This is a sponsored post on behalf of The United Soybean Board through Kitchen PLAY. However, all opinions are 100% mine.
If you like to start the day enjoying a delicious muffin like I do, then try these homemade blueberry and zucchini muffins made with soybean oil. Soybean oil is the most widely used edible oil in the United States and is commonly referred to as “vegetable oil.” It is a poster child for biotechnology and agribusiness and has a compelling sustainability and health story. Soybean oil is heart healthy, as it’s rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Why is soybean oil good for you?
1 tablespoon of soybean oil contains 25 mcg (20% DV) of vitamin K, which supports blood clotting and regulates bone metabolism. Soybean oil also contains vitamin E, an anti-inflammatory nutrient that supports skin health and is known to increase the fertility functions. Soybean oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and may protect against heart disease (here).
Soybean oil has a neutral taste, so you can incorporate it into any recipe that calls for cooking oil. It works especially well in salad dressing, as it pairs with vinegar like any other oil. I love to use this oil in baking, as it won’t impart any taste or smell in baked products. Also, soybean oil makes baked goods like these blueberry and zucchini muffins soft and tender. Cakes will retain moisture on the counter longer too.
Since soybean oil has a high smoke point, you can use it for high-heat cooking methods like frying, baking, roasting or sautéing.
Does using soybean oil under high heat reduce the heart health benefits?
Yes, it does reduce the benefits. Heating (especially repeated heating) of all edible oils, including soybean oil, impacts the fatty acid profile in unpredictable ways. Oil molecules are in constant change, and heating speeds up oxidation and the breakdown of these molecules.
Soybean oil and LDL
Phytosterols and phytostanols, also referred to as plant sterols and stanols, are common plant and vegetable constituents and are therefore normal constituents of the human diet. They are structurally related to cholesterol but differ from cholesterol in the structure of the side chain. Commercially, phytosterols are isolated from vegetable oils, such as soybean oil. Dietary intake of phytosterols ranges from 150-400 mg/day in a typical western diet. Phytosterols and phytostanols, in free or esterified form, are added to foods for their properties to reduce absorption of cholesterol in the gut and thereby lower blood cholesterol levels. It is now generally accepted that sterols and stanols have the same cholesterol lowering efficacy (here, here & here). The main physiological effect of consuming phytosterols (2–3 g/day for 21–30 days) is their reported lowering of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 10–15%.
Soybean oil and heart health
It has been shown in studies that consumption of vegetable oils such as soybean oil, which are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has beneficial health effects and may reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. For a healthy heart, along with soy, include daily physical activity and a diet rich in vegetables and low in sugar and saturated fat. It has been shown that soybean oil induces changes in the levels of heart proteins, which may partially account for the underlying mechanisms involved in the benefits provided by oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (check here).
Due to all the above-mentioned health benefits, I love to use soybean oil in my daily cooking and baking. Soybean oil is versatile and affordable. Here is a delicious and easy zucchini and blueberry muffin recipe with soybean oil, freshly grated zucchini, blueberries and less sugar.
You should contact your doctor or dietitian before making any drastic changes to your food habits but incorporating soybean oil in your daily cooking and baking is an easy step you can take.
Blueberry and Zucchini Muffins
- 1 ½ cup 180.5g unbleached all-purpose flour +1 tablespoon
- 1 cup 197g granulated sugar
- ½ cup 95g vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup 170g grated zucchini
- ½ cup 56g chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line 12 muffin tin(s) with papers or grease each cup.
- In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the sugar, soy bean oil (vegetable oil), eggs, and vanilla ‘till smooth and somewhat lightened in color.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Make sure to not over- mix.
- Add the zucchini, nuts, and blueberries coated with 1 tablespoon of flour (this will prevent it from sinking down while baking.
- Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them about ¾ full.
- Bake the muffins for 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, and after a minute or so gently tilt them in the pans, so their bottoms don't become soggy.
- When it is cooled down a bit transfer to wire rack and cool it completely.
Fore more muffins
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.