Fluffy, low-fat, low sugar muffins, bursting with berries fulfil the breakfast needs of the New Year. Pair these with a small tub of low fat Greek yoghurt for the perfect breakfast on the go, or bake a batch for a lazy Sunday brunch.
First steps into the New Year require something to fortify us for the journey ahead. A light little something that gets the day off on the right foot, or a small snack to keep us away from the sugar and fat laden vending machine treats so readily available at the office. I bet these would be perfect paired with some fresh fruit or yoghurt for a healthy desk breakfast, and I plan on filling the freezer at work with some of these for post-work, pre-gym light snacks to keep me running. This year I’m trying to move away from the non-nourishing rice cakes that make up a large portion of my snack food consumption!
These muffins are bursting with berries and flavour but are secretly very healthy – there’s not a skerrick of butter or oil in this recipe! Instead, I used apple puree, which keeps the muffins light and moist, without the fat and calories from oil. Extra moisture is contributed by the buttermilk used in place of normal milk, and the addition of a small amount of brown sugar and honey. I used frozen berries for my muffins, but if you are lucky enough to live somewhere that fresh berries are plentiful (and affordable) then you can use these too. If using frozen berries, do not defrost before using.
When you are making a low-fat, low-sugar baked good you need to pay attention to other ways to add flavour. We rely heavily upon fat and sugar for flavours in our food (think buttery chocolate chip cookies) so when you minimise or eliminate them you need to replace the flavour they supply with other ingredients. These muffins are made on a mix of wholemeal flours, which contribute their own unique flavours. The batter is also spiced with cinnamon, a touch of ginger, and vanilla essence. We’ve taken away the fat and sugar, but with these addition we have kept all the flavour! Just a warning, because these are low-fat and low-sugar they are best eaten on the day they are made as they will spoil quickly (fat and sugar are also excellent natural preservatives). The good news is that if you wrap them well in plastic wrap they freeze well for up to two months. Just defrost them in the microwave for 1 minute on medium, or defrost on the bench for an hour or so.
I love having a big batch of wrapped up muffins in the freezer. When I am searching for a light weekend snack before my morning run, or something sweet for afternoon tea, I can simply defrost one of these muffins, pour myself a cup of tea and read my latest book. In fact, I think I’m going to have one right now! These would also be great for packing in little one’s lunch boxes for healthy morning and afternoon tea treats and kids can help out with the measuring and mixing of this easy recipe too!
Healthy Mixed Berry Muffins
Gluten Free | Makes 16 muffins | Best the day they are made. Wrap leftovers well and freeze for up to two months
Note: if you do not require these to be gluten free you can substitute the first five ingredients for 2 1/2 cups plain flour.
- 70 grams almond meal
- 70 grams brown rice flour
- 70 grams white rice flour
- 70 grams sorghum flour
- 70 grams buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup no sugar added apple puree
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and grease 16 holes of two 12-hole muffins very well. I used a spray olive oil for mine so that it definitely did not stick.
- In a large bowl whisk together almond meal, brown rice flour, white rice flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
- In a medium bowl whisk together apple puree, buttermilk, egg, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla essence until very well combined.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Add frozen berries and use a large wooden spoon to gently mix berries through the batter. Do not overmix or you will crush the berries and stain the batter.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins until cups are about 3/4 full. This will ensure your muffins pop up above the holes and give you that coffee shop look.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins bounce back when lightly touched.
- Remove and cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing and cooling completely on a rack.