low calorie muffins

Mini Muffins

More zucchini…zucchini…zucchini! Everywhere! Recently Michael and I received a wedding gift from a very lovely friend who sadly can’t make it to the wedding. One of the items was a mini muffin baking pan. I was really excited to use it (and I was also doing some research on making some “dog” muffins that Bella can eat). But I had so much zucchini I decided to make some human muffins first and use up some zucchini. Here is the recipe:

I used the recipe as a base and adapted it. So the changes I made…

I used real milk (1%) instead of almond. I also used the Trader Joe’s gluten free flour. To make this a little healthier and reduce the amount of sugar, Β I made another substitute. When you bake with Splenda it’s a 50-50 mix. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you use 1/2 cup of Splenda instead. For this recipe I halved the sugar and used splenda and I also included 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce. I probably could have skipped the Splenda/Sugar altogether honestly.

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I wanted to use the mini muffin tray, which was 24 mini muffins but I had a ton of extra batter after filling those so I did a few regular sized muffins as well. Because of that it kind of made the calorie count impossible to calculate but I’d say that the mini muffins are probably around 75 calories each and the regular muffins are around 100 calories, maybe a little less.

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These muffins were awesome! And addicting! And because they are so tiny, bitesize really, it’s easy to just keep popping them in your mouth. The muffins were definitely DIFFERENT than any I’ve ever done. They were very moist and gooey which I attribute to the addition of the applesauce. I think maybe using the melted coconut oil also did that. I’ve never baked with coconut oil before. It gave it a richer flavor I think. Each muffin had maybe 2-3 chocolate chips in it and so the chocolate flavor wasn’t overpowering at all. Just the perfect amount of sweetness.

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I would say that these tasted more like banana muffins than zucchini. Every once in awhile I’d get a bite of zucchini and really taste it but the most dominant flavor was the banana. These were great and I will make them again for parties. I ended up taking a bunch to my book club group and then I took some to a friend’s house the next day when Michael and I went over for dinner.

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The muffins were a hit at the book club. I really, really liked them, too. They had such a different texture than I’m used to with muffins but it was pleasant. I think this is a great “base” muffin recipe. You could make some really interesting alterations…like maybe shredded carrots instead of zucchini or maybe dried cranberries instead of chocolate chips. I think the mini muffins were too small for nuts, but maybe with bigger muffins it would work well. Depending on how you end up changing the ingredients in the recipe, these muffins could be dessert or could easily be a breakfast treat.

I’ve never baked with coconut oil before and I have to say, I kind of love it! Will definitely be using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in more future baking experiments.

Healthy Breakfast Muffins

About a month ago I made some breakfast egg “muffins”. They worked great and I liked the concept a lot. I decided to try something else. I looked around for a breakfast muffin that was low in calories and didn’t have 1 cup of sugar in it. One of my biggest pet peeves about Pinterest is that if you search for “healthy recipes” you most definitely do NOT get healthy. What pinners think is healthy is insane. Sorry but any recipe that calls for multiple cups of sugar is insane.

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Anyways, I finally found a recipe that was healthy. It called for very little sugar and used the sweetness of the banana and applesauce instead. I used unsweetened apple sauce. I added a little less than 1/4 of a cup of craisins to the mixture and it was a great addition. Adding that changed the calorie count to 85 calories. Still a great number!

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I sprinkled a pinch of Maui sugar on top of the dough and baked it for about 18 minutes. Here is theΒ recipe:

The kitchen smelled so homey and wonderful as it was baking. I had to sample the muffins–you know, to make sure they were edible. πŸ™‚ I had one after lunch. It was moist and subtle–not so sweet it tasted like a dessert. It’s probably the perfect muffin to eat as breakfast. No sugar crash from frosting and chocolate chips, etc.Β 

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For breakfast during the work week I had one muffin and an egg. It was filling enough to get me through the morning to my mid-morning snack (and apple). The next morning I tried having one muffin with some Greek yogurt. I needed something quick because I overslept and was running late!

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That breakfast was 275 calories, and I had some coffee once I got work. The next day I had a muffin and some plain Greek yogurt, another day I had 1/2 a serving of rice krispies cereal with a muffin. Another day I had one egg and a muffin. The combinations with the muffins were great and I felt really satisfied. The banana muffins were delicious too.

You could easily have these muffins as a mid-day snack or maybe a pre-gym snack, as well. I think next time I make these I’d try adding some nuts or maybe some blueberries to it as well. I REALLY liked the addition of the Craisins. This recipe will definitely stay in rotation!