Wow Healthy Moms with Muffins

By: Patti Cook, BA, MS, Ed.D., Culinary Grad and B & P Student (Photo Credit)

muffins 5Mother’s Day is a good reminder to let all the wonderful moms in the world know how appreciated they are. I can’t help but want to extol the virtues of my mom; I think she is the best. Moreover, my mom is the poster woman for a healthy lifestyle. She’s eaten nutritious food in moderation her whole life and has exercised regularly for over 50 years. Throughout my childhood she made a nutritious dinner every night and always served a salad. Before exercise or eating healthy were fashionable, she walked 3 miles a day in her Keds sneakers and made sure we ate our fruits and vegetables. At 83, she is enjoying the fruits of her lifetime commitment to taking care of herself. She plays golf, goes to water aerobics, eats healthy, is continually active and has a rich social life with my dad, family and friends. And she continues to have a salad every night, along with a glass or two of wine. As a health-conscious chef, baker, food writer and daughter, I see my mom as a role model for how to do everything right.

To celebrate how great she is, my goal was to make her delicious muffins that were also healthy and special. These muffins succeed. The recipe relies on healthy cooking principles to create a yummy muffin that you can also feel good about eating. I keep fat in check by using canola oil and low-fat dairy. Using whole grains and fruit adds nutrients and fiber. Lemon zest provides a bright flavor pop along with the blueberries and light sugary topping. There are lots of options for specialty muffin pan shapes; they can make your muffins even prettier and be included as part of your gift.

From my kitchen seat, making your mom marvelous muffins that are beautiful, special, healthy and delicious is a Mother’s Day gift she’ll definitely remember.

Easy Cornmeal Blueberry Muffins

muffins 1Makes 12 muffins

1 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.
  2. Whisk milk, egg, oil, zest and vanilla in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk cornmeal, flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until moistened. Gently stir in blueberries; do not overmix. Evenly spoon batter into muffin cups. Evenly sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over the tops of the muffins.
  5. Bake until golden and springy to the touch, about 15 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan; serve or let cool on the rack, then store in an airtight container.
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