I don’t know about you (literally, I don’t), but when the mood strikes me right, there’s almost nothing better than getting into my kitchen and baking some new and healthy treats!
So today, I’ve got a super simple recipe for the easiest carrot muffins ever. Before I get into the nitty gritty of things, let’s just say things started out like this:
I work at my local gym (like you all know) and I was talking to a member when another coworker came up and entered the conversation. Somehow we started talking about food (go figure). My coworker said to the member:
“We thought her muffins were going to taste like sh*t, but actually they were really good.” *turns to me* “You have to give me that recipe.”
And the recipe you all shall have! Unlike some healthy muffins that are pretty much fancy recipes for rock-hard bricks, these muffins actually taste good.
Barberries: The Super-Berry You’ve Forgotten About
We always hear about blueberries, strawberries, and especially the new goji berries and mulberries that are super popular today. But did you ever think there were other berries out there that are also rich in antioxidants? Enter the magical world of barberries.
Barberries have been part of Middle Eastern cuisine for over 2,500 years. And where are they used most? You guessed it. Iran!
Sure, as an Iranian-American I’m probably a little biased when I rave about the health benefits of barberries. But they’re actually really awesome. This isn’t to say that barberries are some cure-all or panacea, but here are just a few of the amazing health benefits of barberries:
- Digestive Aid—Barberries have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for some time to relieve diarrhea and other stomach ailments. There’s thought that barberries can inhibit the overgrowth of bad bacteria in your intestines. The jury is still out on whether this is true, but as someone who is always interested in gut health, I’m definitely curious to say the least!
- Anti-Inflammatory—Barberries are loaded with antioxidants, meaning they help fight inflammation. You might think of inflammation as something you get only in old age when that aching knee of yours starts to act up every time it rains. But inflammation can be a much more subtle process going on in your body. Heart disease, diabetes, IBS—these are all forms of inflammation. Try barberries products (or hint hint these muffins) if you’re trying to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.
- Skin and Dermatological Health—Have you been suffering from acne even though you’re well past your teenage years? Maybe you have a nasty case of psoriasis or even a weird rash that just won’t go away. Barberry is thought to help with skin conditions and dermatological health. For skin problems, try a barberry essential oil if you can find one or an ointment that contains barberries.
Still interested in learning more about this awesome fruit? Check out this pretty cool page I found with the University of Maryland’s Medical Center. It gives you the lowdown on barberry as well some precautions you should take when incorporating any natural food or herb into your diet.
Alas, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Here are today’s carrot and barberry muffins. If you can’t find barberries, you’re welcome to use other dried fruit like cranberries or raisins. However, I personally love the play on sweet and sour that the barberries provide in these muffins. Do yourself a favor an find some barberries at an international food store or order them online. You definitely won’t regret it!