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Author: Robyn Webb, MS, LN
Source: Diabetes Forecast, December 2006


For me, December is a great month to have a little “muffin madness!” During this festive time of year, it’s nice to whip up fun breakfast treats. And the great thing about muffins is that you can really get creative.


You can also pack a nutritional punch into each muffin cup. Many of the muffins sold in bakeries are loaded with calories, fat and sugar. You can easily make your own healthful alternative. The trick is to find flavorful ingredients and also keep the fat and sugar low enough to fit your food plan. I don’t think muffins should be terribly sweet; otherwise they’re more like cake. Just a small amount of sugar works fine, and the rest of the flavor can come from sweet spices and fruit.


Here are a few tips for success with your “Muffin Madness”:



  • Replace some of your egg yolks with egg whites and use low-fat yogurt instead of butter.

  • Don’t overbeat the batter. Only a few beats are necessary to obtain a light-textured muffin.

  • Make sure the muffin cups are filled only about two-thirds full; the muffins will rise upon baking. They needn’t be overly “dry” when you remove them from the oven; just bake them until the batter is cooked through.

  • Remove the muffins from the muffin pans immediately after baking or they will become slightly soggy.

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Carrot and Zucchini Muffins


Ingredients:


1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
salt to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 egg whites
1/2 c each finely shredded carrot and zucchini
2/3 c plain nonfat yogurt
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 toasted walnut pieces


Directions:


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the vanilla, egg, and egg whites. Beat well. Add the remaining ingredients. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until a tester comes out clean and muffins are lightly browned. Remove muffins from the pan to cool.


Makes 12 Servings.


Dietary Exchanges: 1 Starch, 0.5 Fat


Nutrients Per Serving:
101 Calories
21 Calories From Fat
2 g Total Fat
0.3 g Saturated Fat
16 g Total Carbohydrate
4 g Sugar
1 g Dietary Fiber
4 g Protein
0 mg Cholesterol
278 mg Sodium (without added salt)


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Blueberry Ginger Muffins


Ingredients:


1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
salt to taste
1 c plain nonfat yogurt
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c fresh blueberries, washed and dried
1 tbsp finely minced crystallized ginger
2 tsp grated lemon zest


Directions:


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, and egg white. Beat well. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 15 minutes until tester comes out clean and muffins are lightly browned. Remove muffins from pan and let cool.


Makes 12 Servings.


Dietary Exchanges: 1 Starch


Nutrients Per Serving:
91 Calories
6 Calories From Fat
1 g Total Fat
0.2 g Saturated Fat
18 g Total Carbohydrate
5 g Sugar
1 g Dietary Fiber
4 g Protein
18 mg Cholesterol
86 mg Sodium (without added salt)


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Pear and Oatmeal Muffins


Ingredients:


1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp rolled oats
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 c plain nonfat yogurt
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp almond extract
1 medium pear, peeled, cored, and diced


Directions:


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flours, oats, sugar cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, and egg white. Beat well. Add the extract and pear. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full with batter and bake for 15 minutes until a tester comes out clean and the muffins are lightly browned. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool.


Makes 12 Servings.


Dietary Exchanges: 1.5 Starch


Nutrients Per Serving:
101 Calories
7 Calories From Fat
1 g Total Fat
0.2 g Saturated Fat
20 g Total Carbohydrate
6 g Sugar
2 g Dietary Fiber
18 mg Cholesterol
90 mg Sodium