Everywhere you look there are the rundown of tips for getting organized, eating healthier, eliminating stress, achieving a hot bod – you know, you’ve read them too. Naturally I always peruse the eating healthy tips and my top pick of this year’s lists is that from Sunset Magazine. Among Sunset’s 10 Ways to Eat Healthy tips were eat mussels, make it sustainable meat Sundays, try meatless Mondays (which I emphasized through the past year), and make your own broth. But the one particular tip that stuck in my head was “Sprinkle Seeds on Everything“. I liked that… my favorite bagel is the Everything Bagel because of all the seeds, a handful of trail mix is often my breakfast on the run, and I feel good about it because I know that seeds are nutritious. They’re an excellent source of protein and fiber and are loaded with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (like omega 3 and omega 6). Plus, for me, the satisfaction lies in the crunchiness that seeds bring to the food they grace.
These plump and wholesome muffins are loaded with seeds and made with only 2 tbsp. oil, these muffins stay incredibly moist and light, thanks to two fruit purées and a soft meringue.
Thousand-Seed Banana Date Muffins
from Sunset Magazine | Total: 1 hour, 5 minutes | Yield: Makes 12
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup (3 oz.) packed pitted dates
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 large egg white
1 cup sugar, divided*
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar*
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter 12 muffin cups (1/3-cup size) and set aside. Put sesame and poppy seeds in a pie pan and sunflower and pumpkin seeds in another. Bake seeds, stirring once, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Combine seeds in 1 pan and set aside.
2. Whirl dates with 1/2 cup water in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Scrape into a medium bowl and add bananas, yogurt, oil, vanilla, egg yolk, and 3/4 cup sugar. Whisk to blend, then set aside.
3. Stir flours in a large bowl with flaxseed meal, baking powder and soda, salt, and all but 2 tbsp. of the seeds.
4. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in a bowl with a mixer on high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Fold whites into banana mixture. Fold into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups (they’ll be very full). Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp. seeds.
5. Bake muffins until just firm to touch and edges are golden, 22 to 25 minutes. Loosen from pans with a small metal spatula. Serve warm or cool.
* I used Bob’s Red Mill which can be found with the baking ingredients. I also substituted brown sugar for the 3/4 cup of sugar that is used in the batter. The remaining 1/4 cup is used in the meringue and granulated sugar works best. Also, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice can be substituted for cream of tartar if you haven’t any.