Sunday, September 07, 2014

Weekend Cooking: Blueberry Muffins with Crispy Topping

Forgive me blogging gods. It has been nearly a month since my last post. It's not like I don't have stuff to post about, but the sitting down and writing part of the equation is what is missing.

This year has been an interesting year for me so far. I have taken some steps towards making some long overdue changes in just about every area of my life. In a lot of ways these changes are happening because it is time, or rather because it is way past time. In one crucial way, it is a change that has been kind of forced upon me.

I have been overweight from the time I was 16 or 17 years old. I started putting on weight at that time and I pretty much never stopped. Over the years I have made half-hearted attempts to lose weight. Some have been relatively successful, or at least they were until I stopped doing what I was doing and put it all back on again. I am an emotional eater with a terrible relationship with food. Time to change that.

Earlier this year I noticed that my clothes seemed to be a bit looser and so I decided that instead of losing momentum I would actually try to lose weight. And so far, so good. I have lost quite a bit and, for whatever reason, it seems to be coming off quite easily at the moment. And it is a change that I have to make because, after suspecting for some time, I finally went to the doctor and heard him say the words. I have type 2 diabetes. Now that isn't precisely a surprise, and I am not treating it as the end of the world as such, but I can't pretend it isn't there anymore or unhear the words.

One of the things I was concerned about was what am I going to cook. I have a growing teenage boy in my house so I still need to be able to cook food that both of us can eat. First stop was the cookbook section of the library where I picked up a number of different cookbooks with varying levels of success. The first couple seemed to feature quite complicated and non family friendly type meals that I just couldn't imaging cooking, but after looking at quite a few I think I have found some recipes that will be worth trying.

I also borrowed a couple of issues of Diabetic Living magazine and I have to say I was so impressed with the range of recipes and information in the magazine! I found a ton of recipes that look really tasty, are really healthy, and most importantly look like something I can cook.  I have already subscribed to the magazine and hope to find lots more delicious sounding recipes in future issues including some sweet treats, but only in moderation of course. I particularly like that each recipe is clearly marked with details on lots of nutritional info including carbs, energy and so much more.

The first thing that I made from the May/June issue of the magazine was this recipe for Blueberry Muffins with Crispy Topping. One of the big things around breakfast for me was speed. In the past if I didn't have breakfast at home I might grab a muffin from the petrol station or cheese and crackers. Now, I am either having yoghurt and berries, porridge or certain cereals and not missing breakfast. I suspect that I will be trying a few more muffin recipes going forward because it is so convenient to grab a muffin from the freezer. Yes, one of the other changes I am making is trying to be more organised.

Blueberry Muffins with Crispy Topping

Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 25 mins

Cooking spray
160g (1 cup) self-raising flour
80g (1/2 cup) wholemeal self-raising flour
80g (1/2 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar or 1/2 cup granulated sugar substitute
2 x 50g eggs, lightly whisked
50g light margarine, melted, cooled
160 ml (2/3 cup) skim milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
125g punnet blueberries
Tea, to serve.


80g (2 cups) Special K cereal
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 egg white (from 50g egg), lightly whisked
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat over to 170C(fan-forced). Spray six 185 ml (3/4 cup) muffin-tin holes with oil. Line bases with baking paper

To make topping put cereal in a medium bowl. Crush slightly using your hands. Add honey, egg white and cinnamon and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Put flours and sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine. Whisk eggs, margarine, milk and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined. Stir in berries.

Spoon batter into muffin holes. Spoon topping evenly over batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside in tin for 5 minutes. Run a flat-bladed knife around each muffin to loosen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature with tea.

* To freeze individually warp any leftover muffins in plastic wrap. Put in a resealable freezer bag and expel any air. Label, date and freeze for up to 3 months

As an aside, I was completely thrilled that I managed to separate the egg first go. I am have never even tried to do that before and it worked first time. Go me!!

I haven't quite decided how open I want to be here about this journey I am on. Because another of the changes I am making is around trying to get my head right and I am actively taking steps to do that I am a bit emotionally fragile at the moment. I am also a bit scared that if I start "bragging" about how well I am doing that I might shoot myself in the foot. It's all a bit of on emotional rollercoaster right now. Maybe I should just post photos along the way and be done with it. Thoughts?

What you can expect is that a lot more of the recipes that I post will be diabetic friendly, lots of healthier recipes. Some will be easy, some will be obvious and others will be less so as I try to find the food that is going to be part of my future.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. Wow! I'm very impressed with your attitude and your changes. Although we are not diabetic, there is diabetes in both our families, so I am also interested in diabetes-friendly recipes. Can't wait to learn more from you.

    How open to be about your journey? Whatever feels right at any given moment, I guess. Some people do well sharing everything; others but posting monthly or quarterly updates. I'm inspired by your changes, and expect to find some needed motivation to make my own changes.

  2. These look good.
    Do what makes you feel comfortable. If photos work then go for it.

  3. I'd like those diabetic recipes too. I was recently diagnosed as type 2 as well. I'd love to hear about your journey. Whatever you feel comfortable sharing.

  4. The muffins look delicious! My grandfather has type 2 diabetes and I've been surprised by how good so many of the diabetic recipes are. My favorite apple pie recipe is in fact naturally sugar free.
    Congratulations for sticking with weight loss. I'm in the frustrated stage myself. I have about 15 pounds I want to lose and I do really well and seem to plateau, then get frustrated and give up. Repeat.
    I think you should do what makes you comfortable. I can understand why you'd worry that if you talked about it you'd shoot yourself in the foot but at the same time your attitude and mind set seem so positive I wouldn't worry about it.

  5. I think you are very wise to not openly discuss the other changes. A lot of changes seem to be funneling through you and I would treat them delicately and guard them. They are special. Hope you keep reviewing!

  6. Congratulations on your progress losing weight! That's great and I think it really is all about your overall lifestyle...eating fresh and staying active. These muffins look yummy and I love the crispy topping! I don't bake (hate measuring!), but would love for someone to make them for me :)

  7. Good luck with your food journey. I only started to get it right when I stopped worrying about losing weight and treated every day I stayed the same as a great day - ie changed my head space - so then I just did some small things so as not to gain - and what do you know! I am now down over 40 pounds. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  8. I was diagnosed with Type 2 also, and I've been trying to get a handle on what to eat. I look forward to seeing what recipes you find that you like. As far as what to share, I say whatever you're comfortable with.
    Best of luck to you!

  9. What an accomplishment- good for you! I wish you luck and all good things on your journey. And those muffins look yummy.

  10. Good for you, Marg, and please know that your friends are happy to support you all the way:)

  11. It's your space, Marg - you do whatever is most comfortable. And those muffins look delicious. I'm not an organized meal planner at all but do manage to keep a pot of Greek yoghurt and some cereal at work to make a quick eat-at-desk Bircher muesli each morning (er, to go with the many cups of coffee required to keep me awake!).

  12. Wishing you the best of luck, Marg, and big congratulations on your success to date! The muffins really do look delicious.

  13. Do what you need to do for yourself Marg, and enjoy those muffins!

  14. Good on you Marg! Those muffins look delicious!