Whole Wheat Muffins

For those moments when you are just about to reach for the biscuit tin or break into a bar of chocolate, think; 'New Year New You'! We all have sweet cravings and that's perfectly acceptable, but more often than not, it's important to consciously try and make healthy eating choices. With this in mind, I have teamed up with Parragon Books to showcase some of their fresh, nourishing and nutritious recipes that may inspire you to swap out foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats. Did you see my Warm Quinoa, Roasted Butternut Squash and Pine Nut Salad I posted earlier this year? Packed full of delicious, fresh ingredients which will fill you up from lunch until supper time! From savoury to sweet, why not have a crack at making these Whole Wheat Muffins?

So quick and easy to rustle up! Haven't time for breakfast at home? No problem! You can pick one up on your way out to the office in the morning (take a piece of fruit too, as the muffins may not fill you up entirely). Or, when you fancy a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, enjoy some guilt-free snacking. Find the recipe for these Whole Wheat Muffins in 'Power Snacks,' brought to you from Parragon Books Ltd, Love Food, © Parragon Books Ltd 2016...

2 cups of whole wheat flour (I used wholegrain spelt flour)

2 tbsp of light brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup of dried apricots (I swapped dried for Waitrose Soft Apricots)

1 banana

1 tsp orange rind and a splash of fresh orange juice

1 1/2 cups of semi-skimmed milk

1 large egg

3 tbsp sunflower oil

Topping

2 tbsp rolled oats

Maple syrup, honey or a fruit spread of your choice


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Fill a muffin tin with ten cup cases and set aside. Now sift the flour and baking powder over a mixing bowl. As you will be using whole wheat flour, you'll notice dried husks appearing at the bottom of the sieve, tip those into the bowl too.

Stir in the light brown sugar...

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Add the chopped dried apricots, or, if you are using soft apricots, slice those into biteable chunks and place in the bowl.

Grate the rind of half a large orange...

... peel the banana, mash with a fork and stir in a generous splash of fresh orange juice too.

Now make a well in the centre of the mixing bowl, scooping the dried ingredients to the sides. To that, add the fruits, beaten egg, milk and sunflower oil. Whisk together until you have formed a silky batter. Divide the mixture between the ten cup cases and top each muffin with a sprinkling of rolled oats. Place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes...

Once the timer springs into life, check on your muffins and if they have golden tops and are springy to touch, they are good to go! 

Retrieve your baked goodies and place them on a cooling rack...

Whilst they are still piping hot from the oven, brush a generous helping of maple syrup or honey over each muffin using a pastry brush. Or, if you would prefer to use a fruit spread such as jam, follow the same method!

These treats are best enjoyed warm, but can of course be eaten on the move, anytime of day! You may be surprised by how savoury they taste, which will be due to using whole wheat flour rather than plain or self-raising. However, they are packed full of goodness and knowing you can tick off two of your five a day by the time you reach the office will be sure to put you in a good mood!

I am really pleased that I used soft apricots as they helped the sponge retain some moisture. However, next time I would add two bananas into the mix, so that they pack a more fruity punch. In addition, I would also prick holes in the tops of the muffins so that the maple syrup could seep through and glaze the centres. If you have a go, I'd love to know how you get on and whether it's a recipe you would pass on and recommend!