The craze for cupcakes as a party snack may be starting to fizzle out slowly. But its distant cousin, the muffin, continues to be a tea-time favourite. And you don’t have to worry about muffins giving way to the dreaded muffin tops. For here are some nutritious muffin recipes that can be made at home in under 40 minutes.
Pumpkin apple muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon powder, ½ tsp nutmeg powder, 1⁄8 tsp clove powder, 1 avocado (peeled, pitted & mashed), 1 banana (mashed), 1 cup pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, ¾ cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 apple (peeled & chopped), 10 cashew nuts (chopped).
Method: Preheat oven to 175/180 °C. Place 16 muffin wrappers in muffin trays or grease them. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In another bowl, mix the avocado, banana, pumpkin, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Gently fold in the apple. Fill ¾ of muffin cups, sprinkle with cashews. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Apple & banana oat muffins
Ingredients: 2 cups oats, ½ cup walnuts (chopped), 2 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 2 eggs (lightly beaten), 1 egg white, ¼ cup yogurt, ½ cup apple juice, 4 tbsp coconut oil, 1½ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp vanilla, ¼ cup honey, 2 large apples, chopped, 2 ripe bananas (mashed).
Method: Preheat the oven to 175/180°C. Grease a muffin tray or your muffin cups. Grind the oats in a food processor till it turns into flour. Add the walnuts and grind. Mix the ground oats and walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, and chia seeds. Lightly beat the eggs and egg white. Mix in the yogurt and apple juice. In a pan, mix the coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and honey. Heat it over low flame until it turns syrupy. Let it cool slightly and mix with egg mixture. Mix together wet and dry ingredients until well combined. Now, slowly fold in apples and bananas. Fill muffin tray or cups (only upto ¾ of the cup). Bake for 40 minutes or check if a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool slightly on the wire rack. Serve warm.
Banana spinach smoothie muffins
Ingredients: 3 ripe bananas, 2 cups (packaged) baby spinach, 8 strawberries, 1½ cups whole wheat flour, ¾ cup sugar, 1 egg, ¼ cup canola oil, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1⁄8 tsp salt.
Method: Preheat oven to 175/180 °C. Grease a muffin tray or use muffin cups/ wrappers. In a blender, puree the bananas, spinach, and strawberries. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Lightly beat oil and eggs. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the smoothie mixture and mix well. Spoon the batter in the muffin cups only till ¾ full. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool on a rack and enjoy!
(The author is chef, The Baking Company)