Have you ever woken up with the strange desire to bake something? I did one morning last week. I wanted to make something healthy and to use up some of the 50 billion plums (well, maybe not that many, but quite a few) we bought from a stand in Saskatchewan.
So, I’m actually making good on my promise to cut back the amount of sugar I eat, especially now that most of my big events are over for a while. I decided that I procrastinated for too long – always putting it off for the next day so I could continue eating whatever I wanted – not the healthiest attitude. Normally I wouldn’t care, but the numbers on the scale have been on a slow increase lately, which is something no one likes. I guess the notion of eating too much food while not doing enough exercise and not gaining any weight is a delusion after all. Drat, I was hoping that was true!
Since I wasn’t wanting to eat sugar, I looked into different methods of sweetening baked goods without sugar. I do consider things like agave nectar and palm sugar as sugar as my body still reacts to then as sugar despite having a different GI index and I don’t own any stevia, so the search was on. I remember coming across a few recipes where dates were used to sweeten baked goods, so I thought, why not?
There really aren’t many recipes out there that use plums except for crisps and crumbles, so I improved this muffin recipe. I was inspired by this date sweetened muffin recipe by Nicole from A Dash of Compassion.
Since they don’t have any added sugar and use fairly fibrous and protein rich ingredients, this muffins are perfect for breakfast or a mid afternoon snack without the blood sugar spike. In addition, each muffin has the equivalent of half a plum in it, so that has to be good, right?
I sent some of these muffins along with Mr. Bean to his guy’s night (fortunately no turtle burgers this time around!) and they all disappeared. I’m taking that as a good sign as in my experience, five guys don’t eat eight or nine muffins if they don’t like them.
Date Sweetened Gluten and Dairy Free Plum Almond Muffins
1 c. almond flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1/4 c. coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. chopped dates
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 c. red plum puree (about 4 plums)
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 farm eggs (free run and organic)
2 plums, cut into wedges then sliced in half
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
Cinnamon for sprinkling
- Place dates, water, vanilla extract and allspice in a small pot and simmer on medium for about 15 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Take pot off the heat and let it cool.
- While the dates are boiling, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Puree plums in a blender and set aside.
- Toast the chopped almonds in a frying pan until toasted and fragrant. Set aside.
- When dates are done, blend until a smooth mixture forms. I added an extra 2 tbsp. of water to the pot to rinse out all the leftover date bits and added it to the date mixture to help my magic bullet blend it properly.
- Add the oil, eggs and plum puree to the date mixture and blend until smooth. It will become a lighter colour (I expect because of some chemical reaction between the ingredients), so don’t freak out when that happens.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry and add the chopped plums and toasted almonds. Mix until just combined.
- Spoon batter into lined muffin tins. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
- Let muffins sit in their pan for a few minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
What is your favourite type of muffin?