These muffins combine the best of all worlds: rich chocolate flavour, yet low in saturated fats and high in fibre. They utilize the convenience of spelt flour - still a whole grain, but much lighter than whole wheat flour. The usual unhealthy refined fats found in most muffins are replaced by grape-seed oil, which has antioxidant properties; and fat free vanilla yogourt reduces saturated fat content while it replaces the eggs. You still get plenty of calcium from using an enriched milk substitute, as these are fortified with calcium, B vitamins, and vitamins A and D - nutrients that are important for cancer prevention.
The muffin’ rich flavour is provided by the rich cocoa powder - buy the best you can afford. Cocoa contains flavanoids that have heart health benefits and may protect against disease. The dark chocolate chips provide more cocoa mass, and the addition of fresh walnuts provides some omega-3 fatty acids that help support the immune system and lower blood pressure. With ingredients like these, you’ll love to have more than one!
1 1/2 cups (385 mL) spelt flour
1/3 cup (85 mL) ground flaxseed
1/2 cup (125 mL) organic cocoa
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
3/4 cup (175 mL) natural sugar
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) fat free organic vanilla yogourt
1/2 cup (125 mL) enriched soy or rice milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) unrefined grape-seed oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup (60 ml) yogourt-covered raisins
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or oil the muffin pan lightly.
In a large bowl, blend the flour, flaxseed, cocoa, baking powder, sugar, and salt together. In another bowl, blend yogourt, milk, and oil. Add walnuts and chocolate chips to dry ingredients and pour in liquid, stirring lightly until just blended.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 C) for 18 to 20 minutes or until done.
Once cool, add a yogourt-covered raisin for decoration. Serves 12.
Note: To make mini-muffins, use 4 pans of 12 mini-muffins each. The recipe will make 48 mini-muffins. Baking time is 8 to 10 minutes.
source: "Nutrient-Rich Recipes", alive #273, July 2005
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