I have to confess to having a real soft spot for a muffin. I am always trying to watch my waistline and counting those pesky calories, so it has taken me some time to find the perfect muffin that is both healthy and nutritious. This is also true of ingredients and texture, not just the flavours.
For those of you unsure of what a muffin is, here is a description. “A muffin is an individual sized quick bread product. Muffins in America are similar to cupcakes in size and cooking methods. These can come in both savory varieties, such as corn or cheese muffins, or sweet varieties such as blueberry or banana.” [Wikipedia.org]
Recipes for quick bread muffins are common in 19th-century American cookbooks.
It has become clear to me that you CAN bake a muffin, without compromising on either texture or flavour, giving you a healthy option for breakfast, brunch or as a snack.
- Do not over-stir the ingredients as you do not want to create a dense and heavy muffin. The texture should be light and fluffy with plenty of air bubbles.
- When using wet ingredients like fruit and vegetables, be mindful of water content as this can drastically change the batter mixture and the final texture of the bake. Try and reduce the liquid by draining away as much of the liquid as possible.
Free-from healthy alternatives
You can go one step further and make a free-from muffin that will suit those coeliac disease sufferers (intolerance to wheat and gluten) and those who cannot eat dairy products. Consider sheep’s, nut or soy milk and replace flour with ground almonds, rice flour, almond meal (ground almonds) or coconut flour. One thing to note if using rice or coconut flour, they have different textures and moisture absorption, so you will need to experiment to get the balance right, otherwise you can end up with a very dry or dense texture. Butter can be replaced with canola or rapeseed oil or certain nut butters, such as almond and peanut.
Below is the basic muffin mixture recipe. Are you now looking for some inspiration with flavours to create your very own muffins? You can search through my recipe database for different flavours, you can them here.
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