Blueberries Optional

Coming back from our vacation in the woods the last thing I wanted to eat was peanut butter. On the trail, it was lunch for five days straight. Nothing survives a long hike in the sun like PB&J. Unfortunately it was also one of the few items we had sitting in our fridge when we returned. Just the sight of another jar of jelly made me slightly queasy.

We arrived home from our trip in the middle of the night. After traveling over 12 hours with three kids I wasn’t looking forward to waking up and getting back in the car to get food. If we still lived in Brooklyn, we could have stopped at the closest deli on the way home from the airport. But it doesn’t work like that in the burbs; you’ve got to think ahead. At 2am, there are no supermarkets open in our neighborhood.

Before we left I had baked some muffins and popped them in the freezer. The muffins were actually a happy accident because when I started making them I realized we had no butter or eggs. But as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and I discovered I didn’t even need them, I used ricotta cheese instead. And the lemon was Liam’s idea. So it was muffins for breakfast and no peanut butter in sight!

LEMON RICOTTA MUFFINS– Blueberries Optional (Recipe by Elaine Studdert)

Ingredients (Yield: 24 mini muffins)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp fine kosher salt

½ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup sugar

½ cup ricotta cheese

½ cup whole milk

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup frozen blueberries (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix oil, sugar, ricotta cheese, milk, lemon zest until well combined. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and lastly fold in frozen blueberries. We made half plain and half with blueberries.


Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 way full.


Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.


Remove muffins from tin and let cool completely on baking rack. Enjoy!



Muffins can be stored in air-tight container for up to one week or store them in freezer for those days when you have no food in the fridge!

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “I love the corn muffin one”

Liam (age 5): “Give me plain please”

Dylan (age 5): “These are awesome! Not the blueberry ones”

Plain was the clear winner!





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