Glazed lemon olive oil muffins: tart, sweet, addictive

Lemon olive oil muffins

Though I was never much of a breakfast eater until I joined Weight Watchers (and came to understand the morning meal really is important), I’ve always been a fan of the humble muffin. And, you know, baked goods in general, but especially before work . . . when I’m hungry and really need a boost.

Like so many, I’ve been working to integrate healthier versions of favorite foods into our diet. Typical muffins and pastries are too much of a splurge for yours truly, but I love scouring the Internet for tasty, lower-calorie baked goods so I can continue bumbling around in the kitchen and make my husband super glad he married me.

Enter Nosh My Way’s Lemon-scented Olive Oil Muffins, a dense and almost cake-like treat that can operate as both dessert and/or coffee accompaniment. With a fresh citrus punch in the batter and the glaze, these muffins are a delicious way to say “good morning.”

Or “good evening.” Or just, um, “hello.” Whatever works for you.

The glaze is the real highlight — don’t skimp on the good stuff. You could even poke holes in the cooling muffins to allow even more of that delicious sugary mixture to infiltrate, just like I do with the Key lime cupcakes.

Apparently I have a thing for fruit-flavored treats?

Eh, there are worse things.

Lemon muffins

Lemon Olive Oil Muffins

Recipe from Nosh My Way

Ingredients for muffin:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons 2% milk
Fresh juice of half a lemon (or about two tablespoons)
1 egg
1 egg white

Ingredients for glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Grated lemon rind (optional)

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, lemon rind, olive oil, milk, lemon juice, egg and egg white in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until well combined.

Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter evenly into 10 muffin cups coated with cooking spray or cupcake liners.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon rind and 3 tablespoons juice in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon glaze over each muffin; let stand 5 minutes or until set. Garnish with lemon rind, if desired.

Yield: 8-10 muffins.
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value without glaze: 3; with glaze: 4






Irish soda bread muffins — and a link-up for St. Patrick’s Day

Irish soda bread muffins 1

With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon (today!), I craved something with an Irish flair — but have been trying really hard not to derail my progress with desserts. I was warned that losing the weight could actually be easier than maintaining that weight loss, and I’m feeling the pinch.

But these? Totally a guilt-free, delicious afternoon — or breakfast — treat. Using whole wheat flour as well as honey and raisins as natural sweeteners, they’re a savory and satisfying muffin that totally worked for me. Spencer liked them, too, though with a caveat: “As long as you’re not expecting something sweet, they’re great.”

Best served with tea or coffee, plus a huge pat of butter!

Whole Wheat
Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Recipe from Skinny Taste

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp chilled butter
1 cup 1% buttermilk
3 tbsp honey or agave
1 large egg, beaten
2/3 cup raisins (or more, as desired)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, stir together buttermilk, honey (or agave) and egg until blended. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in raisins. Batter will be sticky and thick.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.

Remove tin and cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing muffins from tin; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store muffins in an airtight container or Ziplock bags at room temperature.

Soda bread muffins 2

Soda bread muffins 3

Soda bread muffins 4

Soda bread muffins 4

Soda bread muffins 5

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Classic banana nut muffins

Banana nut muffins

We’re pretty diligent about our fruit around here.

Each Monday finds Spence and I wandering the aisles of our local market, stocking up on whatever is on season and on sale (budgets!). Because they’re cheap and delicious, a bunch of bananas always wind up in our cart — and I don’t usually have a tough time polishing ’em off before they go brown.

But I dropped the ball last week.

Feeling perky on Sunday morning, my energetic husband decided we should whip up some banana nut muffins for breakfast to use up the overripe stash of fruit on our counter. Because I was unwilling to wait a half hour for said treat, I proceeded to eat my usual morning meal while we waited . . . but these? Worth the wait.

And the calories.

The humble banana nut muffin may not be the sexiest breakfast item around, but there’s a reason this classic morning indulgence is so popular. I mean, really — have you ever looked up recipes for banana bread or muffins? There are, um, a lot . . . all purporting to be the best, of course.

I’m not sure if this version is “the best” — I’d need to conduct many, many more delicious experiments before I could make such a proclamation — but I will say they’re quite scrumptious. And because we had no walnuts and were baking in our pajamas, we used what we had on hand for the “nut” portion: almonds with a splash of pecans. Banana almond muffins? Surprisingly good.

Because we love doing weird stuff, Spence was also inspired to sprinkle a few of these with coffee grounds straight out of a bag. We both agreed they added nice color, but not much flavor. So if you have some grounds hangin’ around? Feel free to give your muffins a sprinkle before they go in the oven, but don’t expect a strong coffee flavor.

Adding the actual called-for coffee or espresso, however? That would be an interesting addition. And a good way to add another jolt of caffeine to your morning routine.

I need all the help I can get.



Banana nut muffins

Adapted from Simply Recipes

3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp espresso or strong coffee (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix in the sugar, egg, espresso (optional), cinnamon and vanilla.

3. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

4 Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

5. Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Muffins are done when tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack. Yield: 12-15 muffins.

Banana nut muffins