Skinny Lemon and Blueberry Muffins

from Emily (who loves food)

I love muffins for breakfast. They’re fantastically grab-and-go (especially for those 8am uni starts on wednesday and thursday… yuck) and it’s a bit like having cake for breakfast.

Unfortunately though, sometimes it actually is cake for breakfast.

Muffins are high-fat little morsels most of the time, and for someone as food-sensitive as me, cake disguised as muffins is not what I want to be eating every morning. So, I whipped up these babies.

Guess what?

They taste normal.

They don’t taste low fat at all – they don’t even taste ‘better than other low fat muffins’ – they just taste like normal muffins, minus the butter and oil.

The secret? No funny ingredients. No fruit purees, no yogurt, no weird stuff from the health food store.

So you can bake your muffin, and eat it too!

Unfortunately, my blueberries sunk to the bottom of the muffins: it’s an incredibly light mixture. Next time, I think I’ll just sprinkle them on the top and let the muffin rise up around them.

 

 

Skinny Lemon and Blueberry Muffins - Makes 16 muffins

Prep time: 10mins  Cook time: 20mins

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup blueberries (tossed with 1 tbs flour, if frozen.)

Preheat oven to 180C and line 16 holes of a muffin tray (I know, muffin trays usually sit 12, so I put the extra four in half-size one).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt – set asside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the egg yolks on medium-high speed until thick, then add sugar a little bit at a time – just the way you’d cream butter and sugar – and once all the sugar has been added, beat for a further three minuets. Mix in boiling water, lemon zest, juice and vanilla until just incorporated.

At a low speed, add the flour mix to the egg mixture a third at a time until just combined.

In a clean bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tatar until soft peaks form – do not overbeat, you’ll dry out the mix.

Fold a quarter of the egg white mixture and the blueberries into the batter as gently as you can, then fold in the rest until JUST combined.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin liners until 3/4 full, then bake for 20mins.

 

A bit about Jones the Grocer

 

So I thought I’d expand out, and add a bit about Jones the Grocer, Newmarket, Auckland. Annabel and I went to this cafe for breakfast on Friday morning when I chickened out of a belly button piercing. Even though it’s situated in a very flashy urban area, with quite a stylish exterior, it’s warm and friendly once you get inside. It’s a deli as well as a cafe, and artisan breads, pastas, vinaigrettes and preserves line the walls, with a small selection of grommet cheese and cold cuts at the back. The seating layout is fairly random, with some long tables, while some only sit two, as well as a window bar, but it’s all distinctly rustic, and fits with the cozy feel of the place.

What’s important of course though is the food. Promise me, if you ever go to Jones the Grocer, you’ll try the hot chocolate. It’s definitely the highlight of the place – they hand you a glass with a few chocolate pieces in the bottom, covered with hot milk, and a spoon to stir it all together. The result is a rich, warm, chocolately cup of heaven that puts the powdered mix to shame.

Aside from that though, the food is fairly stock standard. There was typical breakfast menu of eggs bennie, french toast, some sort of farm-style cook up, though there was a mexican egg dish on the lineup (though frankly, it didn’t sound fantastic.) The breakfast menu was definitely missing a vegetarian ‘garden’ breakfast – maybe mushrooms, or corn fritters, or some hearty breakfast that was not based on eggs. The two predominant choices were granola/porridge/fruit salad or eggs with this, eggs with that, or eggs on their own. In the end I opted for crepes with berries and marscapone, because that was what Annabel chose and I didn’t want to be jealous if an egg choice turned out to be the wrong one.

And the crepes were nice, but not brilliant – the serving was on the small side, and wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before.

What Jones the Grocer does have going for it in terms of it’s food though, is the way it caters for special diets, especially the gluten-free. When I went everything free (dairy free, fat free, gluten free, artificial sweetener and sorbitol free) I was still able to eat food at Jones the Grocer. Not only do they have a good selection of cabinet food, but the kitchen is happy to prepare dishes to fit your diet specifications.

I’d say Jones is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area (and even if you not), if just for the fantastic hot chocolate.

 

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