Saturday, July 9, 2011

Healthy Life Part 5 - Sugar-Free Oil-Free Muffins

I've been on the hunt for healthy snacks to satisfy my sweet tooth, and muffins are on the top of the list. I want to make some for myself and TLG (he inherited my fondness of sweet things). Most recipes, even those classified as healthy, use a liberal amount of oil and sugar and I wanted to avoid them.

I hit jackpot when I found this recipe from a peronsal trainer's website. It does not have any butter, oil, added sugar or in fact flour! The oil is replaced by apple sauce and the flavour comes from fruit, nut, cinnamon (and the apple sauce) instead of sugar.

I decided to make my own apple sauce too, so there is no processed ingredient in the muffin. It's dead easy to make. Peel 3 green apples and cut into slices. Put them in a saucepan, add 1.5 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1.5 tablespoon of cold water, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Put it in the food processor for 10 seconds and presto! Fresh apple sauce.

Oops! I forgot to take an "after" shot.

Pour 1/2 cup of apple sauce in a bowl and mix in 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

Next, add 1.5 cup of rolled oat, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 4 strawberries coarsely chopped and a handful of crushed walnuts. The "dough" was enough for 3 large muffins.

Spoon the mixture into a muffin tray and bake (180°C) for 20 minutes.

Not too shabby aye?

I was a bit worried that the oat would be too dry, but the eggs and the apple sauce moisten the oat and I like the chewy texture.

Given there were no added sugar, the muffin was not that sweet. The strawberries added just enough flavours, and the crunchiness of the walnuts was a nice touch.

I also made 3 muffins with wholemeal flour (right) instead of oat (left).

The wholemeal muffin looked and tasted much more like a traditional muffin.

The lack of sugar was more obvious with this muffin. I actually preferred the oat muffin because of the lighter texture.

Overall I am very happy with the new healthy snack. And TLG likes it too. I'm looking forward to trying different flavour combinations (bananas, sultanas, apricots, pepitas etc). I may try a savoury version too.

If you want to try this but you're concern about the lack of sugar, I suggest adding 1 - 2 teaspoons of honey to the mix or drizzle some on top when serving. Let me know how you go!

P.S. From recent posts you may think that I've turned into a health nut! If you like my shopping/clothing/jewellery posts, be patient - I have a few in the pipeline :-D


  1. I really like the sound of this recipe. I need something like this to take to work. Have you tried freezing the oat ones? Do you know if they turn out ok after being frozen?

  2. Kiki, I only froze the ones made with flour this time. My PT said it should be fine to freeze the oat ones also so I'll try next time.

  3. Thanks for the muffin recipe link - I currently make some but they have oil and sugar in them, so I'm looking forward to giving these a go tomorrow!

  4. Running in Lulu, What fruit/nut/flavour are you planning to use?

    Please come back and let us know how it goes.

  5. I made a batch with some frozen blueberries and lemon zest this morning - very different to the muffins I used to make (but they had flour, oil and sugar!). I ate one straight out of the oven and then another once they had cooled and preferred them once that had had a chance to cool.

    They had quite a nice texture and filled me up, and certainly felt much healthier than the ones I have been eating (which taste like little cakes!). I will definitely be making them again, I think I'm going to do raspberry next.

  6. PS, Nothing wrong with being a health nut ;)

  7. Glad to know that you liked them RIL. Lemon zest is a great idea, I'm going to steal that :-)

    I'm only a partial health nut, I still have my weak moments!

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