Monday, January 19, 2009

Fruit and Nut Muffins

These have all sorts of things going on - it's like every bite has a new flavour to taste! These muffins are based on a recipe for muffins using just two types of dried fruits so I added in another fruit and some chocolate chips for a little extra oomph!

Despite being really tasty, these also have tons of nutritional benefits. While dried fruit often gets a bad rap for being so full of sugar, it is natura
l sugar and none of that high-fructose corn crap or over-processed refined sugar. Plus, dried fruits are a decent source of non-heme iron which is important for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
The nuts add healthy fats; the dark chocolate has antioxidants; and the lack of dairy makes these suitable for people who cannot tolerate lactose.
All that makes these a yummy, portable, and healthy breakfast treat!

Makes somewhere between 12 and 24 muffins
(Again with the funny amounts! I halved a recipe that said it would yield 12 and still got 12! Thank goodness I like them... and muffins freeze well!) The amounts below reflect those from the original recipe, they are not reflective of my halved amounts.

1/2 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, include the juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I like the dark amber variety)
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup dried Bing cherries, cut up into quarters (if using whole cherries)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup non-dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with unbleached cupcake papers or grease with a little non-dairy butter or canola oil spray.

1. Combine the almond milk, pineapple (don't forget the juice), olive oil, maple syrup, and agave nectar in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Make a well in the dry mixture and then pour in the milk and pineapple mixture. Stir until just combined, being careful to not over-mix. Gently stir in the fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips.

3. Spoon the muffin mix into the prepared muffin pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

This is based on the Fruitcake Muffins recipe from the November/December 2008 issue of VegNews magazine.
My changes included adding in the cranberries and chocolate chips; using half maple syrup and half agave nectar (instead of just maple syrup); and using all-purpose flour in place of a mixture of oat flour and whole-wheat (next time I might try it with half whole-wheat, half AP).
I'd like to try adding in some rolled oats in place of some of the flour.


Joelen said...

From the recipe list, the ingredients all sound wonderful together!

maicher said...