Friday, 3 January 2014

Those health muffins

"Guess what's in them! Guess what's in them! You'll never guess what's in them!"

This fun guessing game was how these muffins were first presented to me as I walked in through the door from work.

"Those health muffins"

They contain a curious ingredient: butternut squash. Yep, that funny looking vegetable you pick up at the supermarket and snigger at. Don't deny it. We all do it. Amazingly, it adds a bit of sweetness and moisture to the mix; a dose of Vitamin A to help you see the potholes on those dark, winter runs; and plenty of dietary fibre to keep your colon moving like a marching band.

The original recipe is this one by Jamie Oliver; with a bit of trial and error, I've replaced the sugar with dried fruit. The spelt flour and milled seed mix gives a nice nutty taste but you could follow the original recipe with 300g of plain flour (or gluten free rice/potato flour). I didn't ice these like Mr Oliver suggests but I think a bit of peanut butter works well instead.

Cake won't make you thin (thank goodness for that) but occasionally it's nice to make something that gives back a bit more than it takes. Known in my household as "those health muffins", the recipe for these cakes took a bit of getting my head around at first: I believe in the principle that if the mix tastes good then the cake will too. In reality, this recipe's healthiness stems mostly from the fact that I have no interest whatsoever in eating this mixture in its ore form - when you make it, you'll see why.

The mixture doesn't rise much so you can afford to be generous when adding it to the tins. If you want to make 12 mega-muffins, you may want to try these tall muffin cases (made from 15cm squares of greaseproof paper shoved into the wells of a muffin tin, or available pre-made and much prettier from Waitrose, I think), unless you fancy cleaning a volcanic muffin eruption from the bottom of your oven. Failing that, I reckon the mix would stretch to 18-24 smaller cakes, baked for slightly less time. Once cooled, the muffins can be frozen, or they'll last a few days in an airtight container (less if you store them in your belly instead).


  1. These look good! I might make them soon, I've been looking for a recipe for health-ed up cake that doesn't involve bloomin' Stevia extract...

  2. Anything that can be used as a conduit for PB gets my vote...

  3. I have now eaten the very same 'health muffins' pictured above and I know them to be tasty and good.


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