As part of our Monthly Caregiver Series, we are delighted to partner with Dr. Annie Fenn, founder of Brain Health Kitchen. Each month, Dr. Fenn will share with us recipes that we can make at home that encourage brain health…and taste delicious as well!

This month’s featured recipe is:
Blueberry Banana Hemp Muffins

The demands of care-giving leave no time for self-care, including preparing delicious, brain-healthy meals. Even though they are brimming with brain-healthy ingredients, these muffins don’t look or taste like “healthy muffins.” This better-for-you blueberry muffin is low in sugar, rich in fiber, and just brimming with jammy blueberries. Hemp seeds aren’t just rich in fiber and omega-3s; they create a nice, crunchy topping for the muffin’s dome. These muffins are delicious with different types of flour. Try hazelnut flour instead of almond flour, einkorn wheat instead of whole wheat flour. Or, for a gluten-free muffin, swap out the whole wheat flour and use buckwheat flour instead. Using olive oil instead of butter gives these muffins a more brain-friendly fat profile—one with less saturated fats and more of the mono- and polyunsaturated ones.

Ingredients:

1½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon hemp hearts or ground flaxseeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup very ripe bananas mashed (from about 2 large or 3 small bananas)
⅔ cup coconut palm sugar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for greasing the pan
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen (but not defrosted)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line muffin tins with paper liners and rub a few drops of olive oil on the surface of the pan. (This helps prevent sticking.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole-wheat flour, almond flour, ¼ cup of the hemp hearts, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the bananas, sugar, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones until just combined.
  4. Gently fold 1⅓ cups of the blueberries into the muffin batter. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.
  5. Divide the remaining ⅔ cup blueberries evenly over the tops of the muffins and gently press them into the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the additional tablespoon of hemp hearts.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes for standard muffins, or until a cake tester or small wooden skewer inserted into muffins comes out clean.
  7. These muffins are best the day they are made. Warm day-old muffins in the oven at 300ºF for 10 minutes. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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