The World

For this week’s food segment, we take our inspiration from proposed sales taxes on sweets that are sweeping the nation ? from California to Mississippi and New York. Legislators, government administrators, and others say such taxes like this may help to discourage us from consuming so many “empty calories,” and to curb the rising problem of obesity throughout the country.

Our question: Are sweets really so bad? And should we be penalized for eating them?

Dr. Brian Wansink, Director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell, author of ?Mindless Eating,? and former executive director of USDA dietary guidelines knows a thing or two about sweets… and insists they’re not entirely bad if consumed in moderation.

And Melissa Clark, New York Times food writer extraordinaire takes it to the next level with a reduced-sugar recipe for our listeners and hosts:

Maple Blueberry Muffins

Time: 20 minutes

* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2/3 cup pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 1/2 cup whole milk
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (don’t thaw if frozen)

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, egg, milk, and butter. Pour the maple syrup mixture into the flour mixture and fold together until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes.

Makes 1 dozen muffins

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