Category Archives: Muffins

Lemon Blueberry and Polenta Cakes

This morning I bought a new cake tin and was bursting to use it.  It’s a mini bundt cake pan (how cute!)

These lemon cakes were the first idea I came up with to use my new pan for 2 reasons –  1. we have a pile of lemons to use and 2. I saw this recipe only last week on  Cooking Light which really took my fancy! (Mind you I didn’t make the exact recipe, I played around with it just a little – first I only did 1/2 the quantity, I used wholemeal self raising flour, I cut the sugar down to 1/3 rather than 1/2 cup (all American recipes are too sweet) and of course added some frozen blueberries (YUM!))

One of the things I love about low fat cakes is the simple muffin style way of making them.  Two bowls are needed, one for wet and one for dry ingredients.  The fat most often used is liquid, either oil or melted butter.  Once the wet and dry ingredients have been mixed together separately, the two are combined and gently folded together until only just mixed through.  Over-mixing can develop the gluten in the flour (that’s why you knead dough) which will develop a tough, rough textured muffin or cake in this case!

Although that sounds long and complicated, this type of cake is actually really quick and easy to make.  Much faster than a traditional beat butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, blah blah…. full fat cake, and a lot less mess (well, in my kitchen there is!)

These cakes apart from looking really cute are rather delicious, especially with the polenta which gives them that slight textured crunch which I really like.  I fancied putting a glaze on them to get that lovely drizzled effect running down the bumpy edges, however they don’t need it and are just as delicous naked 🙂

In summer a few fresh blueberries could be added to the centre hole and on the top to really lift presentation.  I tried with a few de-frosted frozen blueberries but they looked a little deflated!

These little cakes could even do as a really light, portion controlled dessert – at only around 130 calories each, I think that is a pretty light dessert option.  Enjoy 🙂

Lemon and blueberry polenta cakes

  • 2/3 cup (100g) wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal/ polenta
  • 1/3 cup  sugar
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1  large egg
  • 1/3  cup  low fat buttermilk (I used ½ low fat milk, ½ low fat natural yoghurt)
  • 30ml (1 ½ tablespoons) olive oil

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.  Spray or brush 8 holes of a 12 hole mini bundt tin with a small amount of oil (alternately use a regular muffin pan, but they will take a little longer to cook)

Combine sifted flour, polenta, sugar, blueberries and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl, mix well to combine ingredients and coat blueberries with flour. Make a well in centre of mixture.

In a smaller bowl, whisk egg, then add buttermilk and oil, whisking well. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring gently until completely combined. Carefully spoon batter into the 8 prepared pans and smooth top. Bake at 170° for 12-14 minutes or until firm to touch. 

Allow to cool in tin for 2-3 minutes before loosening each cake gently around edges with your fingers, then flip tray onto a cooling rack allowing the cakes to pop out of the tin.  Allow to cool almost completely before drizzling with the glaze mixture, or enjoy just as they are!

Optional Icing glaze

  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix together to desired consistency.  Using a teaspoon, drizzle over cooled cakes

Makes 8 cakes @ 52g each

543kJ/129 calories

4g fat, 0.7g saturated fat

18g carbohydrate, 1.8g fibre

With icing glaze

589kJ/140 calories each

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Spelt Carrot Muffins

After trying to find snacks for my clients following a low FODMAP diet and not coming up with much, I decided to create a low FODMAP muffin.  The low FODMAP diet is essentially an elimination diet which is useful for reducing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as abdominal bloating, excessive wind, abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits (ie. constipation or diarrhoea).  I see a lot of people with varying degrees of these symptoms which apart from being uncomfortable and annoying, can often be life-limiting.

Many foods we commonly eat contain FODMAPs so it can be quite difficult to access foods for this diet, especially if you stay on it for some time as boredom may set in!

There are a few considerations when making low FODMAP muffins – you can’t use wheat flour, many fruit like apples or pears, dried fruit, honey or large amounts of milk or yoghurt.  All of these ingredients are usually featured in my normal muffin recipes.

