decorated muffins
Photo By Flickr MissTerje

 

Healthy Muffins and Cupcakes For Your Kids

( recipes below)

It was supposedly Marie Antoinette who uttered the words, “Let them eat cake,” but what if that cake is laden with sugar and calories? After all, muffins and cupcakes are hardly a health food, so maybe Antoinette should have said “Let them eat cake during special occasions and weekends” instead.

Lucky for her, cupcake and muffin recipes have come a long way from their calorie-rich predecessors. With so many healthy swaps and ingredients available, you can work muffins and cupcakes into your daily menu without worrying about their unhealthy reputation.

Healthier Fare

It’s usually the butter, sugar and flour in your favorite sweet breads that leave you worried about what they’ll do to your hips. By swapping out some of those unhealthy ingredients, it’s possible to nosh on a muffin without feeling the post-dessert guilt. It makes sense our society has caused a recent surge toward healthier goods, pushing for gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb sweets while still retaining the same flavors. It may sound like a catch-22, but it’s possible to have your cake and eat it to, even when you’re watching your diet.

The Pinterest Generation

Before the rise of online pin boards and recipe sites, there may have been less access to healthy fare replacing sweet treats. But thanks to the rise of sites like Pinterest in 2013, 2014 looks to be another year filled with idea sharing and swapping, which can mean healthier foods. By now, we know that there’s always another recipe or ingredient to use to make all-time favorites a healthier choice, which means more and more people are searching for ways to indulge without ruining a specific kind of diet. It’s the best of both worlds and readily available.

Have Your Cake

Not all cupcakes can be made into healthier foods with a few ingredient swaps. In fact, you might still want to indulge in a sweet frosting-topped vanilla cupcake every now and again. But if you are completely head over heels for cupcakes and muffins, finding healthier ways to mix them up can help save you calories while you still indulge. Just remember that while healthier recipes may lower the sugar, fat and caloric values for a muffin, they’re not a substitute for more natural foods. Fruits, veggies and grains should still take center stage in your diet, with treats playing a supporting role every so often. Instead of store-bought frosting, use this Greek yogurt frosting:

·       1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

·       1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

·       ½ cup of sifted, powdered sugar

Simply whisk the ingredients and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes so that it thickens a bit more before you put in on top of the cupcakes.

Sweet Eats

Some of the ingredients that you can swap out for healthier fare include using unsweetened applesauce in the place of sugar or dark chocolate in place of milk chocolate. Raisins can be subbed for chocolate chips, while adding a scoop of flax seed to your usual recipe can increase your omega 3 fatty acid intake, making a muffin or cupcake really work for you instead of against you. With this information, you can plan your own healthy cupcake and muffin recipes by adapting those you already have or even doing some kitchen alchemy and creating a recipe entirely from scratch. Or, if you’re pressed for time, consider using a box mix just sub in your own healthy ingredients in place of the oil.

Healthy Recipes

Whether you like something chocolaty and indulgent or you’d rather more of a breakfast food, there are plenty of recipes designed to let you eat cake in 2014 without doing damage to your New Year’s resolutions. Some of our favorites include sumptuous Chocolate Banana Muffins, which use dark chocolate for a richer flavor without all the sugar, and naughty-but-nice Banana Butterscotch Muffins. Both types are sweetened with the natural sugars found in ripe bananas, so they require less refined sugar and become a much healthier treat. To make these delectable and healthy muffins, follow the recipe for the ingredients here:

Chocolate Banana Muffins

·       3 very ripe or overripe bananas (mash by hand or with a mixer)

·       125 ml vegetable oil

·       2 large eggs

·       100 grams soft light brown sugar

·       225 grams plain flour

·       3 tablespoons best-quality cocoa powder (sifted)

·       1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

·       Bake in the oven at 200C or 400F for 15-20 minutes.

 

Banana Butterscotch Muffins

·       3 very ripe bananas to mash by hand

·       125 ml vegetable oil

·       2 large eggs

·       250 grams plain flour

·       100 grams caster sugar

·       ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

·       1 teaspoon baking powder

·       150 grams butterscotch morsels (or chocolate)

·       Bake in the oven at 200C or 400F for 20 minutes.

 

While not all of your favorite cupcake and muffin recipes lend themselves to adaptation and healthier ingredients, you can find some new favorites by searching for healthy recipes online. While you might be resistant at first, it could be the start of a new favorite or a way to revamp your old traditions. Doing so means you’re finally able to have your cake and eat it too.

 

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