Elderberry Muffins for Back-to-School

With school-age children heading back for another year, I suppose I should also be concerned about getting their hair cut, supplying them with new lunch boxes, backpacks, pencils, notebooks, and, of course, outfitting them in new school clothes, but I am much more interested in with what I will fill (last year’s, still mostly intact) lunch boxes.

Day one will include an elderberry muffin.  Elderberries are tiny berries exploding with nutritional power, rightly deserving the nickname “medicine chest.”  They are an unbeatable source of fiber, vitamin C and numerous powerful antioxidants, as well as a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, iron and potassium.  They are hanging heavy off their branches awaiting picking this time of year. And since their name suggests growing up and getting older, they are the perfect companion for the first day of a new school year.

Elderberry Muffins

  • 3 cups flour (divided between white and whole wheat as you like)
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup fresh elderberries

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚, and prepare muffin tins by greasing or filling with paper baking cups.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Cream together eggs, oil, honey and milk, and add to dry mixture.  Blend together, add lemon zest and gently fold in elderberries.
  4. Fill muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool slightly, and serve with butter and/or elder-blue superjam, if you like, and remember to set some aside for lunch boxes.

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