Spelt flour is low FODMAP and can be used instead of regular wheat flour (which is high FODMAP).  Spelt is an ‘ancient’ variety of wheat, so it still contains gluten and is often tolerated by those who think they may be gluten-sensitive.   You can find spelt flour on the supermarket shelf now it is that popular!  It comes in white or wholemeal like regular flour, however you will need to add your own baking powder for a self raising form.  I used an organic wholemeal Australian produced spelt flour (which is the preferred choice for the diet).  Instead of raisins or sultanas I used a combination of walnuts with sunflower and pumpkin seeds for extra crunch and carrots are low FODMAP.  All up I think I produced a pretty good muffin.  For those of you with IBS, hopefully you can enjoy pain-free! 🙂

Spelt Carrot Muffins   –  Low FODMAP

  • 1 ½ cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 2 carrots (150g), grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup lactose-free milk
  • ¼ cup low fat natural yoghurt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line 14 muffin-tray holes with paper cases.

Sift together flour, baking powder and cinnamon.  Stir in nuts, seeds and carrot.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add oil, vanilla, milk and yoghurt and whisk until well combined.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and mix until just combined. 

Spoon into muffin trays.  Bake for 15 minutes, approx or until they are firm to touch (spring back)

Delicious while still warm!

Makes 14 Serves

Per Serving (42g  Muffin)  –   Calories 130      Protein 4g    Fat 7g   Sat fat 1g   Carbohydrate 12g    Fibre 2g

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Fig Date and Walnut Loaf

Last night while we were at the roller derby (yes, roller derby! which actually was fun) a friend of ours asked if I had any suitable cake recipes for someone with Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol and I immediately thought of this one.

The requirements for someone with both conditions is to choose food that is low GI, low in saturated fat and high in soluble fibre.  This cake is all of those things – low GI, low in saturated fat and a good source of soluble fibre.  The other thing to consider of course is the serving size.  Keeping to around 15g of carbohydrate for a snack serve is a good guide (which is roughly equivalent to a medium sized piece of fruit)

This is a high fibre chewy style of cake that is rather delicious straight out of the oven and can be spread with low fat cream cheese or ricotta for a few extra calories.  It is very filling and keeps suprisingly well, but I can only guarantee 4 days as in my house it is all gone by then!

Enjoy 🙂

Fig Date and Walnut Loaf or Muffins

Makes 18 muffins or 1 loaf cut into 18 slices

  • ½ cup dried figs, chopped
  • ½ cup dried dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 50g margarine (or butter if you don’t have high cholesterol)
  • 125ml water
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • ½ cup wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 small banana, over-ripe and mashed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Place figs, dates, sugar, butter or margarine and water in a small saucepan and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from stove, add soda, stir through well, then allow to cool.

 Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 160 degrees and grease and line the base of a loaf tin or paper line muffin trays.

 Sift together flours, ginger and cinnamon.  Add walnuts.  Mix together banana, egg and vanilla.  Add to date mixture, then fold in dry ingredients.

Spoon mixture into loaf tin or muffin tins and bake for 40 minutes/15 minutes approximately, until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.  Remove from tins and cool on wire rack

Per serve

122 calories

17g carbohydrate (approx 1 carbohydrate serve/exchange)

0.6g saturated fat

3g fibre

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Raspberry & Cranberry Oat Bran Muffins

I have to admit that I prefer a muffin with some texture and substance and that is a good way to describe these.  They are jam packed with oats, wholemeal flour, dried fruit and berries.  Unfortunately the list of ingredients is rather long, however that is what helps to make them so interesting and they are well worth the effort.

I used to buy a similar muffin to these from muffin break years ago for a snack.  Admittedly the muffin break muffins are three times the size, however they have almost 500 calories in them.  That’s almost as many calories as a Big Mac! Yikes!  So these make a great tasty, lower fat and calorie snack alternative.  Enjoy!

Raspberry & Cranberry Oat Bran Muffins

Makes 24 muffins

Ingredients

½ cup plain flour

½ cup wholemeal self raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup oat bran

1 ½ cups rolled oats

1/3 cup pitted dates, chopped

1/3 cup raisins, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1  large egg, lightly beaten

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon  vanilla extract

½ cup low-fat milk

½ cup low-fat yoghurt

½ cup boiling water

Method

Line 2 x 12-hole muffin pans with muffin papers

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, bicarb soda and cinnamon. Mix in the sugars, bran, oats, dried fruit and frozen raspberries.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg, oil and vanilla.  Mix in the yoghurt and milk.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost combined.

