Friday, October 8, 2010

Take Two on BJ's Protein Muffins

An intriguing picture from the October 2010 Triathlete magazine of a dumbbell baked into a giant muffin caught my eye, but the recipe from BJ Gumkowski, a five time Ironman, intrigued me even more, since I've been on the lookout for a low fat, high protein, low sugar, high fiber muffin that actually tastes good and doesn't resemble cardboard when you chew it.  I've made my own variation of the recipe twice now, and the results have been good enough to call this recipe a definite keeper.  I'll post the recipe for the way I made it yesterday.  They won't really rise, but thanks to the egg whites, they are surprisingly "light".  I will continue to try this recipe with many variations.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin tin with cooking oil (or grease with coconut oil).  I used a medium size non-stick muffin tin for 12 muffins using about 1/3 cup mix in each.

Mix together in the order listed:
     1 cup of dry oatmeal (I used quick oats for this recipe, but old fashioned would work also)
     1/4 cup ground flax seed
     1/4 cup wheat germ
     1/3 cup all bran cereal (the twig type)*
     1 cup egg whites
     1 ripe pear, diced or grated  (the original recipe called for unsweetened cinnamon applesauce)
     1/2 cup pumpkin (just pumpkin, not the pie mix)
     1/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt (use mashed cottage cheese and/or milk if you don't have yogurt)
     1 Tablespoon almond nut butter (peanut butter is fine)
     1 full banana, sliced, diced, or mushed**
     2 Tablespoons of agave nectar or honey (listed as optional on the original recipe)

Mix ingredients until all are wet and evenly distributed, then add the blueberries.
     1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries***

Bake 25 minutes at 350.  Leave the muffins in the pan for a while after so they can finish cooking - they are very moist.  I turned mine in the pan after 5-10 minutes, so the bottoms wouldn't get soggy, and I think I popped them back in the already cooling oven for a big longer before removing.
*  I used this combination of grains in place of 1 and 1/2 cup of oat bran called for in the original recipe.

**I like to throw my over-ripe bananas in their skin in the freezer, then I microwave for 1 minute at high power, cut the stalk end off and squeeze the banana like a toothpaste tube, starting at the end opposite the cut.  The banana will goosh nicely out of the skin, usually with no mess whatsoever.

***I used frozen blueberries both times I made this recipe.  The first time I tossed them in frozen, but this time my berries were tiny and covered in freezer frost, so I thawed enough (drink the juice, don't toss it:-) to make a cup.

The next time I make this version, I'll add some cinnamon and some almond extract.

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