I think one of the worst ways to kick off a summer diet is to quit sweets cold turkey and try to completely get rid of superfluous calories. Existing on low-sugar, fat-free, and fiber-full foods alone is a treacherous (and a bit unnatural) trek.
For my money, a moderate and gradual change is the way to go. Clearly, the method for success will be different for everyone, but regardless of the route you take, these muffins are a fine way to start. They aren’t as light and healthful as, say, a bowl of oatmeal or a cup of yogurt, but they’re still far better for you than an ooey-gooey cinnamon roll, a stack of pancakes drowning in maple syrup, or a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit from your favorite fast food joint. It’s all about finding a happy medium.
The best thing about this muffin recipe is the endless variety it offers. Instead of cherries and almonds, you can toss in cranberries and pecans or bananas and blueberries. You can add a streusel topping or go with a whole-wheat-flour-and-chocolate-chips combination (nice balance, right?!?). The spices can be altered as well. See--the possibilities just keep coming.
Bod-Friendly Cherried Muffins
Makes 14 mega muffins
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup milk
- ⅔ cup butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted (frozen is fine)
- 1 cup almonds, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 14 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and combine with as few strokes as possible, just until all ingredients are moistened. Fold in cherries and almonds. Spoon or scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake until golden, about 25-30 minutes. Cool briefly on racks before de-panning and devouring.