Quarantine has me craving comfort foods, cleaning out my pantry, and trying to use up some older foodstuffs. So what better way to spend my time at home than using up older ingredients in my pantry to create healthier versions of the comfort foods - like blueberry muffins! Experimenting with whole food flours is a great way to add extra nutrients to your baking routine. Most white flour loses nutrients in the refining process, making them empty calories and void any benefit to the body. Fortunately, there are many whole grain flours available, like sorghum, that provide more than just calories.
Sorghum is an ancient whole grain first cultivated over 4000 years ago in Northeastern Africa.
This fascinating grain earned a spot on the functional foods list because of the rich nutrient content. Sorghum promotes more health benefits compared other similar foods. It is gluten-free and rich in resistant starch fiber, meaning it is also beneficial for the microbiome (Warren et al., 2018; Xiong et al., 2019).
Sorghum is rich in the B-complex
vitamins, some fat-soluble vitamins (including A and K), potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. The flavonoids and polyphenols found in sorghum act as antioxidants. Studies indicate that sorghum antioxidant activity could be as high, if not higher, than many fruits and vegetables like blueberries and broccoli (Xiong et al., 2019). Because of the potent antioxidant activity, sorghum may be preventative for inflammation and certain cancers.
Sorghum also includes compounds that may promote cardiovascular health by regulating cholesterol metabolism (Xiong et al., 2019) Furthermore, sorghum contains slow digesting starch that produces a lower glycemic response that may be favorable for diabetes (Xiong et al., 2019). Although this recipe contains added sugars and one with diabetes should still use with caution, the research for sorghum substituting white flour is promising in many other recipes.
These muffins are gluten and dairy free making them easier on the digestive tract for people with sensitivities or intolerance. You can make them in batches and freeze them until you are ready to eat them. When you are ready, simply pop it in the toaster oven to thaw, heat, and enjoy!
You can down a PDF of the recipe card below by clicking the recipe card image. A new window will open with the PDF.
Let's make some muffins!
First, preheat your oven to 375 and lightly grease your muffin tins. You'll need two large bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, a fork, and a whisk. I also used a flax seed grinder to freshly grind my flax seeds, but you can purchase ground flax mill if you choose. In one of the large bowls, combine all of your dry ingredients. Mix well with a fork or whisk to evenly distribute all of the baking essentials.
In the separate large bowl, use the fork to mash the bananas into a paste. Once the bananas are smashed, add the eggs, olive oil, and lemon extract and whisk until smooth. The lemon extract was a nice touch, and is completely optional. You can replace the lemon extract with a vanilla if you desire more of a rich flavor.
Next, slowly combine the dry ingredients in with the wet and stir until the consistency of cake batter. Once you have a smooth batter, fold in the blueberries cautiously with a baking spatula to avoid smashed blueberries. Since I am cleaning out the kitchen, I used some frozen blueberries that I found in the freezer. I let them thaw to room temperature and then drained them to avoid turning the batter colors. Once the blueberries are mixed into the batter, fill up your muffin tins until 3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes.
To check if they are done, stick a toothpick in the middle of one. If it slides out clean, they are done. If it slides out with batter, bake for an additional 3-5 minutes. Once they are done, remove from muffin tins and allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container. Enjoy!
You can down a PDF of the recipe by clicking the recipe card image. A new window will open with the PDF.
Warren, F. J., Fukuma, N. M., Mikkelsen, D., Flanagan, B. M., Williams, B. A., Lisle, A. T., … Gidley, M. J. (2018). Food Starch Structure Impacts Gut Microbiome Composition. MSphere, 3(3). https://doi.org/10.1128/msphere.00086-18
Xiong, Y., Zhang, P., Warner, R. D., & Fang, Z. (2019). Sorghum Grain: From Genotype, Nutrition, and Phenolic Profile to Its Health Benefits and Food Applications. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 18(6), 2025–2046. https://doi.org/10.1111/1541-4337.12506