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
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.