Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Recipe: Matcha Wild Blueberry Bran Muffins
Happy March! Did you know that March is both National Nutrition Month and Frozen Food Month?! To celebrate, I’m sharing the recipe for these Matcha Wild Blueberry Bran Muffins that are packed with antioxidants, whole grains, fiber, and more, and make use of my favorite frozen fruit: Wild Blueberries.
Wild Blueberries are perfect for celebrating National Nutrition Month, because they’re chock full of healthy antioxidants that have been shown to protect against a variety of diseases including heart and brain disease, metabolic syndrome, and cancer. These health benefits are a result of Wild Blueberries’ high concentrations of phytonutrients, namely anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins give Wild Blueberries their rich purple color as well as their powerful antioxidant benefits. And according to one study, freezing Wild Blueberries makes them even healthier! The ice crystals that form during freezing disrupt the structure of the plant tissue, making the anthocyanins more available for our bodies to use. You know how frozen Wild Blueberries leach their bright color when thawed? That’s because the freezing process breaks down the cells that hold anthocyanins, which are concentrated in the skin. Since the berries are preserved by being frozen, all of those anthocyanins are captured in the berry until they’re thawed, when the natural leaching process releases the anthocyanins, making them super easy for our body to access.
The fact that Wild Blueberries are even more beneficial after being frozen is great news, considering 99% of the crop is frozen. Wild Blueberries are smaller than regular blueberries, meaning there’s more surface area of antioxidant-rich skin, so they’re often frozen to preserve their antioxidant goodness at its peak.
Want to know what makes these muffins super healthy? I’ve combined Wild Blueberries with another antioxidant-rich ingredient: matcha green tea. I love adding matcha to baked goods for an extra nutritional boost and earthy flavor. Matcha is high in a different type of phytonutrient called catechins. Catechins are antioxidant compounds associated with reduced body fat, improved heart health, brain health, and more.
In addition to the antioxidant goodness of matcha and Wild Blueberries, these muffins are a great source of insoluble fiber, thanks to the wheat bran. They make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast to keep you full all morning long or a hearty snack to hold you over until lunch. Plus, they’re deliciously moist and sweet enough. Here’s the full recipe!