Sunday, July 17, 2011

Decadent and Healthy? Low-Fat Fudge Chocolate Chip Muffins

 A few months ago, I wrote a Y-U-M-Blurb on Wildflower's Low-Fat Chocolate Muffin and how absolutely tasty, moist, and flavorful a healthy muffin can be. Also, my dad told me about a muffin he had in Portland that was low fat and delicious as well. Both incidents inspired me to pursue a version of my own. Although this version is not insanely moist as Wildflower's, it is still a satisfying and guilt-free chocolate muffin. This recipe is from Bethenny Frankel, a natural food chef. Although she doesn't have a big recipe repertoire on her website, this recipe caught my eye as something healthy and delicious. I like this recipe because each ingredient is intentional and really packs flavor into the muffin without adding an excessive amount of calories. Frankel's recipe calls for oat flour which I didn't have so I experimented with a combination of white flour, wheat flour, and oat bran. On a side note, use oat flour if you don't want the texture of the oat bran in your muffins. I like the texture of oat bran (which you probably already knew) so I didn't mind but if you do, simply grind the oat bran with a food process until it is the same consistency as flour.

How do these muffins differ from Wildflower's? Wildflower's muffins were moist and flavorful but didn't have a strong chocolate flavor. These muffins were chocolately and had a great balance of chocolate and sweetness which is just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without, like I said earlier, adding on more calories. Seriously, you would eat one of these muffins and not know that it ranged somewhere between 140-190 calories and 5% of your total fat intake. The muffins essentially have no fat in them except for the chocolate chips so it is important to not overbake to ensure moist muffins I cooked mine slightly under because of the carry over baking that occurs. Not bad for a healthy muffin, right?

These muffins and muffins in general are great because it's a quick breakfast or snack on the go. Additionally, muffins freeze really well. I made a big batch of these muffins and froze them individual to give me the option to grab one and go in the morning for a quick breakfast or a snack at work.

Easy to make,
easy to store,
easy to eat,
and delicious!

I can't ask for anything more!

Low-Fat Fudge Chocolate Chip Muffins
adapted from Bethenny Frankel

1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat bran (or oat flour)
1/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1 dash cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Combine dry ingredients (flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate chips.
3. Add wet ingredients (applesauce, vanilla extract, and almond extract) and stir until just combined.
4. Scoop batter into lined muffin tins until 3/4 filled.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick just comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Yield 8-12 muffins (depending on size of muffin tins)

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