Stir in the boiling water until just mixed through.  Do not overmix as this can make the muffins tough.

Let batter stand for 15 minutes.

Spoon batter into muffin papers. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in centre. Be careful not to over-cook.

 Each tasty 50g muffin has 110 calories and 1.7g fibre

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Muffin Mania

Muffins are one of my favorite snacks as they are so quick and easy to make, you don’t need to make much mess when making them, they don’t take long to cook, are easy to portion control and freeze well. 

I use over-ripe bananas when cooking as they are tastier and help with the raising.  When bananas get over-ripe, peel them, wrap them in glad wrap and freeze.  Allow around 20 mins to thaw when you want to use them (chopping them up a bit will help defrost them faster).  Frozen bananas whizzed with some yoghurt make a delicious snack in summer too.

These muffins are deliciously soft and squidgey with a lovely crunch from the walnuts.  Walnuts team really well in carrot cakes and muffins and have the benefit of containing the all-important omega 3 fatty acids. Enjoy 🙂

Carrot & Banana Muffins

1/2 cup white self raising flour 

1/4 cup wholemeal self raising flour 

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2  tspn cinnamon  

1/4 tspn nutmeg   

1 tspn vanilla

1 large egg                                                                                                                                        

2 1/2 Tbspn olive oil

1 over-ripe banana, mashed  

1 large carrot, grated  

1/4 cup dessicated coconut  

2 Tbspn raisins

2 Tbspn walnuts, chopped roughly

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees.  Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.

In a large bowl, sift flours together with spices.  Add sugar, grated carrot, walnuts, raisins, coconut and stir together.

Whisk egg, add oil, vanilla and banana in medium sized bowl.  Mix well.  Pour into dry ingredients and fold through until JUST combined.

Spoon into prepared pans and bake in moderately hot oven for 18 mins approx.

Makes 12 muffins with 115 calories each, 5g fat (1g sat fat) & 1.2g fibre

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Banana and Blueberry Muffins

 

 Mmmm, muffins.  What a great snack they make 🙂 especially straight out of the oven and if they are healthy.

With a base of wholemeal flour, lots of fruit, low fat dairy and minimal amounts of sugar and oil, these muffins are moist and delicious, low GI AND a healthy choice!

Muffins are typically best on the day they are made, so I freeze any extras.  I prefer to wrap them individually in glad wrap.  I can then grab one out of the freezer, add it to my “lunch box” and it will be thawed ready to eat by morning tea time.

I also tend to make my muffins quite small, well small when compared to those that you normally get in a cafe.  I find a small muffins just as satisfying as a larger one!

I used over-ripe bananas in this recipe.  Over-ripe bananas are best used for muffins and cakes not only as they are easier to mash, but their flavour intensifies as the starch is converted into sugar.  They also help your muffins or cakes to rise more.  If I ever have over-ripe bananas and do not want to use them straight away, I peel them, wrap individually in glad wrap and freeze them.  They only take around 20 minutes to thaw.

Banana & Blueberry Muffins

  •  2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 large egg
  • just a bit less than 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup low fat yoghurt
  • ½ cup low fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 over-ripe bananas, mashed

 Preheat oven to 170 degrees

Line 2 x 12 hole muffin trays with patty pan cases

Into a large bowl, sift the flour, then add the sugar and blueberries. Toss blueberries to coat well with flour (this helps to evenly disperse them through the muffins).

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg with a fork.  Add oil, yoghurt, milk, vanilla and bananas and whisk until well combined.

Pour egg and yoghurt mix into flour mixture and using a large spoon, fold in until JUST combined (over mixing will make muffins tough).

Spoon mix into prepared pans and bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm when pressed lightly on top.

Makes 24 small muffins

Each delicious muffin has a mere 98 calories and nearly 2g of fibre…YUM!

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