Rise, Shine, & See Your Best: Breakfast Goodies for Eye Health
All too often, breakfast food is more like dessert. Cinnamon buns, waffles smothered in syrup and donuts covered in sugar may be delicious, but they’re not a very healthful start to the day – and often not so great for eye health.
These lemon zucchini muffins, on the other hand, are 100% whole wheat, made with olive oil and have 2 cups of zucchini in them. They’re absolutely delicious and as a bonus – all those ingredients can help improve your eye health!
We’re probably all aware that olive oil is very heart-healthy, but did you know that the omega 3-fatty acids in olive oil help protect vision? In one study, people who ate the most olive oil (about seven tablespoons per week) had approximately a 50% decrease in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) risk, making it a healthy food for eyes. Considering that AMD is the leading cause of blindness for people 65+ in the developed world, we could all do with some more eye healthy foods like olive oil in our diets.
There’s quite a bit of olive oil in these muffins but you can’t taste it at all. All the lemon flavor does a great job of covering up this food for healthy eyes!
Like I mentioned in this blueberry pie smoothie recipe, whole grains can help boost eye nutrition and eye health. Zinc, vitamin E and niacin in the eye healthy foods can help reduce the risk of AMD, cataracts and can even slow the progression of vision loss.
This recipe calls for white whole wheat flour, which has all the eye health nutrition of traditional whole wheat, but without the slightly bitter taste. When using white whole wheat, these muffins don’t taste of whole grains at all so if you have a picky child or spouse, this is a great way to sneak in some whole grains! For another great treat with white whole wheat flour, check out these berry bars, which are loaded with eye-healthy berries.
A lot of zucchini recipes call for a small amount of zucchini, which is another healthy food for eyes, but these muffins have a whopping 2 cups! All that zucchini adds moisture and nutrition but you don’t taste it at all as long as you add the lemon juice, zest and extract.
The beta carotene, zinc, manganese and vitamin C found in zucchini is a good antioxidant source of protection for your eyes. It can help enhance your vision and prevent AMD, just like olive oil and whole grains that are also foods for better eyesight.
Be sure to enjoy these muffins on the day you make them. They’re nice and moist on the second day but weirdly enough, they turn a light green. They don’t taste differently so if the color doesn’t throw you off, they can be enjoyed for a few days after baking for several days of eye healthy foods.
~ Erin @ Texanerin Baking
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 2 cups finely shredded peeled zucchini
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). Set the bowl aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except for the coarse sugar. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir just until combined. Do not over mix! Divide the batter between the liners, filling them almost completely full. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins sit for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Best if served on the day of baking as the muffins turn light green on the second day.