Skinny Chocolate Chip Fruit Explosion Muffins

007I just had to bake another batch of muffins this week…just one more.  I know..I’m going a little crazy.  I can’t help it! I had WAAAAYYY too much caffeine this morning. Thanks to my DIY friendship mug I made, I filled it up twice…that’s a lot of coffee.  When I came home this evening I got a crazy burst of energy and baked up a storm. I just really need to find the perfect combination of flavours, all baked into a little muffin of goodness.  This batch is kind of similar to one that I’ve already made, my Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins that I grabbed of Sally’s Baking Addiction, but with one huge difference: They are not chocolate chip strawberry, they are chocolate chip raspberry blueberry! And oh my goodness. Are they ever good!  I think I like them more than the chocolate chip strawberry, and I actually think I like them more than the Tropical Muffins I made the other day.  This muffin is like an explosion of flavour in my mouth…hence the name chocolate chip fruit explosion.  I bit into this muffin, and my mouth literally exploded. With awesomeness. In a good way.

So let’s talk muffins.  You know what drives me nuts? When people say – “Hey, cool, you made cupcakes”, and I’m like, “Oh no, they’re muffins.” and then they’re all “Pff. Whateves. Same thing.”  No my friends! They are not the same. They are soooooo not the same! But then they’re like, “Well what’s the difference?” So what is the difference exactly?  My usual response is, well….cupcakes are cake. And muffins are… so wait what are muffins? Are they bread?  I would move more towards bread…but there’s no yeast? So would they be a bread product? Quick and dirty – cupcakes have icing and muffins do not.  However…going into more detail we can see that there are other differences. “A basic formula for muffins is 2 cups flour, 2-4 tablespoons sugar, 2½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 egg, ¼ cup oil, shortening or butter and 1 cup milk. When the fat, sugar and egg ratio in a recipe reaches double or more than this, you have reached the cake level.” (Thanks Diana’s Desserts!) So I think I’m going to stick with “cupcakes are cake, while muffins are more like a bread with additions like fruits and chocolate chips.”

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So before I made my next batch of muffins I thought…what are some of my favourite fruits? How can I turn these strawberry chocolate chip muffins into something super duper fantastic.  So I thought about it. I love Strawberries…but I LOVE Blueberries. Aside from bananas, they are my favourite fruit. And raspberries are great with blueberries. And they are also one of my favourites…. okay I just love, love, LOVE fruit. I see another tropical form of muffin – you know, maybe throw in some mango with the orange zest and banana. Yikes – my mouth is already watering.

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Alright so back to the muffins – again, these are a spin off from my Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins.  The only difference is that instead of the 2/3 cups strawberries I used raspberries, and then added 1/3 cup blueberries.  Now I’ve made blueberry muffins before…and used frozen blueberries…my muffins turned out COMPLETELY BLUE.  It was weird…weird looking. I didn’t post those pictures or the recipe…but I will reattempt and I promise it will make appearance here at some point. So I cannot stress enough… USE FRESH FRUIT. The blueberries… some of them explode and when you bite into the muffin, it’s like a blast of fruity goodness.  Trust me. Always fresh over frozen.  Now just like my Strawberry Muffins, these are 140 calories per serving.  My diet appreciates that…but I’m also eating muffins galore so maybe everything is just balancing itself out? Something like that… they’re just so damn good!

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Skinny Chocolate Chip Fruit Explosion Muffins

makes 10 muffins, 140 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2/3 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Baking Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 10 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, gently toss the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and applesauce until together until no brown sugar lumps remain – a fork works well to break up the brown sugar here. Add the beaten egg white until fully incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined – do not over mix.  Fold in the raspberries, blueberries and chocolate chips.
  • Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Muffins will be lightly golden in color and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Mine took about 19 minutes. Allow muffins to cool and enjoy.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to seven days and can be frozen.

