I recently learned that my cholesterol is dangerously high. In lieu of going on medication, I decided to actively try and cut out a decent amount of sugar from my diet. Of course, there will still be plenty of dark chocolate. I mean, I haven’t lost my mind. There will ALWAYS be dark chocolate in my life. What’s more, I have a huge sweet tooth. Therefore, dessert will always be a part of my life as well, but I needed to find some recipes that incorporate sugar substitutions. Turns out, there is a lot out there. For the most part, bananas and dates are the healthiest options when substituting sugar in a recipe. Although they still contain a decent amount of sugar– like fruit– they also contain fiber, which slows down the rate at which the body absorbs the sugars from the fruit. Therefore, I have been making A LOT of (healthier) desserts lately to try and figure out what works and what doesn’t work.
One of my favorite things to eat around the holidays is gingerbread-flavored anything. I love the spices, along with the deep, complex flavor of molasses. I had a deliciously spicy slice of gingerbread loaf last week from a bakery in Manhattan. It inspired me to try and give gingerbread muffins a go, but with no sugar (other than the molasses, which I made an exception for). They turned out really well. My only complaint is that they are not quite spicy enough. Therefore, if you really want that bite that you get from a gingersnap cookie, feel free to double the amount of ginger in this recipe. If you are ok with a milder flavor, these will be perfect for you.
Healthy Gingerbread Muffins
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Yield: 22 Mini-muffins
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup molasses
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (sub 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
11/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Candied ginger, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or butter. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the molasses.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, yogurt, milk, ginger, vanilla extract, and orange zest.
- Add the olive oil and molasses from step one.
- Add the flours, baking soda, salt, and dry spices. Stir a few times until just combined. Scoop into a mini-muffin tin and place a piece of candied ginger on top of each muffin. Bake for 10-12 minutes (if making full-size muffins, bake for 17-20 minutes) or until the tops are puffy and firm to the touch. Cool for a few minutes before serving.