Low Fat Chia Bran Muffins | An Old Classic Made Extra Healthy

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia.

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia. 

I’m very good at buying super healthy foods. But then they often sit in my cupboard, or at the back of the fridge, out of sight and out of mind.

I have a package of chia that has been in my cupboard for ages. I stir a spoonful into my porridge from time to time but that’s about it.  I never did get into chia pudding (I’m not wild about the texture) so my progress through the package has been slow.

That’s why this recipe for chia bran muffins caught my eye.

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia.

It’s a classic bran muffin recipe. Made with natural bran and buttermilk so the muffins have a lovely light texture. The recipe gets extra nutrition from a few tablespoons of chia seeds. These muffins are low in fat and have no refined sugar.

It goes to show that making our favourite foods a little more healthy is easier than you think.

The recipe is slightly adapted from New York Times Food.

Chia Bran Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 ¾ cups boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups natural bran (also called baker’s bran)
  • 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup canola or grape seed oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Place the raisins in a medium bowl and pour over the boiling water. Let sit 5 minutes, then stir in the bran and the chia. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and molasses. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in the raisin and bran mixture and combine well.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture and combine well. (Batter can be refrigerated overnight).
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin pans.
  6. Fill muffin cups and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the muffin tops feel firm to the touch and are puffed and browned.
  7. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Nutritional info: Per muffin. Calories: 165.6, Fat: 5.8 g, Saturated Fat: .7g, Cholesterol: 22.2 mg, Carbs: 25.3 g, Sugar: 7.5 g, Sodium: 202.7 mg, Fibre: 4 g, Protein: 4.8 g, Potassium: 308.2 mg, Calcium: 83.5 g

 

 

Easy Almond Cookies are Healthy and Delicious

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

Easy almond cookies have it all: great flavour and texture, low in carbs and calories, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, Paleo.

The original title of this recipe is The World’s Easiest Cookies and they came by that name honestly. With just five ingredients (in my slightly adapted version) easy almond cookies take all of five minutes to mix up, the dough needs no chilling and they bake in 12 minutes flat.

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

Once cooled, easy almond cookies have a lovely chewy texture and wholesome substance.  Thanks to the ground almonds they feel more filling than many cookies and they’re also more nutritious (along with being low in calories and fat). But they still taste like real cookies.

One more thing, easy almond cookies are also gluten-free so a nice treat for those of you who are in a constant search of decent cookies free of gluten.

As well, they contain no refined sugar.

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

My son is crazy about these cookies so they make a great after-school treat (or a little after-supper sweet).

This recipe is just slightly adapted from the terrific recipe website The Kitchn.

Easy Almond Cookies

Makes 18 cookies

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 3 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the almond flour and baking powder together. Stir in the molasses, maple syrup and vanilla and mix until well combined (batter will be sticky).
  3. Scoop dough into a tablespoon measure and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, an inch apart.
  4. With the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, lightly flatten the tops of the cookies.*
  5. Bake until the cookies are set and the bottoms are golden, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the pan and then remove to a rack.

*For crisp cookies, flatten the dough balls into discs with the bottom of a glass before baking. Adjust baking time accordingly.

Nutritional info:

Per cookie: Calories: 46, Fat: 1.3 g, Saturated Fat: .1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbs: 6 g, Sugar: 3.2 g, Sodium: 10.2 mg, Fibre: 0 g, Protein: 2.8 g, Potassium: 140.6 mg, Calcium: 40.9 g

 

Gluten Free Gingerbread

gluten free gingerbread cake recipe is moist and flavourful

If you’re into gluten free baking, molasses is your friend.

Molasses helps to keep baked goods moist, especially gluten free baked goods which can often be dry or crumbly.

I have a few different gluten free flour blends that I use but this particular recipe was made with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose baking flour. It’s a blend that includes ground beans so can be stronger in flavour than other flour blends but that beany taste is masked by the molasses and the spice in gingerbread.

gluten free gingerbread cake recipe is moist and flavourful

In my oldest cookbooks molasses is often served with applesauce or the cake is simply buttered, like scones or biscuits. This recipe is from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook, first published in the late 1800s by the Boston Cooking School. (I have my mom’s copy, published in the 1950s.) This particular gingerbread is based on the Fanny Farmer recipe for Soft Molasses Gingerbread. I figured, the softer the gingerbread the better suited it is to gluten free flour. This gluten free gingerbread recipe is also free of refined sugar, sweetened only with molasses. That makes for great flavour and means that there is more molasses to keep this cake moist.

gluten free gingerbread cake recipe is moist and flavourful

Gluten Free Gingerbread (Fanny Farmer Soft Molasses Gingerbread)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • ½ cup sour milk
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Grease and flour an 8”x8” baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat combine butter and molasses and warm until the butter melts. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Whisk in milk then egg. Whisk flour with baking soda, ginger and salt. Stir flour mixture into the molasses mixture. Beat well.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes. Don’t over bake.

 

 

Low Calorie Bran Muffins That Taste Good

Low calorie bran muffins taste delicious and are high in fibre. No refined sugar.

Low calorie bran muffins are true 1960’s diet food.

My mom clipped this recipe for low calorie bran muffins out of a magazine back in 1965. It caught her eye because each muffin has only 152 calories. (That would be for a 1960’s-sized muffin, not the meal-sized muffins that are so popular today.)

It’s not all about the calories though. These muffins have a good fibre count and a descent amount of protein. Plus they taste delicious.

The recipe is from the days before processed diet food took over. Rather than using artificial food substitutes to drop the calorie count, the creator of this recipe simply reduced the fat content. Simple as that.

I took it one step further and made them as mini muffins because that’s a better snack size in my house. The calorie count for mini muffins is 101 per muffin (18 muffins/batch).

This is a classic bran muffin, healthy in all the right ways. But they’re delicious too and hit the spot when you’re craving something that’s a little sweet.

Low Calorie Bran Muffins

Makes one dozen regular muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups natural bran
  • ¼ cup toasted wheat germ
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp oil

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together dry ingredients. Stir in raisins
  2. In another bowl combine egg, molasses, milk and oil.
  3. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  4. Spoon into prepared muffin tins.
  5. Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes (regular muffins) or 15-18 minutes for mini muffins.

Recipe doubles well.

We spread them with peanut butter for a healthy afterschool snack. If you prefer a more substantial muffin take a look at our recipes for blueberry wheat germ muffins or dense and spicy ginger muffins.

Nutritional info: Per muffin. Calories: 152, Fat: 3.8 g, Saturated Fat: .5 g, Cholesterol: 16.8 mg, Carbs: 29.2 g, Sugar: 12.6 g, Sodium: 124 mg, Fibre: 4.6 g, Protein: 4.4 g, Potassium: 415.7 mg, Calcium: 61 g

One more thing…

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