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). This recipe, adapted from Pinch of Yum, is excellent. I bumped up the amount of spice from the original recipe since I like a lot of spice in my gingerbread. The increased amount of both fresh ginger and cinnamon give these muffins a nice spicy bite to them that I really enjoy in gingerbread. If you want something milder, feel free to cut the spices in half. Enjoy, and have a good week!
Healthy Gingerbread Muffins
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 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 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 11/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 11/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 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.