Healthy Muffins

Baking, they say, is a science, but in this case it’s more like a healthy science experiment.  These muffins are forgiving; stick to the general ratios and you will create a moist, sweet, and guilt-less snack.

I have been juicing (hence fewer recipe additions because many more of my meals are in vibrantly colored liquid form), but I hate the waste from juicing.  Juicers, if you are unfamiliar, separate the fiber and pulp, gathering the mushy, processed mess in a separate container. Some people compost this fiber, but I live in an apartment building without composting or an outside area, and I felt terribly guilty throwing out all this perfectly good bi-product. And then I found a recipe for these muffins! Melissa Clark’s original recipe does not involve juicing at all, she has you grate fruits and vegetables, but I found that a little adjusting produced excellent fiber-ful muffins and solved my juicing bi-product problem.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (be generous when pouring, a little more flour is useful if your ingreidients are very moist)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 apple juice (preferably freshly juiced and not store bought, cider would also work)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 generous cup (or a bit more) of juiced fiber / pulp.  This is where you can mix and match (science experiment, not exact science).  I usually include about 50% greens (spinach and kale are my go to) and 50% sweet stuff (apples and carrots work well). The original recipe called for butternut squash, parsnips, zucchini, and beets.  Generally, I use whatever is on hand.  When I’m saving the fiber from juicing, I make sure that the fruits and vegetables are really, really clean before juicing, remove stems, seeds, etc., and then freeze the bag of fiber until I’m ready to bake.  Honestly, most of the I’m not 100% sure what precisely is in the muffin, but they always come out moist and delicious.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease mini muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, honey, sugar, apple juice, and fiber pulp.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Fold in the raisins.
  5. Fill muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.

These muffins stay really well.  Pop them in the fridge and they’re good for about a week.

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Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Roasted carrots and, most especially, parsnips are a favorite of mine. Throwing cut vegetables on a baking tray with a shake of olive oil and popping them in the oven is so easy it hardly calls for a recipe, but, because I love them so dearly, I’m including this Bon Appetite one anyway. If you don’t mind the bleed-over coloring, add beets (and you can’t beat it! Sorry, but I delight in terrible puns).

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 lbs parsnips
  • 1 1/2 lbs carrots
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Peel and cut veggies into sticks (if you’re precise, 3 x 1/2 inch sticks).
  3. Toss veggies with all remaining ingredients.
  4. Spread coated veggies across baking sheet and roast until tender for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Great tip (not mine, Bon Appetite’s): Make a day ahead. Cool completely before refrigerating.  Next day, let stand at room temperature for an hour, then rewarm in a 400ºF oven for 15 minutes.

Serves 8 – 10 people

WW people– I would probably count this as 1 point per serving since vegetables are free and there’s only a bit of oil per serving, but if you put the recipe in the Recipe Builder, WW says it’s 4 pts per serving.