Hidden Cheesecake Blueberry Muffins
Why, oh why has it taken me THIS long to make a healthier version of a blueberry muffin?! I always used to love a good old Starbucks blueberry muffin – it was my Friday treat to myself when I was just starting work after university. It was so sweet and fluffy and very much enjoyed each week as breakfast, coupled with a large Mocha. Fortunately, my coffee tastes have grown a little bit more sophisticated as I have aged, and whilst I still love the taste of a blueberry muffin, I wouldn’t regularly start the day with a sugar-filled, refined-carbohydrate, no-fibre, low-protein muffin nowadays. Not that any food should be deemed “good” or “bad” of course. Food has no moral value and should be equally enjoyed for pleasure just as much as it should to nourish our bodies.
However, the reason that it is not a great choice for breakfast is because the high amount of refined sugar causes blood sugar levels to quickly spike, and then crash soon afterwards leading to inconsistent energy levels, which isn’t an ideal way to start the day. It also lacks any fibre or protein, both of which contribute to keeping us fuller for longer, which helps avoid those “hangry” moments later on. Fibre also helps release sugar more slowly into the blood stream for more sustained energy levels, which, let’s be honest, we could all do with!
That being said, I am still partial to a pain au chocolate here and there, but there’s absolutely no way of making that any healthier, so I just go all-out buttery sugary deliciousness when I have that, and most importantly, I savour and enjoy every mouthful! But with a blueberry muffin, it is entirely possible to make some very easy, healthier swaps. And by healthier - I mean higher in fibre, higher in protein, lower in sugar, higher in micronutrients and containing complex carbohydrates for slow release energy.
These blueberry spelt muffins make a wonderful after school snack for the kids or afternoon pick-me-up. And there’s something rather delightful about discovering the hidden cheesecake filling inside!
One muffin provides 214 calories, 7g of protein, 4g of fibre with only 4g of sugar.
· 220g Frozen Blueberries (or a mix of frozen berries)
· 2 tsp Baking Powder
· 2 Eggs
· 70 ml Olive Oil (I used half regular Olive Oil and half Lemon Infused Olive Oil for some extra zing, both from Belazu)
· 1 tsp Vanilla extract
· Zest of 1-2 Lemons (depending on how lemon-y you like it!)
· Pinch of Salt
· 85g Xylitol or sugar of your choice
· 200g Spelt Flour
· Optional but recommended - 10g Baobab Powder & 15g Unflavoured Unsweetened Protein Powder
· 115g Cream Cheese
· 2 tbsp Milk
· Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
· Weigh the blueberries and let them defrost slightly as your prepare the rest.
· For the cheesecake filling - mix 10g of Xylitol and some lemon zest to the cream cheese, in a small bowl.
· Combine well and set aside in the fridge while you make the rest.
· Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the baobab powder, protein powder, the remaining 75g xylitol, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
· Make a small well in the middle of the flour and crack the eggs in.
· Add the oil, milk, lemon zest, vanilla and blueberries and combine well.
· Carefully spoon some of the mixture into greased silicone muffin trays or cases - each one should be less than half full.
· Put a little spoonful of the sweet cream cheese in the middle of each one.
· Put the rest of the blueberry batter on top, filling the cases to ¾ full.
· Bake for 20 minutes or until a fork comes out clean (except for the cream cheese middle, that will always stick to the fork).
· Cool on a wire rack.
Calories – 214
Protein – 7g
Fat – 10g
Carbohydrates – 28g
Fibre – 4g
Vitamin C – 8%
Iron – 8%