It isn’t often that website photos or recipes will drive me to make a recipe right now. But when this one showed up in my mailbox from Molly Patrick’s weekly fuckery email I got my butt up out of the chair, went into the kitchen, and did the whole mise en place thing.
I made some substitutions and adds, but know that this recipe is heavily borrowed from Clean Food Dirty Girl.
In addition to cinnamon, these muffins include cardamom in both the crumbly delicious topping and the batter. And then I added some WPF spin to that ingredient list to suit my need to both use up fresh produce and add some possible nutritional value.
Natural Killer Cells, Suicide and Death Receptors
Past studies have shown that berries of all kinds have an amazing ability to repair our body cell damage and decrease inflammation, and that helps with cancer prevention and treatment.
But a new study indicates that blueberries increase the number of natural killer cells — part of our immune systems 911-response response against cancer cells. They are called “natural” killers because they don’t hang around and wait until your second tumor shows up to activate. Handy.
Natural killer cells are mighty, and at any one time we have about two billion of them in our bloodstream. Those dudes gang up on cancer cells and cause the them to commit suicide — no Momo Challenge required. They activate death receptors in the cancer cells. I definitely want that.
Sounds like something out of Star Wars, but it’s our bodies doing this!
Cardamom, Black Pepper and Blueberries
This new study also showed that eating 1.5 cups of blueberries a day increased the number of natural killer cells after extreme periods of exercise. This was tested over a six-week period on endurance runners — I have no personal knowledge of this endurance running, but I sure know about eating bluberries. A lot.
When cardamom was added to the blueberries, those killer cells become more active and effective — together, the blueberries and cardamom killed ten times more cancer cells!
Cardamom alone, no effect. When she joins her blueberry buddies they both turn into badasses.
Black pepper? Same results. Alone, no effect on natural killer cell ability. Add black pepper to cardamom? They work even better to enhance the cancer-fighting activity of natural killer cells.
For those that want more info on the studies, link below.
So that’s a long-winded explanation of why I diddled with the original recipe. I added those blueberry bastards and some black pepper.
If all goes as planned, eat these muffins and you’ll goose your natural killer cells.
And, bonus, they taste amazing and look good enough for fancy brunch.
Blueberry Cardamom Crumb Muffins
- Crumb Topping
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 cup well-chopped walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Wet Ingredients
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Dry Ingredients
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free if you can get it)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup of fresh blueberries
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
- Step 2 In a small bowl, stir all the topping ingredients together. Set aside.
- Step 3 In a medium bowl, stir all the dry ingredients well.
- Step 4 In a large bowl, stir together all of the wet ingredients.
- Step 5 Add the dry ingredient to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t over mix!
- Step 6 Add the blueberries to the combined mixture and stir gently.
- Step 7 Use an ice cream scoop to distribute the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups.
- Step 8 Gently press a large spoonful of topping into each muffin top.
- Step 9 Bake for 23 to 25 minutes on the middle rack. Cool 20 minutes (at least 10!) before you serve them (or shove into your own pie hole!). The longer they cool the easier the paper liner peels.
Two More Things
For all of you that like more info on the science, here’s a link to the study deets.
Now go make these bad girls, and tell me what you think!