Level Up Your Nutrition: Recipe For Rhubarb-Walnut Muffins
Here, in Minnesota, Rhubarb grows like a weed. It's one of those plants that everyone grows; but it takes a little creativity to use the entire harvest. You can only make so many pies and crisps, you know?
Rhubarb is commonly mistaken to be a fruit. It's paired with strawberries and other fruits to make many desserts; and unfortunatelyâ€”because it's rather bitterâ€”it's usually overwhelmed with unnatural amounts of sugar. In fact, rhubarb is a low-calorie vegetable with many health benefits.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber are some of what rhubarb has to offer, nutritionally. It also is thought to aid in digestion and lower blood pressure. One cup of rhubarb is 95% water; and is only 26 calories.
Aside from making an outrageous amount of jam, I also love to use rhubarb in my morning breakfast muffins. I pair the rhubarb with walnuts, a nut high in omega-3 fatty acids. If you don't like walnuts, you can substitute whichever type you prefer.
This recipe will make 12 normal-sized muffinsâ€”each under 150 calories. If you prefer to use a mini-muffin pan, you could make 24 and have two for the same amount of calories. I like doing this sometimes because it tricks me into thinking I'm eating a larger portion. Sneaky!
Rhubarb Walnut Muffins
1 c. whole-wheat flour
1 c. all-purpose flour
ÂĽ c. honey
1 Â˝ tsp. baking powder
Â˝ tsp. baking soda
Â˝ tsp. salt
2 egg whites
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. Unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. grated orange rind
Âľ c. fresh orange juice
1 ÂĽ c. rhubarb, chopped finely
2 tbsp. toasted walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil linersâ€”or lightly spray with oil (cooking sprays are a good choice). You could use a loafâ€”instead of a muffinâ€”pan if you prefer.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir to mix everything evenly. In a separate bowl, add the honey, egg whites, oil, applesauce, orange rind and orange juice. Using a whisk, beat everything together until it's smooth.
Add the dry ingredients and stir everything together. It should be mixed, but still a little lumpy. Dump in the chopped rhubarb and stir to coat.
Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cupsâ€”filling each one about 2/3 full. Sprinkle about a Â˝ tsp. of chopped walnut onto each muffin. Bake for about 20 minutesâ€”depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them so they don't over-bake.
Muffins are done when a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out clean. Remove them from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy with a nice, steaming cup of tea...or an ice-cold glass of milk!
Rhubarb freezes extremely well. If you're lucky enough to have your own source--or you buy a bunch from the farmers market-- simply wash the stalks and let them dry.
Once they're dry, chop them up and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for a half hour.
Once they're frozen--firm--dump the rhubarb pieces into a freezer-bag, seal and store back in the freezer. You'll be able to enjoy rhubarb all winter long!