So…after making Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s fabulous zucchini muffins/bread a few times, I couldn’t help trying to cut down the sugar and the oil.
I was actually going to make a batch of the McDougall cornbread, but when I noticed that cornbread recipe used a bit of maple syrup, rather than a lot of sugar, and nut milk instead of oil, I thought I’d try to McDougall-ify the muffins.
1 large very ripe banana
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (doubled from the original)
1/4 cup almond milk (rather than 1/4 cup canola oil)
1/4 cup maple syrup (rather than 3/4 cup white sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (rather than white flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 F. Use a silicone no-stick muffin pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the banana well, until no large chunks are left. Add the applesauce, almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla and use a strong fork to mix well. Mix in the grated zucchini.
Sift in 1 cup of the flour, the cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine. Add the walnuts, raisins and final 1/2 cup of flour, and mix just until no visible flour is left.
Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake the muffins for 40 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick or knife.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Each muffin contains about 270 calories (as opposed to 400 per muffin in the original).
BUT….if they taste like a pale version of the original, then what’s the point, right?
I was a bit apprehensive as I waited for them to bake.
Aaaand drumroll please!!! The verdict is….they are DELISH!! I barely noticed a difference (except that I hadn’t baked them for long enough). James felt that the mouthfeel wasn’t identical. I think if I hadn’t told him they were a low-fat/low-sugar version, he wouldn’t have known the difference.
The muffins were delicious with a bowl of the black-bean soup I made earlier today!
Next time, I’m going to try a cup of frozen blueberries in place of the raisins…and will report back!
In the meantime, I’m desperate to try this new vegan “cheese” from Food52.com, but I have no damn cashews!!!!
- 1 1/2 cups cashew pieces or a combination of cashews and pine nuts, soaked for at least 3 hours and drained
- 2 tablespoons large flake nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons water, divided
- Put the cashews in a food processor or blender (preferably a high-speed blender). Add the nutritional yeast, salt, herbes de Provence, pepper, lemon juice, and garlic. Pulse a few times to break the cashews down until they have a wet, coarse, mealy texture.
- With the motor running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the water. Now it’s time for some kitchen intuition: Keep adding water, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, until the mixture has a good consistency. It should be similar to a thick hummus—a little coarse, but smooth and spreadable. You may not need all of the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. (If using a blender, start on a low speed and gradually increase to high speed as you add the water, using a plunger attachment the entire time to keep the mixture blending.)
- Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Stored in a covered container in the fridge, the cheese will keep for about 5 days.