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Wellness Center

Sugar

03/08/2010

Question:

I want to make muffins that are sugar-free and cholesterol free. Can you give me a recipe that fits this? Also, can you give me a recipe that avoids any artificial sweetners? Thanks

Answer:

A muffin is sweet and tender - though not as sweet or tender as a cupcake. If you do not want any sugar OR artificial sweetener, you will not have a muffin. If you want the muffin because of its shape, I would make an oil-based biscuit, add half again as much liquid as called for, some dried fruit (raisins, blueberries, chopped apricots, dried cranberries, cherries, etc.) partially rehydrated in fruit juice of your choice, and bake it in muffin pans.

Here's a basic biscuit recipe using a little more liquid than would usually be used. I changed the mixing method slightly to create (hopefully) a more tender product. I lowered the oven baking temperature of the original biscuit slightly to allow it to bake longer because of the extra liquid added to the basic recipe. This product will have a thinner, crispier crust than a muffin (which is usually a little more tender and soft).

Recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour (use 1/2 whole wheat or oat flour if you want), sifted

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup fat free milk

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease muffin cups and set aside.

2. In a bowl, stir together the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Drizzle the oil over the dry ingredients and mix in evenly so the oil coats the flour particles. (This step keeps the flour particles from coming together in the presence of water/milk and forming the gluten protein that will toughen a baked product - a good thing in a yeast bread but not desired in a muffin)

4. Add the rehydrated dried fruit and toss lightly with the flour mixture to coat.

5. Add the milk all at once and stir with a fork just until your batter is evenly mixed.

6. Divide batter into 12 medium muffin pans.

7. Bake at 425 degrees 12-20 minutes. There won't be a lot of browning because of the low sugar content and the muffin pan sides shielding the tops from the oven's hot air. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

There are several cookbooks you might check out at your local library that have muffin recipes with a low amount of sugar in them (but DO use sugar), use fruit purees/sauces for part of the oil and an egg substitute instead of eggs.

Brenda Ponichtera, RD has two books I like: Quick and Healthy Recipes and Ideas, and Quick and Healthy, Volume 2. Lickety Split Meals: for Health Conscious People on the Go! by Zonya Foco, RD also has some quick bread/muffin recipes that may work for you.

Happy cooking!

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Response by:

Sharron   Coplin, MS, RD, LD Sharron Coplin, MS, RD, LD
Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University