Friday, June 8, 2012

Michel's Spa Muffins

Well its finally Friday and today I am off to Dallas for some appointments as well as visits to a few specialty stores.  After that indulgence on Wednesday, I decided I would turn to something a bit more on the healthy side.

The particular recipe comes from a chef at spa located north of San Diego called Cal-a-Vie and found in the RSVP section of Bon Appetit.  The muffins are a good example of some of the healthy cuisine that this place has.  I have been looking around at the spa's website.

If you glance at the ingredient list below, you will realize that they are packed with all that a person needs to get going in the morning and to stay satisfied until lunch.  The muffins really do have some great textures and flavors.   A few things that you really will not miss with these is the butter, eggs and sugar.

I am particular about "healthy" muffins and too much grain or bran can really be a turn off.  However, this muffin does have a good balance, so it will be added to the healthy favorites here.  Also, they are a cinch to make, which is even more of a motivator to pull this recipe out.  This recipe makes about 14-16 muffins.

Michel's Spa Muffins
adapted from Bon Appetit, prior to 2005

1/4 cup honey
2 tbs vegetable oil
2/3 cup plain non fat yogurt
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 tbs lemon zest
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1 cup shredded bran cereal (I used all bran)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your pans according to your preference.  You can grease the top edges and line, grease the whole cavity or use a non stick pan.

Boil about 1 1/2 cups of water and place raisins or dried cranberries in a bowl and pour over the top.  Let sit to soften for about 15 minutes.  Then drain and use a paper towel to pat dry.  Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Stir in the bran and sesame seeds.  Form a well in the middle of the dry mixture.

Then take out a smaller bowl and mix together the first eight ingredients listed above.  Pour this mixture into the well of the dry mix.  Fold together until no more dry streaks remain.

Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, fill muffin cavities with batter.  Place pan in oven and bake until tester comes out clean.  Baking time is about 18-20 minutes.  Remove and let cool for one minute then transfer to rack to finish cooling.  These can be served warm or at room temperature.

Tips and Notes:
1.  I found that these do stick to the liners, so when baking you may want to opt not to use liners.
2. The batter does not rise like cake batter would, so you can fill the cavities full.
3. I mashed my banana but I think it would be better distributed throughout the muffins if the banana was pureed.
                         **LAST YEAR: Amaretto Choc Chip Bundt Cake**