Very Berry Muffins

I must have experimented with this recipe ten times before I got the muffins the way I like them—bursting with berry flavor and a touch of cinnamon in every bite. Because of the abundance of berries, they don’t dry out like many other types of muffins. Ever notice how some feel mealy in your mouth, as if you’ve got sand trapped in your teeth? It won’t happen with these colorful treasures!

Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are among the most delicious sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects against cell damage. When wacky, abnormal cells multiply, replete with errors, they can form tumors. Antioxidants are critical weapons in stopping this process.

It should be noted that my very berry muffin recipe calls for 1 and ½ cups of sugar. After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my doctors explained that sugar feeds cancer cells and that I should be careful of my intake. During chemotherapy, however, the oncology nurses and dieticians told me not to worry about that and eat whatever I could keep down. These muffins are flavorful without being too sweet, and mild enough for an unsettled stomach. On balance, I’d argue that the goodness of the berries outweighs the sugar that the recipe calls for. Several substitutes are available for those who wish to be stricter about their intake, however. Wherever you fall on the sugar debate, believe me—your friend or loved one will find these muffins appealing during any stage of her illness.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup of fresh strawberries, chopped fine
  • 2 and 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 and ½ cups of sugar
  • ½ cup of butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Cooking spray for muffin tins

1)  Heat oven to 450°, then reduce to 400° when putting the muffins in to bake. 

2)  Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in one bowl, mix well.

3)  In another bowl, combine the butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla, beat well.

4)  Add the dry ingredients to the wet until just blended, careful not to over mix.

5)  Gently fold the berries into the batter.

6)  Generously coat muffin tins with cooking spray and fill ¾ full.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Yields 18 muffins

*Note:  tips to avoid flat-top muffins include 1)  not over-filling the tins, 2)  not over-mixing the batter, and 3)  not using muffin papers.  Also, skilled muffin makers suggest having an oven that is too hot, then reducing to the correct temperature when placing the muffins in to bake.

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