Sunday 2 March 2014

Healthy Breakfast Muffins

These energizing, high-in-fibre muffins are perfect to start your day with. They are full of carrots, apples, dates, walnuts, oats, whole grains and cinnamon. They taste and smell as good as they sound. There isn't a lot of baking on the blog, simply because I'm not much of a baker. I got a little experimental with these. These are not your average fluffy, enlarged muffins. Because I used a multigrain flour and added so many fillings they did not rise very much. The baking powder and eggs do make them rise a bit though. As a result, the muffins are dense, moist and full of different flavours and textures. They are very nutritious (and kind of look it in a not so good way) but they turned out so good that I had to share this recipe.

I live near a store that carries a lot of different spices, nuts, candy, foodstuffs and more in bulk. Originally I was looking for whole wheat (or "wholemeal") self rising flour. They didn't have any. I came across a 12 grain flour that they had. It's a blend of whole wheat flour, whole spelt flour, kamut flour, barley flour, whole rye flour and dark buckwheat flour with oats, ground flax seeds, quinoa seeds, amaranth seeds, hulled sunflower seeds and millet seeds. I wanted to see how it would work in a muffin recipe so this is it here. I just added a little baking powder as a leavening agent. I understand if you can't find something like that so just use whole wheat flour as a replacement. If it is self rising flour then you can omit the baking powder. Just keep an eye on them because regular whole wheat flour won't take as long to cook (test them at 35 minutes). I also used coconut palm sugar, which is lower in carbs and glycemic index (GI) than regular sugar. It is harder to find and more expensive so feel free to use the same amount of regular brown sugar.   

Get creative with this recipe. Feel free to omit or replace any fillings. You might not be a fan of carrots. You might prefer raisins to dates. Play with this recipe so that it suits your taste 
perfectly and if you want you never have to make these the same way twice. This recipe yielded 18 muffins.

Dry Ingredients

1 cup 12-grain whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1/3 cup dried dates, diced
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, gently melted
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar

You'll Also Need

1 large carrot, grated
2 Granny Smith apples, grated
tip: for extra flavour & fibre, avoid peeling the carrot and apple    

Preheat your oven to 350F/175C. 

Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.


In another large bowl, combine the wet ingredients. It is important that the butter is gently melted. If it is boiling hot when you add it the eggs will cook. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.

Add the grated carrot and apple including any accumulated juices. Mix until incorporated throughout. 

Line a couple of muffin trays with paper liners or parchment paper. If you prefer, you could grease the cups instead with butter or oil, but this will add some unnecessary fat. 

Fill the liners with the muffin mixture. If you are using regular whole wheat flour, fill them about 3/4 of the way up as they will expand in the oven. The particular flour I used, with all of its wholesome parts, didn't expand that much so I could get away with filling them fairly level. 


Note: If you have any empty spaces in your muffin tray, carefully fill them halfway with boiling water from a kettle. This will ensure that the rest of the muffins in the tray will cook evenly and the steam will help keep them moist.

Place them in  the oven to cook. Mine took almost an hour at 350 F/175C to finish cooking. A batter with regular whole wheat flour won't take as long. I recommend using the toothpick test after 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin and pull it out. If the toothpick is clean, the muffins are done. If any trace of batter appears on the toothpick, let them cook longer. 


Place the muffin tray on a wire rack. After five minutes or so the muffins should be just cool enough to handle to remove from the tray. Allow the muffins to finish cooling on the rack, but keep in mind that they are best eaten a little warm.

That's it! These muffins are almost completely guilt free and packed with fibre and nutrition. They are perfect for a quick breakfast on the go. They are moist, dense, just sweet enough and don't taste as healthy for you as they actually are. I would definitely make these again. I hope you give them a try too.



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