I’m completely addicted to fresh fruit.  This time of year my whole diet could consist of fresh fruits and veggies and I would be satisfied.  I love the bright colors that fresh produce add to my kitchen.  I love how much better I feel when I eat a diet full of nutritious produce and I really love knowing that I am treating my body well…which becomes important when you bake like a crazy person!

Have you ever researched blueberries?  I just found out that July happens to be National Blueberry month…I had no idea when I planned this recipe and post.  The little gems are chalk full of healthy vitamins and minerals and antioxidants are overflowing from the sweet blue fruit.  They contain acids that help to protect our cells against cancer and they help to promote brain health and vision health.  These antioxidant properties actually come from the pigment that gives blueberries their rich color.  Blueberries also provide us with an abundant source of fiber and vitamin C.

It’s so interesting…well, to me it is.  I minored in biology in college…I just love the body and the way it works.  If you are sort of a nerd like me, click here and here for more info on free radicals and how antioxidants help against the fight.

As far as muffins go, I must say that these are fairly healthy.  I used whole-wheat flour to ramp up the protein and fiber content.  The actual muffin batter contains no butter, only a small amount of oil and some low-fat milk.  They really are delicious, aren’t too sweet and are super moist. The topping can be left off if you want to cut down the fat and sugar a little more but it’s totally worth it to me…I love that crumbly topping!

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Whole-Wheat Blueberry Crumble Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Muffins:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbs. honey
3/4 cup skim or 1% milk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries (frozen may be used; completely thaw and drain)

Crumble Topping:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tb. cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 Tbs. cold butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray a 12-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray; flour the pan if you wish. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, egg, almond extract, honey and milk until well-blended. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir just until combined. Be careful not to over mix. Pour into prepared muffin pan.
Prepare the crumble topping by blending the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a small bowl. Add the butter to the mixture and mix in with a pastry cutter, two forks or your fingers until the mixture resembles sand. Crumble over the tops of the muffins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are round and golden.

Remove muffins from the pan and cool for 8-10 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Cassie's Tips: These muffins freeze well. Store the muffins in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature.