|Obviously, avoiding this is the goal (Credit)|
As I'm baking Low Fat Fruit Muffins this morning, I realized that I really need to be putting recipes up here. I have a passion for cooking and baking healthy alternatives and have learned a few tricks along the way. I'm going to try to share one recipe weekly. If you have any of your healthy recipes that you'd like to share, I'd love to post them here and shoot credit your way.
|This traditional muffin has a shiny, flaky crust indicative|
of a recipe with plenty of fat (oil/butter). Is it delicious? OF COURSE IT IS.
We aren't looking to replace this, because you'll just be disappointed.
We are looking for a healthy alternative that we enjoy. (Credit)
This week is the Low Fat Whole Grain Muffins. This is accomplished by making a few swaps to a standard muffin batter. Take this recipe:
2 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
|Whole wheat has a lot more fiber|
and hasn't had the really beneficial
parts of the grain removed like white flour.
It also causes a much smaller glycemic
impact on your blood sugar.
So how can we lighten this up? First of all you want to make some of the flour whole wheat. Since this is a fruit muffin recipe we aren't exactly looking for the most delicate texture--it's a batter after all. I'm not saying get rid of all the flour, but I good idea would be to do 30% white flour, 55% whole wheat, and 15% wheat bran. It keeps a softness with the white and then adds filling fiber with the whole wheat/wheat bran. Those percentages don't have to be perfect, just get them to add up to 2 cups (roughly 9 oz).
|Trust me, this is your friend|
in low fat baking
Now, this recipe already uses one low fat secret--buttermilk. It's a really deceptive name because it doesn't have butter in it and it is low fat. Because of the process used to make it, the acid content is higher. It's chemical properties make it a great substitute for fat (usually about 1/2-3/4 of the fat in a recipe with a 2:1 fat to buttermilk ratio). But we're already using buttermilk, so what do we do?
Fruit can replace fat really well as many people know from using apple sauce in their recipes. But many other fruits work just as well. Have some really ripe bananas? These are PERFECT for muffins and cakes. Got some prunes? Blend them in the food processor with a little water for rich, dense recipes.
At the end of the day, what we end up using is bananas to replace fat (and sugar). An additional benefit is that fructose won't spike your blood sugar as high as refined sugar. But by adding bananas (and I upped the buttermilk a little) we are increasing the acid in this recipe. Which means we need to swap out the baking powder for baking soda at a ratio of a about 3:1 or 2:1 (you can play with this, but what I used is below)
|End product. You know you want one...|
Our recipe ends up being the following:
3 oz white flour + 5 oz whole wheat flour + 1 oz wheat bran (roughly two cups total)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 overripe banana, mashed
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 pint fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
|I had a pretty good rise out of the batter and it held|
the contents pretty well (as opposed to it all sliding
to the bottom and looking stupid with a lot of muffin on top)
1. Preheat oven to 370 (slightly lower than traditional for lack of fat)
2. Mix mashed banana and buttermilk until smooth
3. Mix in vanilla, maple syrup, and eggs
4. Mix in combined dry ingredients and fruit. Manually beat slowly (don't over beat)
5. Fill paper lined muffin tray 3/4 full with batter.
6. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean from muffin, roughly 20 minutes for small muffins, 25 for large muffins.
Keep in mind that these muffins aren't going to be super sweet or exactly what you are used to. If you don't like the taste or texture, give it a chance before you chuck the whole batch or try to feed it to birds. You may not be used to whole wheat or more savory muffins. If you still don't like it after you try it (I like them with a little jelly) then chuck it. See my last post about eating WHAT YOU WANT not what you think you should eat....
But I love them. I'm actually drooling a little, but I've promised myself no more night eating... Mmmmmm.... Muffin........