Adapted for "No processed foods" people with a sweet tooth that will not quit. (Updated October 26, 2011.)
We have worked on this recipe for a few of years. We created this to eliminate sugar, salt, too much oil, white flour, and lactose milk. (Don't think "sugar-free" means low calories. I have no idea how many calories these are, but they are good-for-you muffins.)
Now, stop that! I saw your eyes roll. Trust me; I hate "healthy food." I am a junk food junkie, who has lived long enough that it caught up with me. Don't think that means I'm into healthy eating. I'm into tasty eating! This tasty eating just happens to be good for you, too. Ignore that part, if you have to. (And, my apologies, if you didn't roll your eyes.)
We make banana-nut, pumpkin-raisin, apple-raisins-nuts, cranberry-pumpkin, peach-raisin, strawberry, blueberry, and a variety of other versions from this same basic recipe. Do not think you are limited to making only what we have already used. This recipe is highly adaptable, so, after the basic recipe, please continue reading the different variations afterwards. We're hoping your creative juices continue to teach all of us newer varieties of muffins to add to this list. If you do come up with another variety, please include it into the comment section. After all, this is our nightly dessert.
2½ C Whole Wheat Flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
½ C Splenda
½ C raisins
½ C chopped nuts (We prefer walnuts.)
2 T oil
(Add fruit from the bottom section of this recipe.)
- For juicier muffins, try 2 cups of whole wheat flour and half a cup of oatmeal instead of 2.5 C of just whole wheat flour.
- For berry muffins, you can skip the raisins, but, hey, we really like the little surprise bursts of assorted fruit in our muffins, so that's as optional as your cupboards insist.
- In the comment section below this, Barbary says she's used baby food prune puree, when she had no sugar. I don't know how many people have baby food prune puree sitting in their cupboards, but would love to know how it works for anyone daring enough to try it. (These all have plenty of fiber already. I promise.) We do, however, add unsweetened applesause when we're out of Splenda. That works in the same measurements as the Splenda.
- Now, we're both not big on minty tasting muffins, however, I grow mint; therefore, feel compelled to use the stuff. With that, I added five ripped-into-tiny-shreds peppermint leaves to the strawberry-chocolate version, and it made the strawberries stand out more without tasting minty. Almost like it gave the strawberries a little added juiciness. (Consider that for other varieties. Simply because I haven't, should never mean "you shouldn't.")
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease standard size muffin tin. (We use oil spray, since we're cutting out fat as much as possible.) Makes 12.
In large bowl, stir dry ingredients together, until nuts and raisins are spread throughout. In smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients and stir. (All fruit, except apples, cranberries, and blueberries are "wet ingredients.") If you can whip it to a small froth it makes slightly fluffier muffins. Combine ingredients in the "large bowl," until you see no more dried flour. (Add a little more milk, if you can't get rid of all the flakes of dried flour, but it is supposed to be lumpy after combining.)
Divide ingredients into the 12 muffin cups. They don't puff up much, but they do puff up some.
Bake for 23 minutes, or until toothpick inserted deeply into the middle cup comes back clean. (If the muffins mound high in the muffin tins, it will take 25-27 minutes. If they're "just right," they'll take 20-23 minutes. The difference is in the amount of extra ingredients used.)
Let cool before serving. Refrigerate, if you don't eat them all in that day. (They will spoil in three days, if left out. Since there are just two of us, we freeze half and refrigerate half.) You can make a double batch, but it is very heavy to stir then.
Variations According to Fruit Choices (If needed, cut fruit to quarter inch to half inch sizes, so they fit better into the muffins.)
3-4 smashed bananas
1.5 C fat-free milk (We use lactose free milk.)
Optional - 1/2 C baking cocoa, if you like chocolate covered bananas
13 ounces of pure pumpkin puree or roasted pumpkin (Recipes for roasting squash can be found online)
1/2 C milk
1-2 T pumpkin spice to taste (1 T cinnamon works, if you don't have pumpkin spice around)
1 T vanilla
Option - in lieu of raisins, or along with raisins, add a small bag of cranberries with a quarter cup more Splenda. Or, make your own sugar-free cranberry sauce and add a cup into the mix. Hubby makes a great sugar-free cranberry sauce, so we usually use the sauce.
3 medium apples (Add 1 T of Real Lemon to apples and stir to retard browning)
1-2 T cinnamon, to taste
1.5 C fat-free milk
Option - if you like Jewish Apple Cake, consider adding 1/2 C of sugar-free orange marmalade or 1 T of orange flavoring.
4 medium size peaches
1-2 T cinnamon, to taste
1 C fat-free milk
1 - 1.5 pints (normal size fresh container) of strawberries diced
1 C fat-free milk
Optional - 1/2 C baking cocoa, if you like chocolate covered strawberries
a can of crushed pineapples in natural juice
1/2 C milk
a quart of fresh blueberries
1 jar of Smucker's sugar-free Blueberry Jam
fill the jar with milk, after emptied, and shake it to remove any additional blueberry jam in it. That's enough milk for the recipe, plus it makes sure you get every smidgeon of blueberry jam left.)
Ultimately, this will always be our dessert, so we're excited whenever anyone can come up with more ideas and varieties. Add in the comment below. I think I just proved, I'm willing to update this as new ideas come along. (If you have any questions and your comment is left unanswered, PM me. Gather doesn't always send us our notices, so don't feel compelled to think they will this time.)