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Whole Wheat Maple Muffins

While I usually opt for sweet, fruit-laden muffins, sometimes it is nice to have something plainer and more versatile available. Case in point are these muffins. They are healthy – low in fat and full of good things like yogurt and whole wheat flour – and they taste good. They are fairly plain, with a subtle sweetness, and can act as a stand-in for a dinner roll with savory foods or accompany breakfast when slathered with jam. Peanut butter could be applied for an afternoon snack, too.
You’ll notice that I said I used whole wheat flour. What I actually used is whole wheat pastry flour – and there is a significant difference between the two. Whole wheat pastry flour is lighter in texture than ordinary whole wheat, so it is softer and performs in much the same way as all-purpose flour does in baked goods, though it does lend a slightly wheatier taste to the finished product.

It took me some time to track down my bag of the flour, as they don’t carry it in many regular grocery stores. I ended up finding it at a specialty, upscale market, though some Whole Foods locations stock it, too. If you cannot find it, use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose to achieve a similar taste and texture.

In this batch, I added 1/2 cup of frozen cranberries. Any type of fruit may be added, but it does reduce the versatility of the muffin somewhat, committing it to sweeter servings. Feel free to omit the fruit entirely, if you wish.

Whole Wheat Maple Muffins
1/3 cup milk (lowfat or skim)
1 cup plain yogurt*
1 large egg
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup berries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375F and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, egg and maple syrup.
In a medium bowl, stir together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour into the large bowl and stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined, mixing in berries at the last minute, if using.
Distribute batter evenly in 12 muffin cups.
Bake for 15-18 minutes at 375F, until the muffin springs back when lightly pressed and a tester comes out clean.
Remove from tin and cool completely on wire rack before serving.

*Note: I used nonfat Greek yogurt, a style a highly recommend, but any fat content should work.

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  • april
    July 8, 2006

    These look great! I love muffins, but commercial ones are usually waaay too sweet and have so little nutrition, they are impossible to justify for breakfast. I just got a huge batch of maple syrup from a friend in Vermont, so this is a perfect way to use it up!

  • mj
    July 9, 2006

    Wow muffins with no oil!! Sounds great 🙂

    Do you think I could use whole wheat flour (not pastry flour) with cake/ap flour to make up for the denseness of the whole wheat?

  • Nic
    July 9, 2006

    Mj – Yes. I suggested that above.

  • Natalia
    July 9, 2006

    Mmmm, it’s kind of like a pancake, in muffin form! I like it!

  • J. Lo
    July 10, 2006

    Would chocolate chips work with these as well….? Or would that be defeating the purpose entirely? Lol. 🙂

  • Nic
    July 10, 2006

    I don’t actually think that chocolate chips would go very well in these. The muffins aren’t sweet enough for it, I think.
    I recommend berries, dried fruit or plain.

  • bea at La Tartine Gourmande
    July 10, 2006

    Nothing beats homemade goodies, like those! I learned about muffins in the States and have loved them since then! Delicieux!

  • J
    July 10, 2006

    hi nic, these look like such a fabulous breakfast treat! i have some whole wheat pastry flour lying around in my cupboard…i first bought it to make graham crackers and haven’t had a chance to use the flour for anything else. thanks so much for the wonderful idea!

  • Anonymous
    July 11, 2006

    Thanks for the great low fat recipe! I used sugar free maple syrup and the muffins baked up beautifully.

  • gatamiau
    July 13, 2006

    These muffins look like a real treat. I would love to make them, but I have a question – is maple syrup absolutely necessary? Can I substitute it for anything?
    You see, I live in Portugal and maple syrup is rare here.

  • Julie
    July 17, 2006

    I am going to try your recipe. I have my own healthy muffin version made entirely with a mix of grains like oat bran and oatmeal. I want to experiment with a lighter texture. I recently discovered whole wheat pastry flour and it is great.

  • Penelope
    March 31, 2008

    These are great muffins! I used vanilla yogurt and currents, and half whole wheat flour, half bread flour. I think with the vanilla yogurt, they are the perfect sweetness for a breakfast muffin. I don’t like muffins that taste like cupcakes. I also like that they don’t have any oil in them, so they don’t look all heavy and greasy.

    Yum! I will definitely be making these again! And just like Nicole said, I bet these would still be tasty with no fruit at all.

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