Monday, July 28, 2014

Healthy Whole Wheat Date Muffins [Recipe]

Ever since I have become a mom, a healthy breakfast or healthy snack that I can grab on-the-go ensures I have enough energy to make it through the day. Being able to give my child the same snack is even better! This muffin recipe originally started out as a bread that I made for years. I came across the Whole Wheat Date Nut Bread recipe in Whole Living magazine. After a while, I started experimenting with different additions and substitutions. I love the versatility and ease of this recipe. Everything I added or substituted made the bread even better. The bread is always delicious and moist.

I am sharing the original bread recipe and my adaptations (in blue). I also list some of the additions/substitutions I use every time and some that I sometimes use. My recent favorite addition (to add more nuts to my 16 month old son's diet) is to grind up nuts to a meal and add them into the batter.

Note: I have reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe by 1/4 cup and it can potentially be reduced to 1/2 cup. Sugar does play a role in baking, so be careful how much you reduce it.

Whole Wheat Date Nut Muffins

Yield: 18-24 muffins (depending on how full you fill the cups)
Bake time: 15 minutes

Vegan (sub flax egg or banana)
Dairy Free (sub flax egg or banana)
Nut Free (leave out nuts)

1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup pitted dates, chopped (can also sub other dried fruit)
1 large egg (sometimes I use 2 small eggs; can sub flax egg or banana)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use coconut oil; can sub apple sauce (2-4 tbsp))
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (I sub buckwheat flour or other whole grain flours)
1 cup whole-wheat flour (can sub other whole grain flours)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup pecans, chopped (can sub any other nuts or leave out, whole or ground to a meal)
3/4 cup brown sugar (can reduce to 1/2 cup, can sub turbinado)

My Additions (I usually put in)
Nuts of any varieties (whole or ground)
Spices (1 tsp nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, or ginger, 1/2 tsp cloves, all or some)
Hemp protein powder (2 tbsp)
Nutritional yeast (1 tbsp)

Other Additions (I sometimes put in)
Flax meal (2 tbsp)
Hemp seeds (2 tbsp)
Dried fruit (like raisins)
Molasses (1 tbsp)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, pour hot water over dates (and any other dried fruit) and let stand until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in egg (or flax egg or banana), oil (or apple sauce), and vanilla (and any other wet ingredients).
  4. In another bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, salt, nuts, and sugar (and any other dry ingredients).
  5. Fold wet mixture into dry until just combined.
  6. Fill muffin pan about 3/4 full and smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes for both regular and mini muffins, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. (bread bakes for about 65 minutes)
  8. Let rest 10 minutes, then remove and move to a cooling rack.

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