Easy Fruit (Your Choice!) Muffins

It's the last week before school resumes. While my boys finished the last few pages of their Summer Bridge workbooks, I thought I'd whip up a tasty snack.  It felt like a muffin day.  I knew I had some frozen fruit and wanted a healthy recipe to compliment it, so I Googled 'berry muffins' and zeroed in on the Berry Rich Muffins recipe from Eating Well.   It's a super recipe on its own, but I modified it to suit our tastes and produced this new recipe (below).

The recipe accommodates a range of choices of ingredients.   It's also not too sweet and is very fluffy.  My kids loved these muffins (below) right out of the oven, sliced open, with a touch of butter.

In these muffins, I used cherries.

1/4 cup grapeseed oil* or canola oil
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk - or - 1 cup regular milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice mixed in*
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons ground flax seed 
2 cups flour (white, wheat or a combination*, depending on how healthy you want them to be)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen fruit (defrosted) (blueberries, halved raspberries, pitted/quartered cherries, mashed bananas and chopped strawberries all would work well individually or in your favorite combination)

*my preferences

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a stand mixer on medium speed, combine:
oil, brown sugar, egg, egg white, vanilla & buttermilk or milk/lemon juice combo
3. Add: salt, baking powder, baking soda, ground flax seed.  Mix thoroughly. (Though it's not commonly done, I add these to the "wet" mixture before adding flour so I'm sure they're evenly distributed.)
4. Add: flour.  Mix thoroughly.
5. Reduce speed and gently add: fruit. 
6. Pour the mixture into 12 lined cupcake cups.  Sprinkle tops with sugar.
7. Bake until springy (don't overcook!) - probably about 15 minutes, but cook times vary depending on the oven used.
8. Enjoy.

As an aside: Have you ever wondered what purposes baking soda and baking powder serve in cooking?  Read here for a great explanation.

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