Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Do you have any special Valentine traditions? Over the past few years, I’ve gotten in the habit of using my morning “me” time to bake love muffins for my little lovemuffins. It started out as an olive branch when I shot down Valentine’s donuts–both because I didn’t want to go get them at 5 a.m. and because I thought I could do better. We are all for “fun foods,” but if you’ve been following us for a bit, you may recall that we try to make our favorites a little healthier whenever possible. Hence, the Olive Oil Lemon Ricotta Muffin.
If you haven’t baked with olive oil before, you really should! It adds subtle flavor and a light texture, not to mention heart health benefits! Studies have linked olive oil with lower risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. This isn’t completely surprising, considering olive oil is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. So while muffins are still a “fun food,” you can feel good serving these Olive Oil Lemon Ricotta Muffins to your little hearts.
3/4 c. whole-wheat flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. cardamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with liners.
In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and juice, beat until smooth.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Mix until just combined, being sure the batter is completely mixed.
Divide the batter among the 12 muffins.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature, smeared with nut butter!
Keywords: Olive oil, lemon ricotta muffins
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.