Various-Muffins-Baked

Muffins are a popular, sweet treat, but regular ones are often made with added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Moreover, many people need alternatives to traditional muffin recipes to avoid ingredients that can trigger food allergies and intolerances like eggs, dairy products or grains.

You can tweak traditional muffin recipes to make them healthier and accommodate your personal dietary needs and preferences. Here are 5 healthy, low-calorie muffin recipes, including ways to make them vegan, paleo or gluten-free.

1. Blueberry muffins

9 Step Body Cleanse Kit | Ultimate Full-Body CleanseGive the classic blueberry muffin a healthier twist by adding more blueberries and reducing your use of sweeteners. You can also use unsweetened applesauce in place of oil to further reduce calorie count. (Related: HIDDEN SUGAR DANGER: Breakfast blueberry muffins contain as much sugar as a can of Coke.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups, plus 1 tsp (210 g total) of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil or applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (170 g) honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (227 g) plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (140 g) blueberries

Directions:

  1. Set aside the extra teaspoon of flour, then mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil or applesauce, eggs, honey, yogurt and vanilla.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry one and stir gently.
  4. Toss in the blueberries and the extra teaspoon of flour and fold them into the batter.
  5. Put the batter into muffin tins and bake at 400 F (250 C) for 16–19 minutes.

Make it gluten-free:

  • In place of wheat flour, try a one-to-one gluten-free flour blend, which you can either make at home (see below) or purchase premade.

Ingredients for gluten-free flour:

  • 1 1/4 cups (180 g) white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup (120 g) brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup (112 g) potato starch
  • 1/3 cup (42 g) tapioca starch

Make it vegan:

  • Replace honey with agave nectar or maple syrup.
  • Replace 1 egg with a mixture of 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 Tbsp (20 ml) water.
  • Replace Greek yogurt with non-dairy plain yogurt.

Make it paleo:

  • Use a grain-free flour blend.
  • Replace baking powder with a mixture of 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp cornstarch, and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.

2. Chocolate muffins

Chocolate muffins don’t have to be just sweet treats – they can also be healthy by adding nutritious ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 g) fruit and vegetable purée (see below)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (32 g) sugar
  • 2 cups (240 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (42 g) cocoa powder
  • Mini chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. For the puree, combine your choice of cooked vegetables and fruits, such as apples, zucchini or sweet potato, and blend until smooth.
  2. Combine the egg, vegetable oil, sugar and the puree in a bowl.
  3. Stir in dry ingredients until incorporated.
  4. Put the batter into muffin tins and bake at 400 F (205 C) for 15 minutes.

Make it vegan:

  • Replace the egg with a mixture of 1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp (20 ml) water.
  • Use raw or coconut sugar.

Make it paleo:

  • Replace baking powder with a mixture of 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp cornstarch.

Make it gluten-free:

  • Replace wheat flour with a one-to-one gluten-free flour blend (see previous recipe).

3. Zucchini muffins

Zucchini muffins are known for being moist and healthy, and you can choose to make your batch sweet or hearty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups (200 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) grated zucchini
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) old-fashioned oats

Directions:

  1. Set aside the oats. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and combine the egg, maple syrup, milk, coconut oil and vanilla in another bowl.
  2. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture.
  3. Add the grated zucchini and oats into the mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Put the batter into muffin tins and bake for 18–20 minutes at 350 F (175 C).

Make it vegan:

  • Replace the egg with a mixture of 1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp (20 ml) water.
  • Use plain, unsweetened, plant-based milk like almond, cashew, hemp or soy milk.

Make it paleo:

  • Omit the oats and use plant-based milk.
  • Replace wheat flour with grain-free flour.
  • Replace baking powder with a mixture of 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp cornstarch and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.

Make it gluten-free:

  • Use certified gluten-free oats. Replace wheat flour with a one-to-one gluten-free flour blend (see previous recipe).

4. Banana muffins

Banana muffins are another classic that many people enjoy. Give it a nutrient boost by including raw walnuts or peanut butter.

Ingredients:

  • bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp (36 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp (24 g) white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp (28 g) butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Combine the mashed bananas, egg, vanilla, cinnamon and sugars.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl, then combine it with the wet mixture.
  3. Gently stir in the melted butter.
  4. Put the batter into muffin cups and bake at 350 F (175 C) for 18–25 minutes.

Make it vegan:

  • Replace the egg with a mixture of 1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp (20 ml) water and use a vegan-friendly sweetener like coconut sugar or maple syrup.

Make it paleo:

  • Replace flour with spelt flour or a gluten-free flour blend (see previous recipe).
  • Replace baking powder with a mixture of 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp cornstarch and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.

Make it gluten-free:

  • Replace wheat flour with a one-to-one gluten-free flour blend (see previous recipe).

5. Corn muffins

Unlike regular corn muffins, which are similar to sweet cornbread drizzled with honey, the following recipe uses real corn and cornmeal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (45 g) applesauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup (167 g) canned, frozen or fresh corn
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Combine milk, applesauce, vinegar and corn.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients.
  3. Gently mix the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Put the batter into muffin cups and bake at 350 F (175 C) for 17 minutes.

Make it vegan:

  • Use plain, unsweetened, plant-based milk like almond, cashew, soy or hemp and use a vegan-friendly sweetener.

Make it paleo:

  • Use almond flour and full-fat coconut milk. Replace baking powder with a mixture of 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cornstarch, and 1 tsp cream of tartar.

Make it gluten-free:

  • Replace wheat flour with a one-to-one gluten-free flour blend (see previous recipe).

Use these recipes and suggested substitutions if you’re avoiding gluten, dairy, or eggs and still want a healthy, sweet treat to enjoy.

Janine Acero

Sources include:

EcoWatch.com

BeamingBaker.com

9 Step Body Cleanse Kit | Ultimate Full-Body Cleanse

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