We all know blueberries are nutritious and provide ample amounts of antioxidants, but do those same health benefits carry over to baked goods, such as blueberry muffins?
In this ORAC value test, which measures total antioxidant content, they looked at an unspecified store brand of blueberry muffins. This may or may not be a good comparison to a homemade version. How much spice and berries you put in could vary the value, possibly by quite a bit. But at least with this version, which is a good representation of your average blueberry muffin, the value of 460 is low. How low? If you were eating an equal weight of raw blueberries, you would be getting about 10x that amount, as that fruit tests out at 4,669. Or better yet, wild blueberries are 20x more. Impressive numbers, though hardly surprising since its obvious the fruit alone will rank higher than when it's mixed in with a bunch of other stuff like flour and sugar.
Are blueberry muffins healthy for breakfast? They still could be if you modified your recipe. Whole wheat and higher concentrations of wild berries would be a step in the right direction. Though if you really want to kick up the antioxidant content, trying using flour made from sorghum bran. That's the best way how you can make them more nutritious. Sorghum is extremely good for you, it's a supergrain with an ORAC even higher than the berries themselves! A perfect way to start your morning. Plus, it's gluten free so everyone can eat it. Not to mention, very affordable since it's grown in the bread basket of America.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't: Carlsen MH, Halvorsen BL, Holte K, et al. Nutrition Journal NIH Jan 2010