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Apple and Date Muffins

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Apple and Date Muffins

Apple and Date Muffins

Fiona Haynes
Muffins make a wonderful breakfast or brunch treat, but they can also be huge fat and calorie bombs. Tender and fluffy, or sometimes fruit-filled and dense, and often packed with buttery, sugary streusel toppings, some coffee-shop muffins can set you back close to 400 calories. So either split one of those indulgent muffins with a friend, or better yet, stick with the homemade variety. At least you can control precisely what goes in to your muffins but without compromising too much on flavor and texture. So ditch the butter in favor of healthier canola oil, which in one fell swoop slashes saturated fat. Try a blend of regular flour with whole wheat pastry flour, which adds some good-for-you fiber but without creating the equivalent of a hockey puck. I use brown sugar because it helps tenderize baked goods, and also helps avoid the dryness sometimes associated with low-fat muffins.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dates

  • For the topping:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners

In a large bowl, and using a large balloon whisk, combine all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

Add milk, oil, vanilla and eggs to the mixture, and stir until just moist.

Carefully fold in chopped apple and dates.

Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Sprinkle a pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon mix on top of each cup.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until tops of muffins spring back when pressed gently.

Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 muffins

Per Muffin: Calories 194, Calories from Fat 50, Total Fat 5.5g (sat 0.6g), Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 244mg, Carbohydrate 31.8g, Fiber 2.4g, Protein 4.3g

Low Fat Baking Tips:

  • Carefully spoon flour into measuring cups and level with the back of a knife, rather than scooping the measuring cup into the flour and packing the cup solid, otherwise the ratio of dry ingredients to wet will be wrong.
  • You can use applesauce instead of canola oil if you prefer.
  • Fat-free buttermilk works well in these muffins instead of regular nonfat milk. Simply add a half tsp of baking soda, in addition to the baking powder, if you use it.
  • To cut cholesterol, use one whole egg and two egg whites instead of two whole eggs, or use the equivalent in liquid egg substitute.

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