Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Low-fat Sugar-free Cranberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love pastries and breads (carbohydrates!), which often means I am constantly made to feel guilty about consuming large quantities of those little irresistible muffins.

So I decided, one night, that I was going to make my own version of healthier muffins. Eager and determined, I tried to think of ways to reduce the sugar and retain the wonderful flavour of muffins. Since my mom was an die-hard fan of chocolate, no amount of persuasion would convince her that I intended to leave them out of the recipe. So we came up with a compromise: We would make the batter, and right before adding the chocolate in, I would scoop out some of the batter and add chocolate chips to it to make cranberry chocolate-chip muffins just for her.

The cranberry muffins turned out quite successful—sweet with a tinge of tenderness and moist. And best of all, there is so much room for creativity when it comes to muffins: you can add nuts, seeds, different kinds of fruits to customize your OWN versions of the classic breakfast delights! ( or i can have muffins anytime of the day!)

一晚 我跟媽媽突然心血來潮想吃點甜的東西 所以我們就做了cranberry muffins!

Cranberry- Chocolate Chip (or not) Muffins

1 cup dried cranberries* (see note)

1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt

1/2 cup orange juice** (see note)

1 1/2 cup unbleached whole-wheat flour

2 egg whites*** (see note)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped walnuts and chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Spray the muffin pan with non-stick spray or use a silicone pan or muffin liners.

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. You can add a pinch of sugar if desired

In another bowl, beat together orange juice, apple sauce, vanilla, yogurt, egg whites; stir in the cranberries, and orange zest.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add liquid. Stir just to until all flour is moistened;don't over-stir! Stir in nuts and chocolate chips if you want.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups; it should fill a bit more than 1/2 of the cup.

Decrease temperature to 325F once you put the muffins in the oven. Bake for18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean.Remove muffin pan to a wire rack. Let cool for 5-10 minutes

Makes 12 muffins!


* you can use either unsweetened or sweetened cranberries; if you decide to go for the unsweetened, you can add more applesauce for sweetness, and vice versa.

** the original recipe doesn't call for orange juice; instead it uses 1 cup of milk instead of the yogurt+ orange juice combination. You can also use 1/2 c of yogurt and skim milk, OR soy milk

*** original recipe requires 1 egg, but I subsitute it with 2 egg whites

Baking tip: To make the muffins "round" aka to ensure round rising that you see at bakeries, you can preheat the oven to 500F. Once you have put in the mufins, decrease the temperature to 325F. Pay attention to baking time; it usually decreases!

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