It's about blueberries again.
If you're not a blueberry lover, I'm terribly sorry. Typically I do enjoy blueberries, but this summer I'm seeming to love them more than ever. Or maybe it's just that I'm finally starting to tackle some recipes that I've wanted to perfect for a long time but have never attended to. Whatever it is, I'm feelin the blues these days.
I think often I'm faced with two options, especially here where I write. I can go towards beauty, or I can head down to despair. Either one takes strength, I think. It takes strength to recognize beauty and embrace it, acknowledging that sometimes this is truly the only thing you need. And it takes strength to dive into the depths of your heart, in hopes that doing so will weed out something that doesn't belong. And most often it's how I feel that determines which words land on the page.
Today, my heart is on the light side. People in my life often tell me that I impose immense amounts of pressure on myself, taking life and myself all too seriously. But somehow this is my natural go-to. To me, it doesn't feel like I'm living heavier than normal. But when someone shines the light, I see it. I see how much more freedom exists, how richly I could embrace joy, how so very buoyant I could be. Thank you, to the people to pull me out of the despair. I need your help.
Things on my mind:
Europe. England, Scotland, Italy. Ancient streets, exploration, new sights to my eyes. I love the feeling of tasting something brand new. Eager to bite in, but patient all the same so I can savor every bit.
Slow life. Pausing and breathing and savoring.
Old friends. About a year ago I was embarking on an adventure that would result in some of the sweetest friends I have ever known.
Art. What beauty exists inside of people, which is only a minor reflection of greater beauty above. To think that people can create what they do… If you step outside of the flow, your breath will slip at the remarkable capabilities inside those around you.
Fall. Five days ago, I was still in summer mode. But after a few 60-degree nights, it's here. The feeling has come. Sweaters and scarves, please emerge soon.
I feel a bit disjointed. I think I need to write more often.
So, as I was saying at the beginning, one recipe worthy of tackling is blueberry muffins. I think they are some of the most delicious things in the world, but because of my self-guilt-tripping mentality and constant desire to be healthy, even though I rarely make it, I always deny myself the delight of a blueberry muffin. I think it's because there's this part of me that thinks, "There simply must be a recipe out there for a rustic, cafe-style muffin that is founded on whole flour and natural sweeteners." And somehow I haven't discovered it.
So the other day, in a state not unlike the carrot cake dilemma, I started to formulate a recipe. First round was a bust, second round was a win. At least I think so. I'll probably to continue to tweak things along the way and adjust ratios and ingredients, after which I'll provide an updated post, but for now I really do like this muffin.
The sweetness of honey and maple syrup is much more natural, as you might guess. Subtle, but rich when you take the moment to notice it. Initially it's not quite so sweet as your normal blueberry muffin, which sometimes has so much sugar that it's overpowering. Here, you get to taste the blueberries themselves and the nuttiness of the flour and oats, the purity of nature's bounty. It really is beautiful. Enjoy, fellow beauty-harborers.
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup honey (and/or pure maple syrup)*
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 cups blueberries**
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbs melted butter
- 2 Tbs pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a smaller bowl, mix together the honey, eggs, vanilla, oil, and yogurt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and gently mix until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries until just mixed.
In a small bowl, combine the oats, flours, and salt for the crumb topping. Drizzle the melted butter and maple syrup over top and stir together.
Generously spoon the muffin batter into the pan, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle the crumb topping onto each muffin. Bake about 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Eat warm, ideally with melty butter and piping hot coffee.
* You can really use either of these sweeteners, but I used half honey and half maple syrup.
** I used frozen wild blueberries, not thawing beforehand. I like the wild blueberries because they are smaller, which works wonderfully in muffins!