National Muffin Day: Try these 4 wholesome additions to level up your lip-smacking creations

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Web Desk
This image shows blueberry muffins placed on a grill next to a cup of tea. — Unsplash
This image shows blueberry muffins placed on a grill next to a cup of tea. — Unsplash

Muffins are quick and easy to make, which is why they can easily become boring. However, they offer you an opportunity to try out unlimited variations and possibilities by adding different ingredients.

All you have to do is find the recipe for the ultimate muffin which is tender, moist, light, fluffy, and delicious. The key to such muffins is balancing fat, sugar, and starch in the right proportions.

Then add any of these five ingredients to level up your pillowy creations.

Matcha

Matcha-flavoured muffin. — Justine Snacks/File
Matcha-flavoured muffin. — Justine Snacks/File

Matcha, an ingredient often used in teas and lattes, has gained popularity in baking.

Dissolve ceremonial-grade matcha powder in liquid and add to the batter. To enhance the flavour and texture, almond flour is recommended. Matcha is added to the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients.

Matcha muffins can last up to five days in an air-tight container on the counter and are best served with a drizzle of lemon glaze or powdered sugar.

Nuts

This image shows muffins topped with nuts. — The Cozy Apron
This image shows muffins topped with nuts. — The Cozy Apron

Nuts can enhance the health appeal of muffins by adding a surprising crunch. Popular nuts include pecans, almonds, and walnuts, but pistachios or hazelnuts can also be added for a more creative twist.

Toast raw nuts lightly, in the oven or on the stovetop, before adding them to a batter for a more profound flavor. For the oven, spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for five to 10 minutes. Smaller, fattier nuts toast faster, so watch the oven. For the stovetop, shake nuts around a heavy bottom pan or use a hands-off oven approach.

Streusel

A streusel muffin. — Caits Plate
A streusel muffin. — Cait's Plate

A streusel topping is superior to coarse sugar in enhancing the sweetness and spice of cinnamon muffins, providing a unique texture and highlighting the recipe's unique flavour profile.

Streusel is a mix of fat, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. It is traditionally sprinkled on muffins before baking, with some recipes using melted butter instead. You can add spices such as chai spices, warm cloves, and allspice to the base.

The base for streusel is typically fruity muffins like cranberry, wild berry, or blueberry, but hearty oatmeal or bran muffin recipes also work well.

Chocolate

A tray of chocolate muffins. — Unsplash
A tray of chocolate muffins. — Unsplash

Adding chocolate enhances any baked recipe and adding it to muffins makes all the difference. The possibilities for chocolate-based muffins are endless, making them a versatile ingredient in any recipe

Mix semi-sweet chips with chocolate chips or use bittersweet chocolate for depth without overt sweetness. You may also make triple-chocolate muffins with white, dark, and milk chocolate.

Remember to mix chocolate into the batter after combining other ingredients to avoid over-mixing.

Distribute chips or chunks evenly after mixing, as over-developing gluten can make the batter stodgy.