Love cake but want to be healthy? Try these healthy mini goldenberry and pear muffins! These fruity muffins are a twist on traditional fruitcake, which can be dense, dry, over-sweet and cloying. Instead, these healthy muffins have a light soft texture and have a gorgeous tangy flavour. They are also virtually fat-free, have no added sugar and are enriched with omega-3 rich flaxseed and optional protein powder.
The tanginess is provided mainly by sweet yet tart delicious goldenberries with some dried pear. Both are amazing sources of fibre, vitamins A and C; powerful antioxidants that protects cells from free radical damage and are important for healthy eyes and skin, tissue growth, metabolism, immune defence, and B complex vitamins (B1, B2, B6 and B12) which are important for energy release, brain function, a healthy nervous system and red blood cell production. So here’s to medicinal cake!
This recipe can by made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour, vegan by using chia or flaxseed eggs and they taste so good, no one will notice that they are healthy!
These mini muffins also freeze well, making them super convenient snacks for the working week, to cater for surprise visitors (defrost in the microwave for 1 minute!) and as pre-work out snacks. Their cute size also means they are popular for high tea and buffets. Just add tea!
Makes: 18-20 mini-muffins (or 10 large muffins)
Preparation time: 25 mins
Baking time: 25-30 mins
- 80g dried and pitted dates
- 50g dried goldenberries
- 30g dried pear
- 20g dried prunes or apricots
- Rind of 1 orange
- 125ml orange juice
- 125ml cold water
- 125g unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 eggs or flaxseed or chia eggs (mix 2 tbsp of chia seeds or flaxseed with 125ml of cold water and leave for 10 minutes to thicken to a gel).
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 50g of nuts of choice. Pecans and walnuts work well.
- 120g wholemeal flour (gluten-free if required)
- 25g ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- To decorate. Chopped nuts. I used chopped macadamia nuts.
- 2 tbsp protein powder (pea, soya bean or whey-optional, if not using, substitute for more flaxseed)
- For a spicier muffin, add ½ tsp ground cinnamon and ½ tsp ground nutmeg or 1 tsp mixed spice.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, 180° Lightly grease 2 muffin trays with a little melted coconut oil or spray coconut oil.
- Chop the dried fruit into small chunks and transfer into a small saucepan. (You can do this in a food processor if you wish. I like small chunks from hand chopping, which give these muffins some texture).
- Grate an orange for its rind. Add to the saucepan. Juice the orange and add to the fruit mix. Add the water. Stir and bring to the boil (this should take about 5 mins). The fruit will form a paste.
- Add the applesauce and melted coconut oil. Mix well. Set aside to cool.
- In bowl, mix together the eggs/ chia or flax eggs, vanilla extract and nuts of choice. Add the cooled dried fruit paste and stir to mix well.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour and then add the ground flaxseed, protein powder (if using), baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, if using. Stir to mix.
- Mix spoonfuls of the dry mix (flour mixture) to the wet mix (fruity mixture). Mix thoroughly.
- Using a tablespoon, spoon equal amounts of cake batter into the greased muffin tins. Decorate with a sprinkle of chopped nuts.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins. Allow to cools for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack to thoroughly cool. Enjoy!
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- Give these muffins a hint of cardamom; split the seeds of 2 cardamom pods, grind and add with the spices.
- Make a tea-bread like fruit muffin by replacing the orange juice and water with black tea.
- Decorate the muffins with seeds like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds or more orange rind instead of chopped nuts.