The health benefits of nuts

Nuts have the distinction through quality research and science of being good for the body in the following ways:

a. Heart-healthy: FDA-approved health claim (2003) that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts (approx. a handful) may reduce the risk of heart disease.

b. Nuts can even help with weight loss and weight management.

c. Similar cardiovascular benefits and also unique health-promoting properties among the nuts for brain, eyes, inflammation, blood sugar regulations and weight control too

d. The best part is they're easy to incorporate into your daily diet and they taste great!

No need to wait until the fall months to enjoy this scrumptious muffin. Bake a batch, freeze them and enjoy any time of the year.

Servings: 12 muffins
Serving Size: 1 muffin (2-1/2 ounces)
Volume: 5 cups batter, 12 (2-1/2 ounce) muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Notes: Grain, Vegetarian

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat or oat bran
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3-4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill a 12-muffin tin with baking cups and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, wheat bran, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center.

In a separate bowl, beat together egg, yogurt, melted butter, sugar, pumpkin and walnuts. Pour into well of dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Evenly distribute batter among muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Note: Place completely cooled leftover muffins in a zip-top freezer bag, label and freeze. Frozen muffins should be used within 3 months. Either thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes or microwave on defrost and enjoy.

Toasted nuts and seeds: Toasting is like putting a megaphone to the flavors of any nuts and seeds. It also enhances crunch, so munch away!

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