Heart Healthy, no sugar-added, Blueberry Muffins
1. Rolled Oats, 2.5 cups ground
Oats are heart healthy. The reason being is that they are high in fibre, particularly, a type of fibre called soluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps your body eliminate cholesterol. Studies show that increasing soluble fibre by five to ten grams daily can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 5% (1). Most foods containing fibre have both soluble and insoluble fibre. My advice is that instead of trying to count your soluble fibre intake, aim to meet the daily recommendations for fibre which is 25g for women and 38g for men. Other high-fibre foods include most fruit and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, quinoa, chia and flax seeds. As for oats, 1/3 cup of dry oats contains 3g of fibre.
2. Dates, 12 pitted
The two most common types of dates are Medjool and Deglet Noor. I used Deglet Noor dates for this recipe. Medjool dates are bigger and sweeter, so if you use Medjool dates instead your muffins will be sweeter. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (might be more easily accepted by your kids). I personally like my muffins less sweet, which is why I made these super healthy, no sugar-added muffins. As for nutrition, dates are a good source of fibre, potassium and antioxidants. Five Deglet Noor dates contain 100 calories, 2.8g fibre and the equivalent potassium of half a large banana (2). Dates are quite high in (naturally occurring) sugar (that is why I used them in lieu of sugar) so if you are watching your weight and blood sugars you want to have them in moderation.
3. Berries, 1.5 cups
Who doesn’t love them? Berries are among the lowest glycemic index fruit. The glycemic index measures how much a food raises your blood sugar. The lower the glycemic index the better. Berries are heart healthy because
they are not only low in calories and high in fibre but also loaded with antioxidants. Blueberries are believed to have the highest antioxidant content of all fruit and vegetables (3). Antioxidants protect the cell from free radical damage helping to prevent illnesses such as cancer(3). Free radicals affect our heart health by damaging LDL cholesterol particles and making them even worse for our health (3).Antioxidants found in blueberries help to deactivate free radicals. Raspberries are also high in antioxidants. They are very high in fibre containing about eight grams per cup. And berries are oh-so-delicious.
4. Coconut Oil, ¼ cup
Coconut oil is heart healthy because it can raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Even though it’s high in saturated fat, most of the fat is in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are easily absorbed and used quickly for energy. Coconut oil also has a high smoking point so it does not easily become damaged. Damaged fats, on the other hand,are bad for your heart. When choosing coconut oil, get unrefined or virgin.
Unsweetened almond milk, ¾ cupEggs, 2Cinnamon, ½ tspSea salt, pinch2 tsp. baking powder
Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees F.Measure 3 cups rolled oats and grind in coffee grinder. It should yield around 2.5 cups ground oats. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.Blend dates in food processor with almond milk until smooth.Beat eggs, add dates and almond milk Melt coconut oil and let cool before adding to wet ingredients. Blend all wet ingredients, add berries (I used frozen) then add dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients are well blended. Don’t over-stir.Place muffin mix in muffin cups or butter muffin tin.Place in oven for 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean when inserting into muffins. Let cool.Enjoy!
Nutrition Info per muffin:
165kcals, 22g carbohydrate, 3.5g fibre, 4.0g protein, 7.3g fat