Fruit sweetened muffins. (tasty ones).
That was my agenda. Could a muffin with no added refined sugar taste any good? My goal was to make the answer ‘yes!’ (with the exclamation mark).
Trimming out refined sugar is always good. Less sugar in general is a sound idea. Blah tasting muffins however… not so good.
These little morsels are sweetened with dates and applesauce, and come out tasting like a dark chocolate-almond brownie. Definitely not your sweet-as-a-cupcake sugar explosion type muffin, but still delicious in a rich, deep way with subtle almond undertones and tiny bits of sweet cherry flavour all in one…
No refined sugar absolutely doesn’t mean no flavour!
I made these in mini muffin tins. I’m actually completely sold on mini muffins. As in, I rarely make regular sized anymore, or I make 1/2 large, 1/2 mini…
Small tip that I have learned with kids: Way less muffin ends up on the floor, couch, carpet, and in the garbage when I use the mini muffin pans… And since i’m not overly fond of cleaning up muffin crumbs, (or cleaning in general to be completely honest) anything that makes less mess. Plus, my kids love mini food.
This is an easy one to get your kiddos involved! When patience strikes and you’re including your small helpers in the kitchen, here are a few tasks that are easy & adaptable for any age.
- Measuring (For a toddler, pre-measure the oatmeal or flour and have him scoop with a small cup measure from a small bowl into the mixing bowl. Many ‘cups’ later, you still have the same amount!)
- Sniping up cherries with scissors
- Sprinkling the tops with hemp hearts
There are so many ways that even young kids can help in the kitchen.
Make sure your dates are soft, or soak them 30 minutes in hot water to soften before baking. You can choose to add chocolate chips (obviously, they won’t be totally refined sugar free if you use them) or skip them! I’ve done both ways and can say they didn’t last too long either time.
For anther chocolate-cherry option, try this chocolate cherry smoothie recipe.
- 1 ¼ cups oatmeal (ground in blender)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup cocoa
- 2 T hemp hearts
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 6 dates (softened)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup applesauce
- ⅓ cup milk (dairy or unsweetened alternative)*
- 1 cup chopped cherries (fresh or frozen)
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips, optional (dairy free if necessary)
- Pulse oatmeal in the blender until it resembles a gritty flour.
- If dates are not soft, place them into a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes before using.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Line a mini muffin pan with liners (aluminum or parchment paper liners work best) or grease pan well.
- Add all dry ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well.
- Add coconut oil, dates, almond extract, eggs, applesauce, and milk into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour blended mixture into a well in center of the dry ingredients.
- Mix gently just until no dry ingredients are noticeable.
- Fold in cherries and chocolate chip.
- Scoop into greased or lined mini muffin pans.
- Add extra hemp heart ‘sprinkles’ to decorate the tops!
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!