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Skinny Tropical Muffins

004Want to know what I made today? Another batch of Skinny Muffins! This time, however, they were tropical flavoured. Yes, tropical is a flavour.  When I say tropical, I mean they have banana, pineapple, oranges, and coconut in them! Oh my goodness they are so fantastic.  Miss Sally strike again! Yet another recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and I found a lot more that I’m intending to make in the next few weeks, including Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins, Sky High Apple Pie Muffins..and…wait for it…homemade Cinnamon  Buns. Yes people, I, Kelsey Bakes, am going to make Cinnamon Buns…from scratch…with yeast and everything…and like…I’m going to knead the dough. I’m actually kindof nervous, so I’m not going to tell anybody that I’m making them, just in case I mess up and have to throw the entire batch out.  I have found some helpful kneading tips online, but you never know, I may drop the ball and totally destroy them.   So as many of you know, a few days ago I stumbled across a Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe, and I couldn’t resist making them.  So naturally I had to try the others as well, and the tropical muffins were first on my list. I think my co-workers will be elated thanks so the copious amounts of muffins I will be bringing in over the next few weeks.  So let’s talk muffins.  Does anyone remember my first attempts at baking muffins?  The first was Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, which turned out well, but were a little tough, I believe I had very under ripe bananas and may have over mixed the batter a little bit.  The second attempt was Apple Muffins…and with that baking attempt, I learned how to measure flour correctly….don’t scoop, pour. I renamed these Apple Muffins to Mini Apple Crumble Cakes.  Di you know that by scooping your flour instead of pouring it (my pouring I mean spooning it into a measuring cup and then leveling with a knife) that you can use 150% of the recommended flour?? Fun fact.  Anyway, I’m really impressed with how these muffins turned out and I love how the last ones turned out….so that must mean I’m getting better at baking and following recipes! Right??? Right.

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These muffins are low fat, low sugarAND whole wheatAnd, AND. Guess what else?  Only 140 calories!  I know…I had to double check after my calculator read that number.  So my first step was to ripen some bananas. Yes. I had to ripen them. Bananas don’t last long enough in my house for them to do that by themselves.  I went to my local grocery store I bought some fresh organic bananas, as the non-organics were way under ripe…most of them were still green! At least the organics had some brown on them.  I then proceeded to microwave them.. I poked a few holes through the banana peel , and tossed them in for about three minutes.  The instructions that I googled said about 1.5 minutes, but my microwave is so old that it often takes twice the amount of time to heat things up than the instructions indicate.  Woohoo, life of a student! Okay, I can’t actually use that one anymore but I did buy it when I was a student, and refuse to give it up until the damn thing croaks.

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Much like most other low cal, low fat, or low sugar recipes, this one uses honey to sweeten it up (with 1/2 cup of lightly packed brown sugar).  The greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for oil and will help keep the muffins moist (with help from the bananas of course).  It also uses white whole wheat flour.  The creator of this recipe (Miss Sally) does not recommend using 100% whole wheat flour as it can make the muffin tough.  I decided not to argue and of course, followed the recipe pretty closely.  The only thing I changed was my cook time.  I have a very old oven..I wish I could get a new one..you know, with even baking all over, zero hot spots, a convection oven would be splendid.  But hey, it was free.  It was free and came with free hot spots.  I have to rotate my muffins in the last few minutes so that they’ll actually cook all the way through.  Anyway. The baking recommendations are 325F degrees for about 18 minutes.  I baked mine at 350F degrees for about 22 minutes.  I used the toothpick test to determine when to pull them. And they just weren’t all cooked at 18 minutes, even at 350F Degrees.

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Skinny Tropical Muffins

makes 15 muffins, 140 calories per serving.  muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to five days.  muffins taste best the next day.  these muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (I used 3 small organic)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • zest from 1 orange (do not skip this!!!)
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1 thinly sliced banana for topping
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (I used much less than this, just enough to say it was sprinkled on)

Baking Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray 15 muffin tins with nonstick spray. Set aside. **Note, that oven temperatures may vary.  I baked at 350F degrees for 22 minutes.  Do not use cupcake liners, as the muffins will stick to them.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.  Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the honey and brown sugar together – it will be thick and lumpy. Try to get out as many lumps as you can – a fork works well to break it up. ** I used my stand mixer for this part – it blended very quickly and I had no issues with consistency. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, and beaten egg. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently begin to fold it all together. It will be very thick. Add the milk slowly and continue to gently mix the ingredients together. The milk will thin everything out, but the batter will still remain thick. Fold in the orange zest and pineapple. Do not overmix the batter, which will lend tough, dry muffins

4, Divide the batter between 15 muffin tins.  Fill them all the way to the top.  Top each muffin with thin slices of the sliced banana, and a sprinkle of the shredded coconut.  Bake the first 12, then the last three in another batch. Fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water in the 2nd batch to ensure even baking. **love this idea! Bake for 17-18 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges.  **Again, oven temperatures will vary, always do the toothpick test before removing your treats and never start checking until the minimum recommended baking time has past.  Allow the muffins to cool completely.

