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!’ (definitely with the exclamation mark).
Trimming out some refined sugar is always good. Less sugar in general is a sound idea. Blah tasting muffins however… not so good. Food should taste good! Yes, it should fill us up and be nutritious so that we can have energy and stay healthy- but “healthy food” doesn’t have to mean inferior tasting!
These little mortals 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…
When one is looking to use less refined sugar, one must find tasty ways to bake so that eating a muffin is still a treat!
On another note, as you may note from this picture, I’m really a fan of mini muffins. As in, I rarely make regular sized anymore, or make 1/2 large, 1/2 mini…
Why? 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 just cleaning, to be completely honest) i’m sold on making these miniature! Plus, anything mini is fun for young kids.
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
These fruit sweetened muffins use applesauce + dates (make sure they’re soft or soak them in hot water), and of course, cherries for the sweet flavour. You can choose to add chocolate chips or skip them! I’ve done both and enjoyed them both ways.
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 (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!