing those changes with us is something I will always remember and continue doing with my own family.
There are many ways to incorporate wheat and whole grains into your daily diet. Some include having whole wheat bread, buns, bagels or wraps on hand for a quick, easy lunch or dinner when dinner is rushed due to kids activities. One of my favourite quick lunches is a whole wheat wrap with hummus and lots of fresh veggies, feta or goat cheese and hot peppers!
Enjoy whole grain cereals at breakfast. Change up your pasta routine by choosing the whole wheat variety or try making some whole wheat couscous, which essentially is tiny pasta. If using whole wheat products is new to you, start small. Buy some whole wheat flour and the next time you make muffins use half and half like I do. They really do taste better!
Wheat has been fueling our lives for centuries and is a reliable source of many benefits. So many reasons to include it in your diet and here’s some more facts that may surprise you!
Benefits of Whole Grain Whole Wheat
- Whole grain wheat provides several grams of protein per serving.
- The best thing about fibre is it helps you feel full longer which essentially stops the cravings and reaching for a snack. Equally important is how fibre aids digestion keeping bowel movements regular.
- Sometimes I forget about the minerals in whole grain wheat. There is zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese all important for bones and immune building.
- Whole grain wheat is high in B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin and riboflavin which help boost metabolism. Folate is another essential vitamin for the body.
- The buzz word of the century is Antioxidants and for good reason. Phytic acid, lignin and sulfur compounds in whole grain wheat act as antioxidants, which as we’ve all heard are good for your body.
It’s healthy, it’s nutritious and worth learning more about. These Pepperoni Pizza Muffins are one of the most popular recipes here and they include whole wheat!
To learn more about Alberta wheat products, visit the Life’s Simple Ingredients website. You will find delicious recipes and inspiration, information about wheat and features on local Albertans.
This post was sponsored by the Alberta Wheat Commission’s Life’s Simple Ingredient campaign. All opinions and views expressed are, as always, my own.0