We are well into January now and I’m curious, how is everyone’s healthy eating plan going? Are you all still managing to stick to it, or are bad habits starting to creep back in? I don’t really follow any super strict diets as such. I just try to stick to a balanced diet and enjoy a little of everything. But being as cake obsessed as I am, sugar can be a bit hard to cut down. Hence why I love muffins so much because you can reduce the sugar without sacrificing flavour. Just like these reduced sugar banana cranberry muffins that I am sharing with you today. Often when I make muffins, I make reduced sugar ones and no one can ever tell!
I just want to talk a little about the sugar I have used in these reduced sugar banana cranberry muffins. I used a sugar called Demerara, here in the UK, I think it may be called raw or sugar in the raw in the USA. It’s basically a cane sugar that has been a lot less refined, has a lot larger crystals than regular granulated sugar. It has a caramel taste to it and is perfect for these muffins. If this sugar is too hard for you to find then light brown sugar would probably be the best substitute to use.
I love cranberries but they are coming towards the end of their season now. I made these twice, once with fresh cranberries and once with frozen and both tasted perfect. But if they are just to hard to come by now for you, then raspberries would make a wonderful substitution. You want a fruit/berry that has a little tartness to it as the banana is so sweet.
And the colour really does pop so well! But seriously the sweet and tart flavours do pair so well with muffins.
Oats & Flour.
Like a lot of my muffins, I like to add some oats. They are packed full of good vitamins and fibre and they do help to keep you fuller for longer, which is a good thing if you are eating them for breakfast. I use good ol’ plain / all purpose flour but a wholemeal/whole wheat flour would also probably work well if you wanted to make them a little bit more healthy.
- 50 grams oats (1/2 cup)
- 300 grams plain / all purpose flour (2 and ⅓ cup)
- 100 grams demerara sugar (1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium ripe bananas - mashed
- 2 large eggs - beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120 grams cranberries - fresh or frozen (1 and ⅓ cup)
- Preheat your oven to 220C / 425F / Gas mark 7 and line or lightly grease a 12 hole muffin pan and place to one side.
- In a large mixing bowl add in the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk it all together until well combined, then place to one side.
- In a large jug or another mixing bowl combine the oil, mashed banana, eggs and vanilla extract. Vigorously mix everything together until well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with a gentle hand bring it all together.
- Fold in the cranberries very gently.
- Scoop the batter into your prepared muffin pan, filling each cup ⅔rds full.
- Pop the muffins in your hot oven and leave for 5 minutes then reduce the heat in your oven to 190C / 375F / Gas mark 5 and bake for a further 15 minutes. Check the muffins for doneness at this point. If a pick comes out of the centre clean then your muffins are baked through if not then give them a further minute or two.
- Once baked through remove your muffins from the oven and allow them to rest in their pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to fully cool down.
- Stored in an airtight container these muffins will last up to 5 days. They also freeze well for up to 3 months.