Saturday, October 9, 2010

A healthier muffin

It being apple season, I thought maybe you would appreciate another apple recipe, as well as some hints about how to make muffins healthier.

Hint 1: Add flax meal (to any recipe that has flour); I'm currently experimenting with amounts, but in general, 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of flour seems to add no discernible taste or cooking difference.

Hint 2: Cut the sugar in half (unless it's my recipe). The original recipe that I generally use for zucchini bread calls for 2 cups. Ugh. I think that is crazy too-much! I added applesauce, which should help make up for the sweetness lost to that cup of sugar. In addition, I used mushy 'bananas (which I think get sweeter the mushier they get), and the apples were sweet. I will warn you, once you start cutting sugar in your baked goods, you will notice how sweet others' are.

Hint 3: Use half wheat flour or a high fiber flour. I'm partial to the Eagle's Mill brand in the picture below; I get it at Costco, so they're big bags, but I go through cooking spurts, so my flour doesn't "go bad."

Hint 4: Use only one egg and egg whites for the rest. This cuts the cholesterol.

Hint 5: Add whatever fruit you have on hand, and some veggies, e.g., zucchini and carrots. Admittedly, these are the only 2 veggies I've ever tried in a muffin.

Hint 6: Add walnuts or pecans and raisins, but not much. Unfortunately, I usually do not have nuts on hand, and I'm not a big fan of raisins in my muffins, but the raisins will add sweetness, allowing you to cut the sugar.

Hint 7: If the recipe calls for cinnamon, double it (except in my recipes). I love cinnamon and it's supposed to have some good, healthy properties that escape me at the moment.

Hint 8: Reduce the oil by half and replace with applesauce. The applesauce is one reason you can reduce the sugar.

My muffin choice today was determined by this: I had 5-6 smallish apples from a friend's tree and couldn't bear to throw them away. I had 2 and a half mushy bananas. I had half of a large zucchini reaching the edge of 'bad.' I hadn't blogged for awhile.

Fruity Zucchini Bread

this is what the wet mix looks like before adding in the dry stuff

Full disclosure: I forgot to add the flax meal to this batch.
• 2 egg whites, 1 egg lightly beaten
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• ¼ cup apple sauce
• 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2-3 mushy bananas
• About 1 ¼ cup white sugar
• About 1 ½ cups shredded zucchini
• 3 cups all-purpose flour (I use Eagle Mills All-Purpose Unbleached Flour from Costco, which is a mix of whole grain flour: 2 gram fiber per ¼ cup vs 1 gram of white)
• 1 heaping tablespoon flax meal
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon + 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 2-3 cups chopped apple (I like big chunks; dicing them small will disguise them)

1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees F. Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans or 3 regular size loaf pans. Or use muffin tins.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, banana and sugar. Fold in the zucchini and apples
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, flax, and cinnamon and mix with a fork or whisk. Add flour mix to wet mix and fold in, just until combined.
4. Transfer to the prepared pans.
5. Bake 50 minutes (Muffins, 18-20 min) in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

On another note, my birthday is next month. Rhett got me an early gift: Looky, looky! 
Yes siree! That's a 3-hole crockpot. 3 quarts and 3 setting for each pot. There's a notch in each pot rim so that the spoon can sit inside the pot while the lid is on and snug! This will make Thanksgiving so much easier! God bless my Rhett.

1 comment:

  1. That recipe looks good! We will have to try it, as we are collecting apples. I just need time to cook it. That is a great crock pot! How exciting! Seems like something a Mormon can really use! (grin and wink)


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