Start your day off with a spicy kick, or serve these corn muffins as a side dish to a Tex Mex entree.
I recently made this amazing carnitas chili by braising a pork shoulder in beef stock flavored with cumin, paprika, salt, chili powder, cilantro and garlic. I served cornbread alongside the chili. Sweet, buttery cornbread. I'll be honest — I had two pieces, and seriously considered having a third. That's nearly 300 calories right there, before having a bite of the chili.
When I want to find lightened-up versions of my favorite foods, the first place I look is Cooking Light. Sure enough, they had several different options for lightened-up cornbread. Many of them were corn muffins, which I thought would be a great way to maintain portion control.
These muffins use reduced fat buttermilk, reduced fat Greek yogurt (for additional protein and moisture), and heart-healthy canola oil instead of butter. These muffins come out to be about 140 calories apiece, with only 7 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of protein (nutrition calculated by MyFitnessPal Recipe Nutrition Calculator).
They also get a kick of flavor from cayenne pepper, jalapeno pepper and Cheddar cheese. Use full-fat Cheddar — it melts better than reduced fat, tastes better, and there's such a small amount (only ½ a cup) in the muffin batter, that a few extra calories won't hurt. You won't even need to feel guilty for putting a dab of butter on these muffins!
- ¾ cup reduced-fat buttermilk
- ½ cup reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour, 1 cup
- ¾ cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground red pepper, cayenne
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese, ½ cup
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-well muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, Greek yogurt, oil and egg.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk just until all the dry ingredients are moistened (batter will still be lumpy).
- Gently stir the cheese and jalapeno pepper into the batter.
- Portion the batter with a large scoop into the wells of the muffin pan.
- Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until golden brown on the top.
- Immediately remove muffins from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Adapted from Cooking Light