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Flax Muffins – A Delicious Way to Get Your Omega-3’s

What do you eat for breakfast most days? Cereal made with kids in mind? An egg and cheese McKingwich with extra sausage? A grande mocha coffachino? We all know those are not the most nutritious choices for what is supposedly the most important meal of the day.

Why not start your day with a true dietary powerhouse like flax? It’s packed with heart healthy omega-3 oils, powerful antioxidants called lignans, and fiber. Even the folks at WebMD think flax is a super food and you should trust them, they’re doctors. And the best part about flax is that when ground into meal it practically disappears into batter. Alright, I admit that you have to sift it to ensure no big pointy seeds remain, but that’s really all it takes to add a lot of nutrition to a baked good.

Try these muffins made with flax, fruit and nuts for a heart healthy start to your day. The dieticians out there might complain that muffins contain sugar and white flour, but hey, it has to be something you actually want to eat to get the benefits of the flax!

Cranberry  Walnut Flax Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Muffins with Flax

1 c raw walnuts
¾ c sugar
1 c whole wheat flour
1 ½ c all purpose flour
½ c flax meal
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
2 eggs
1 ½ c milk
½ c oil
1 t vanilla
1 ½ c cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Roughly chop walnuts and divide in half.

Place sifter or fine mesh strainer over large bowl. (Yes, sifting is important for this recipe to ensure that no sharp bits of unprocessed flax end up in the muffins!) Measure the dry ingredients into sifter: sugar, flours, flax meal, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Sift dry ingredients together and discard any large bits of flax that remain.

In a separate bowl beat eggs until homogeneous. Add milk, oil and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir gently just until combined – pockets of flour are not a problem. Add cranberries and half the walnuts to the batter, stirring gently to incorporate. Be careful not to over mix or muffins will become tough.

Scoop batter into muffin tin and top batter with remaining nuts. Recommend using a large spring loaded ice cream scoop to evenly portion the batter. Bake muffins at 400 for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before eating.

This recipe can be easily adapted to use blueberries, cherries or chopped apples instead of cranberries. You can also replace the walnuts with almonds, hazelnuts or pecans.

    9 Comments

    1. Jenn says:

      Where did you get the flax meal?

    2. Margot says:

      Usually get my flax meal at Whole Foods. They may also carry it at Trader Joe’s. I use the Joe’s Red Mill brand.

    3. dan says:

      Cranberries… fresh, frozen, or dried?

    4. Margot says:

      I thawed out a bag of frozen cranberries for this batch. I think fresh fruit is always best in muffins, thawed frozen is second best and dried is a distant third. If you choose to use frozen, strongly recommend thawing them in the microwave before baking.

    5. Margot says:

      Update – I found the Red Mill brand of flax meal at my local Safeway. Probably just a California thing, but that’s super convenient.

    6. Jenn says:

      Margot – I made the muffins — delicious! I really like the tart cranberries. I didn’t sift the flax meal. I started to and then it seemed like all of it was staying in the strainer and not going into the muffins so I dumped it all into the bowl. I didn’t notice any weird particles, husks, etc. when eating. Maybe the flax meal I bought is ground finer? Dunno.

      What do you think about adding some oatmeal too? I might try that. Will report back. Oh, and I didn’t read your note about thawing the cranberries first — just tossed them in, frozen. Turned out fine…

    7. jmarshall says:

      Ok, I substituted 1/2 c regular flour for 1/2 cup oatmeal. I’m not sure if I like them better or not with the oatmeal. Makes them slightly denser, not as moist. BTW, I can’t get mine to look as amazing as the ones in your picture…maybe I didn’t fill the muffin tins full enough?

    8. Margot says:

      When I make muffins with oatmeal, what i usually do is use old fashioned oats and soak them in a little warm milk or water for about 30 minutes before adding to the batter. If you do this, then I’d suggest cutting back on the liquid in the recipe a bit so the muffins don’t turn out too soggy.

      Using frozen berries isn’t a big deal, just means you’ll probably need to add 3-5 minutes to the overall baking time.

    9. valleygirl says:

      YUMMMY!!!!! These are awesome. I used blueberries which would have tasted better if they were cut up and candied a bit but otherwise GREAT texture, perfect muffin. Def my new base for all future muffins!

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