Infusion of Lemon zest and crunch of poppy seeds in crumbly, soft, healthy flour base of buckwheat and whole-wheat flour. To me, that sounds and tastes like a perfect summer afternoon!
Baking used to scare me. No, really! My preferred way to cook is by andaaz or estimation, and baking seemed to require exact, measured quantities of each ingredient, which was so not my thing! So I stayed away from baking for a long time. Until I visited my friend Lakshmi (who’s an amazing person and a gifted writer at the Bukvorm’s Blog) at her place in Bengaluru and she showed me how to bake, and whipped up two versions of muffins – Chocolate – Walnut and Cheddar – with such ease and grace that my fears were allayed to some extent.
I got back home and did a bit of research on how I could introduce healthier, wholesome flours and alternate, natural sweeteners to baking, instead of relying on refined all-purpose flour and refined white sugar (both of which have very high Glycemic Indexes, and that’s the least of the problem with these two ingredients!). I used buckwheat flour and whole-wheat flour in equal parts here, and relied on palm sugar for sweetness. I love the mealy texture of buckwheat flour and millet flour, and the delectable crumb it forms after baking is a bonus!
Buckwheat is the new hail-all superfood, with researchers stating its various benefits like high protein content, energy-enhancing B-vitamins, not to mention the abundance of essential micronutrients present in it, like magnesium, zinc, folate and iron. Weight-watchers and fat-loss aspirants have embraced buckwheat as an essential aide, and studies are ongoing to determine its effectiveness in reducing cholesterol and eliminating gallstones, even.
But buckwheat is not all that new to Indian cuisine, now, is it? We’ve used it in the form of Kuttu/ Kootu and Kuttu ka Atta for centuries now, especially during fasting days. With alternatives like millets, buckwheat, horsegram, palm sugar etc making appearances again in mainstream cooking, I’m amazed how we’re going back to embracing our roots and connecting the dots for healthy eating and living.
I’ve used different variations of my Healthy Flour Mix in these baking recipes as well: Chocolate Banana Millet Sorghum Muffins, Buckwheat Pumpkin Muffins and Prune Ginger Oats Muffins. If you ever try any of my recipes, kindly use #fitfoodiediary and let me know how you enjoyed it 😊
I used ghee (clarified butter) instead of butter or vegetable oil here. There is no refined/ white sugar used here – I used palm sugar, owing to its lower GI and greater micronutrients. Also, I added wheatgerm flakes as they add an interesting texture and add to the protein content. You could skip this ingredient if opting for a gluten-free version.
Healthy Muffins – Chocolate Banana Muffins with Millet Flour Mix
Makes 12-15 muffins
- 1 cup Buckwheat
- 1 cup Whole-wheat flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 120 gms Palm Sugar
- 4 tbsp Poppy Seeds (can be adjusted as per preference; I like their crunch)
- ½ cup Wheatgerm (for added texture and protein; can be skipped for gluten-free version)
- 2 tbsp Lemon Zest
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- ½ cup Yogurt
- ½ cup ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 eggs
For gluten-free flour, substitute Whole-wheat Flour with 100gms of Arrowroot Starch + 1 cup Rice Flour
Pre-heat the oven at 175° C (nearly 350°F).
Whisk together all the dry ingredients, i.e. flour mix, baking soda, baking powder, wheatgerm flakes, poppy seeds and palm sugar in a large bowl.
Combine the wet ingredients, i.e. lemon zest, yogurt, lemon juice and ghee in a separate bowl. Crack the eggs and whisk everything together.
Add the dry ingredients gently to the bowl with wet ingredients, whisk everything together while scraping the sides with a spatula. Take care to not whisk for too long though, as that will make the end muffins less crumbly and more tough.
Coat the muffin tray with cooking spray or line with paper muffin cups.
Spoon the batter into individual cups, filling them to 3/4th level. Place the tray into the oven immediately. Bake at 190°C for about 20 minutes, until they’ve risen firm and golden. Poke with a toothpick to check if it comes out clean.
Remove the muffin tray from the oven and allow to cool for few minutes. Remove the muffins from tray and let them cool on a wire rack.
- Since this recipe utilizes baking soda, the mix should be baked immediately else the muffins might not rise as expected.
- Store the leftover muffins in the refrigerator for prolonged freshness, and heat before consuming.
- Quantities of poppy seeds and lemon zest can be adjusted as per preference. I always find that the batter has more pronounced taste coming from the ingredients than the baked muffins, so I adjust quantities of ingredients accordingly.