Good Morning – rise and shine. Today is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Did you know that Blueberry Muffins are the most popular among Americans? Blueberry muffins are so loved in Minnesota, that a law was passed recognizing them as the official State Muffin.
While blueberries are high in vitamin C and offer a variety of health benefits such as dieses-fighting antioxidants, baked into a muffin is not the healthiest of choices. Most muffins are high in fatty ingredients such as butter and milk as well as refined sugars. You could make your muffins with skim milk, bran or wheat flour, butter substitutes and other healthy alternatives. I say you could, meaning I won’t. I’ve never been one to take something like a muffin and make it healthy. It’s like eating a fat-free cake. Just a contradiction in terms.
It’s impossible to say how the blueberry muffin came to be, but one theory is adaptation through necessity. In Europe, muffins, cakes and other baked goods relied upon bilberries. Upon arrival in the New World, they found that bilberries were not available. However; wild blueberries were plentiful, and so the muffin evolved.
I don’t know what it is about lemons and blueberries that just naturally pop together. All I know is that they do. Blueberries are like Mother Nature and Lemons her sunshine kiss.
Lemon Zested Blueberry Muffins
Lemon Zest Topping
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 Lemon, zested
In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest using your fingers. Set aside.
1/4 cup Butter
1-1/2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
1 cup fresh Blueberries
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, set aside. Melt butter, set aside to cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar, stir well and set aside.
In a small bowl, beat egg and milk until combined. Add butter to egg mixture. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Be careful you don’t over-mix the batter — it will be lumpy. Gently fold in the berries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Fill each cup about 2/3 full.
Sprinkle muffins evenly with zest topping. Bake in the heated oven for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out mostly clean. Let muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Let cool another 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Serve warm with plenty of sweet butter.