I’ve been slowly working away at this muffin recipe for about 6 weeks now, tweaking, testing then re-tweaking, until there was a huge eureka yesterday when I finally cracked it. There are a gazillion muffin recipes out there, so why all the bother? Well I had certain requirements for my muffins. I wanted each one to contain at least one serving of fruit, to contain walnuts, to taste really good and to have no added fat and very little added sugar. Basically I’m trying to make a more healthy muffin, the kind you can eat for breakfast, without feeling guilty.
And yes, I’ve achieved all of those things, with this recipe. These muffins are not fat free: walnuts, flour, yoghurt, milk, all have fat in them, however there’s no added oil or butter, so they’re definitely lower in fat than most muffins. Plus 30% of the fat comes from the walnuts, which is primarily Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are good for heart health and so on.
I’ve used dried fruit in these, in this case dates and raisins, although I’ve also made them with apricots and raisins. Bananas would would work well too. The jam doesn’t add a lot of flavour, but it does give an intense sweetness, with less sugar.
I’ve been having these muffins for breakfast with a piece of fresh fruit and am really enjoying them. If you wanted to use them as a snack, or for kids, you could halve the recipe and make them in a mini-muffin tray. For little kids, I’d also leave out the walnuts.
Date & walnut muffins
- 200 g dried dates
- 1.5 cups plain wholemeal flour
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts broken into large chunks
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons apricot jam
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
- Pour hot water over the dates, and put them to one side to soften.
- Sieve together the flour, mixed spice and baking soda.
- Add in the raisins and walnuts and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the yoghurt, egg and milk.
- Drain the dates, reserving 2 tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Put them with the jam and soaking liquid, into a food processor and pulse together. You want them to be combined and for the dates to be slightly broken down, but there still to be some lumps.
- Stir this through the yoghurt mixture.
- Add the yoghurt and dates to the flour and mix together until just combined – do not beat, or over-stir.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin and then place in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown on top