Making something good better

I know I promised you all discussion about bread crumbs. I know, bread crumbs are fascinating, but will you forgive me if I put them aside for another few days to discuss my experiment last night?

For the last year or so I have been trying to convince my family that muffins are not cake with some blueberries thrown in. That is what they were used to and that is what they want. I have been pretty successful at convincing them, in part due to my Flax and Bran Morning Glory Muffin. They are packed with all sorts of good things: carrots (or zucchini), apples, walnuts, flax seed meal, bran. All of the things set my Mommy-heart a flutter. It has been a staple in this house for a number of months, and while David is still unconvinced, I have Chris and Daniel fully on my side with this one.

But, despite my family's love of these new muffins, they aren't exactly health food for me. They are muffins after all, and contain flour and sugar, both in the form of brown sugar and raisins (ahh, the raisin - you know why kids love 'em - they are little pellets of pure sugar!) Last night I decided to experiment with the recipe to see if I could get the sugar content down (I will tackle the carb content later - maybe gluten free flour?). They were pretty successful and Daniel and I both had them for breakfast this morning.

Here is the new and improved recipe:

Julie's New and Improved Flax and Bran Morning Glory Muffins

3/4 c unbleached white flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c wheat (or oat) bran
3/4 c flaxseed meal
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 t cinnamon
2 medium zucchini (or carrots), shredded
1 c walnuts, chopped
3/4 c dark agave syrup
1 c unsweetened applesauce
4 egg whites
1 t vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Toss in zucchini and nuts. Set aside. Combine wet ingredients in small bowl. Add to dry ingredients and lightly mix. Divide batter between 18 prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 15 - 18 minutes or until set.

Here is the nutritional info for these muffins:

Serving Size 84 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 177 (Calories from Fat - 64)
Total Fat 7.1g (11%)
Saturated Fat 0.5g (3%)
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 232mg (10%)
Total Carbohydrates 25.8g (9%)
Dietary Fiber 4.1g (16%)
Sugars 2.0g
Protein 5.4g

Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

By removing the brown sugar (subbing with agave) and raisins, I have removed 10.4 grams of sugar from each muffin. I have also removed 21 mg of cholesterol per serving by switching to egg whites (instead of whole eggs - you can't taste the egg yolk, so why bother?). Not too bad in my opinion. BTW, if you would like the original recipe, I am happy to share it. Just shoot me an email.

As for the taste, these are super moist due to the zucchini and applesauce. They taste very much like a bran muffin with goodies inside BUT they are not very sweet. They are perfect for me (taste-wise) but the kids liked them with honey butter on top (although Daniel took most of the honey butter off). Give them a try and let me know what you think.


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