006And there you have it friendlies!! Skinny Tropical Muffins.  You can find the original recipe here. The recipe was actually simple enough, and didn’t take much time to prepare and bake.  I give taste 10/10..these were fantastic and had a really unique flavour to them.  I never thought tropical muffins would be a thing…but indeed they are.  I like how different muffins can turn out, just by adding or changing a few simple ingredients.  I cannot wait to try more!

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So who would have thought that I would more over to the dark side of healthy bakes and skinny treats?!  I am loving how little time these recipes are taking me.  I have to admit, there were a few moments in the past month while I was busy creating nifty cakes that I thought I was losing my passion for baking.  These cakes and cupcakes started taking SO much work and consuming so much of my time, that I didn’t have time for anything else – but I’m loving that I have started this again.  Stay tuned for more fantastic recipes!! I cannot wait to test them out and then share.  Happy Baking!!!

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Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

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The other day I started poking around for some new blogs to follow.  I found a little gem, Sally’s Baking Addiction, that I discovered while exploring the baking world on Facebook, and I came across some FANTASTIC muffin recipes. I know, I know, I did mention that I probably wouldn’t be baking for a while, but it’s been a month since I baked any sweet treats and I got an itch to throw on my apron and get in the kitchen, especially since these muffins looked so damn good.  If you get a chance please, please, please check out her site, her recipes are drool-worthy.  

So anyone who knows me know that I am not a huge fan in calorie cutting when it comes to baking.  To me, baking means flour, oil, and sugar, and lots of it.  Reduced calorie baking just never seems right to me, and never tastes quite the same.  Anyone who knows me will also know that I am a stress eater, and after a, well, slightly more than stressful year, I may or may not be fitting quite right in my fave skinny jeans…and by not fitting in them right I mean I can’t get the damn things past my thighs. No worries, I’m working on it, but I have raised the white flag and surrendered in my fight against my bikini… I am now allied with it’s foe, the tankini.  So I was surprised when I came across Miss Sally’s blog, and saw a whole wack of low fat and low sugar baking options.  I was skeptical at first, but I thought, what the hell, my waist line isn’t getting any smaller, and Miss Sally promised that the taste was not compromised.  So, therein lies the story of my first low calorie baking effort: Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins.

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Let me just say, that these muffins are 140 calories each. Yes, you heard me right.  Another great thing about these muffins is that they are made with only 8 simple ingredients, AND they are a small batch recipe, making only 10 muffins.  I enjoy this because I am in a two person household, and there are only so many muffins I can force feed my boyfriend before they go bad.  I also love that these muffins are so versatile.  You can change the strawberries to blueberries, or maybe banana chunks? cranberries?  I opted to follow her recipe pretty closely, although I added a small banana slice to the top of the muffin for a little extra.

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So what makes these muffins so low fat? The recipe calls for unsweetened applesauce instead of butter or oil.  There is no real fat source in this muffin, but by adding the applesauce the moisture won’t be compromised.  I may try a few of her other skinny recipes in the next few weeks, or perhaps even switch this one up, and maybe the lesser calories will give me the kick I need to get back into gear and shed this 15 pounds I wish could just melt off of me.  You can find the full recipe here.

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Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

makes 10 muffins, 140 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2/3 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Baking Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 10 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, gently toss the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and applesauce until together until no brown sugar lumps remain – a fork works well to break up the brown sugar here. Add the beaten egg white until fully incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined – do not overmix. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips.
  • Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Muffins will be lightly golden in color and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Mine took about 18 minutes. Allow muffins to cool and enjoy.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to seven days and can be frozen.

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Pretty simple recipe right? It took me about 10 minutes to prepare everything, maybe less, and 18 minutes cook time – very quick and easy, not a recipe that would consume the better part of my day. Up next I will attempt Sally’s Skinny Tropical Muffins, and possibly even her Skinny Chocolate Banana Fudge Muffins.  Apparently, low fat or low sugar treats can mean tasty and flavourful; I am no longer skeptical.  These muffins were moist and tasted amazing! I couldn’t even tell that they were low fat. So take 30 minutes out of your day and bake some Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins. Happy Baking!!

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