My youngest son used to have quite the sweet tooth. Dealing with this problem can always be frustrating. Starting early is always best, but if you are trying to make changes now, you can still be successful.
I call my technique “whittling.” Making small changes until you get where you want to be. One of those changes was introducing muffins like these. Whole wheat and natural sugars help keep you full and prevent blood sugars from spiking. They are an excellent substitute for cupcakes.
Do they still want icing? Try some different toppings, dried coconut (unsweetened) with a tiny sprinkling of raw sugar has far fewer carbs than a big dollop of icing. Not a coconut fan? Try toasted nuts. Even just the sprinkle of sugar will give them that little shot of sweet as they get used to not being slapped with sugar. Involving your family in the process is always a big key to success.
This change has been so successful that muffins are now a regular thing in this household. My son regularly includes one in his lunch and his lunch buddies are jealous. To keep him coming back for more, new combinations are important. So after discovering a dried apricot that is extremely good, it wasn’t much of a leap to put them in a muffin.
I have always liked apricots, but most dried versions are just that….DRY. Sunsweet sells a dried apricot that is much better. Think more like a dried plum….soft and plump and lusciously sweet. Something you really want to eat. The great thing is 6 apricots only have 15g of sugar. I have actually been taking dried apricots in my lunch lately because they are so good. Nothing I have ever done in the past.
Pairing the sweetness of the apricot with the crunch of pistachios is an age-old combination for good reason. They compliment each other quite well. A little sprinkle of dried coconut on the top adds to the exotic flavor and smells wonderful while they bake. My guys give these a big thumbs up.
So if you are trying to steer the sweet tooth members of your family towards healthier alternatives, I suggest you give this one a try. Makes 12 muffins.
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup AP unbleached flour
1 cup of crumbled shredded wheat cereal
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup crushed pistachios
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup sweetener (raw sugar, honey, maple syrup)
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup low fat milk
1 Tbs lemon juice
unsweetened dried coconut and raw sugar
Preheat oven to 400 F
Grease muffin tins, if needed, or use paper cup liners
In a medium bowl combine flours, cereal, baking powder, salt, nuts and chopped apricots. Toss well making sure apricot pieces are separated (you don’t want them clumping together) and well coated with the flour mixture (this will insure a nice dispersion of fruit throughout the batch). Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients and sweetener of choice until thoroughly mixed. With mixer on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Batter will be thick.
Use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with coconut and raw sugar, if desired. Bake to 20-22 minutes until tops are golden brown. Remove and cool in tins for 5-10 minutes. Remove from tins and allow to cool completely.
These muffins freeze beautifully. They will be completely thawed by lunch if you add them to your family lunchbox. A quick 20 secs in the microwave when straight out of the freezer will give you that fresh from the oven taste. Enjoy!
Be sure and check out all my shredded wheat recipes….they now have their own category!