A New Year’s resolution to eat healthier doesn’t have to mean fewer sweets. Stick with raisins and dates and we’ll show you how!
We learned in Laura Bashar’s Persian Baklava how to use raisins to reduce added sugar. In this muffin recipe, raisin-date puree replaces sugar and added fat. A double bonus! Not only are dates and raisins sweet, but they act as a humectant, which adds and retains moisture in baked goods. Hence the ability to reduce or eliminate butter or oil.
In addition to reducing added sugar and fat, dried fruit adds fiber and helps lower the glycemic index which helps control blood glucose levels. You won’t miss added sugar when using raisin-date puree in muffins, cakes or cookies, especially with other flavorful ingredients like apple and cinnamon in these muffins. Whole wheat flour and ground almond meal also adds a nuttiness and satisfying flavor.
Wrap the muffins well to keep fresh for several days. They can also be frozen for a quick-grab breakfast or snack. Thaw a muffin on-the-go or pop in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
You can count on raisins and dates to keep your 2017 health goals! Look for my next tasty post: Cocoa Coconut Torte with no added sugar or fat.
It’s super simple to make the raisin-date puree in a blender or food processor. Use either golden or natural raisins with Deglet Noor or Medjool dates.
Hot tap water softens the fruit so it blends easily into a puree.
Here’s the magic raisin-date puree sweetener.
The basic muffin ingredients.
Combine dry ingredients and shredded apple in a bowl, then stir in the eggs and raisin-date puree.
An ice cream scoop makes quick work of filling muffin cups.
Just 18 minutes in the oven and they’re done!
Raisin-Date Apple Muffins
Raisin-date puree replaces added sugar and fat in these light and cinnamon-y apple muffins.
- 1/2 cup Sun-Maid Golden or Natural Raisins (natural raisins will make a darker muffin)
- 1/2 cup Sun-Maid pitted dates (about 10 deglet noor or 8 large medjool dates)
- 3/4 cup hot tap water
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or 1/2 cup each all-purpose and whole wheat
- 1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins
- 1/2 cup shredded unpeeled sweet apple
HEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 12 (2 -inch) muffin cups, or coat with cooking spray.
WHIRL golden raisins, dates and hot water in a blender or food processor until fruit is evenly pureed. Add eggs and whirl just to blend.
COMBINE flour, almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk to blend.
ADD raisin-date puree, raisins and apple to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
SPOON batter into prepared muffin cups.
BAKE 16-17 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly to touched. Cool in pan 3 minutes. Remove muffins to wire rack to cool completely. Store airtight 2-3 days or freeze for longer storage.
Makes 12 muffins.
Note: A greased muffin tin is recommended instead of paper liners which muffins may stick to.
Per Serving: 134 Calories 3.5 g fat 0.5 g fat, sat 31 mg cholesterol 3.9 g protein
24.4 g carbohydrate 12.7 g sugars 143.2 mg sodium 2.8 g fiber
Rosemary Mark remembers the day her kindergarten teacher said, “Rosemary, you need to play somewhere other than the kitchen or the grocery store, how about the playground.” Five year-old Rosemary was devastated, but only for the day. After studying foods and nutrition in college, she made the kitchen her playground for recipe development and new product innovation. She blogs at www.getcookingsimply.com.