Thursday, March 19, 2009

Healthful Morning Glory Muffins

Matt and I have been in our new home for about a month now, and our kitchen is finally finished…which means I can start cooking. Again. Finally.

I’ve made a lot of my good ‘ol favorites that I’ve already posted here, but one of the first new things I made, in order to try out my gorgeous, new range, were these morning glory muffins.

I was looking for a different way to use up two over-ripe bananas, and I stumbled across this recipe from cooking light. The recipe looked pretty good; I was excited to try to make something that was super healthy. I try, as often as I can, to cut calories and omit fat, sugar, etc. while I am cooking and baking, but never have I done anything this drastic!

What most appealed to me about this recipe was the addition of ground flaxseed. I had picked some up at a natural health food store the week before, thinking that I could add it to breads and other things I was baking. I was excited to test it out with this recipe!

The only thing that was concerning me with the ingredients was that it seemed like the batter was going to be a little too dry. I thought about this for a bit, took a look in my fridge, and decided that a little ricotta and some crushed pineapple would be a lovely addition. I scoured the comments and reviews to see if anyone had done this successfully, and while I did find that one person had added ricotta, no one had thought to add the crushed pineapple. I decided to go for it anyway.

I linked to the original recipe above, but I wanted to note the many changes I made, so it is listed here with my substitutions/additions.

Cooking spray
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup regular oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon wheat bran
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt (I used vanilla)
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1 large egg
1 cup chopped pitted dates (I used dried cranberries)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple (I used dried apricots)
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/3 cup skim ricotta cheese*
I small can of crushed pineapple, with juice lightly strained*
1 teaspoon nutmeg*
I teaspoon cinnamon*
(* = addition to recipe)

Preheat oven to 350°.
Place 18 muffin cups liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray.

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine yogurt, banana, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Add ricotta and crushed pineapple; give a few more stirs to incorporate. Fold in dates (cranberries), walnuts, and pineapple (apricot). Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with flaxseed (I did not do this; I added all the flaxseed in when the recipe called to add the wheat bran). Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

These muffins were really tasty, and something you can feel almost good about eating! Matt even liked them, so you know they really are good! They also freeze really well. I take one to work a few times a week (still have some in the freezer), and they fill me up pretty well. I let it thaw on the way to work and eat right after homeroom at 7:30, and it fills me up until I can have a snack or lunch around noontime.

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