Since starting my Nutrition course I have been trying to find ways to include more wholemeal products into my diet as they have a lower GI value and release energy slowly to keep you going for longer. So I though why not start with something I love...muffins!
For those of you who don't like eating breakfast or simply don't have the time in the mornings, you can grab this tasty beauty and take it with you to eat on the go or for later in the morning when the idea of breakfast doesn't seem quite so repellent...(more on why breakfast is so important after the recipe)
- 5oz Self Raising Flour
- 5oz Self Raising Wholemeal Flour
- 3oz Caster Sugar
- 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1/4tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4tsp Mixed Spice (or cinnamon)
- A tiny pinch of Salt (you can cut this out if you are trying to lower your salt intake)
- 3floz Vegetable/Sunflower Oil
- 6floz Milk (semi-skimmed or skimmed)
- 1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg
- 2oz Dried Apricots chopped (around 10 apricots)
- 4.5-5oz Grated Carrot (roughly 2 large carrots)
- Zest of half an Orange (optional)
- 1tbsp of Apricot Jam (or Orange Marmalade would work well too)
- 1-2tbsp Sunflower seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180c and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.
- Weigh and combine all the dry ingredients into one large bowl, give a quick stir with a fork to combine and break up any larger flour lumps.
- In a jug measure first the oil and then the milk on top, then add in the vanilla extract and the egg, give a quick whisk with a fork.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients along with the chopped apricots, grated carrot and orange zest.
- Stir until just combined and no flour is visible, it will look lumpy but if you over mix the batter it will make tough muffins...and no one wants that!
- Divide the mix between 12 muffin cases and bake for 20-25minutes.
- Once golden and springy to touch remove from the oven and take out of the tin to cool on a wire rack.
- Once cool we can top the muffins! Gently toast the Sunflower seeds in a dry frying pan over a low heat, keep an eye on them as they will brown quickly.
- In a small microwavable container heat the Jam (or Marmalade) until runny and spreadable. Be careful it will be super hot!!
- Using a pastry brush spread a thin layer of the jam onto the muffin and top with the sunflower seeds, do this one at a time so the jam is nice and sticky for the seeds to...ahem...stick to.
(These muffins would freeze really well, once they have cooled pop them in a sealed bag or container and pop in the freezer. Once thawed you can add the jam and seeds.)
I didn't make these muffins all wholemeal as this can make them very dense so I went half and half, plus the carrots, apricots and seeds add vitmains and minerals which are great for the body too. There is still some sugar in this recipe as I think it needs it, although the apricots add a natural sweetness so you could cut it down more OR not add the jam glaze on the top and simply sprinkle the plain sunflower seeds on the muffins before you bake.
So many people skip breakfast (you know who you are...) and I don't want to be preachy but it really is the most important meal of the day! The body has been in 'fasting mode' overnight and so it needs a good boost of energy to kickstart the day.
If you don't eat breakfast then often by 10-11ish the body starts craving energy, this when when most of us will be tempted by sugary treats to give us that 'boost' when really we need something that will release energy s-l-o-w-l-y to keep us going until lunch.
Good choices for breakfast would be things that have a low GI value and therefore release energy slowly, such as porridge or wholegrain toast. (Or maybe one of my muffins!)