Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fiberrific Chocolate Muffins

Featured Ingredient: Fiber


Where would we be without fiber? Best not even ponder the answer, which would surely include the words “plumper” and “backed up.” Yup, we all owe dietary fiber a big, sloppy thank you. Why? Because reams of studies show that a high-fiber diet helps lower the risk for certain cancers, heart disease, and digestive disorders. Plus it can help keep us on good terms with the scale. And a 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving more than 89,000 subjects determined fiber is protective against unwelcome weight gain. Sadly, as the intake of processed foods has outpaced whole foods, surveys suggest North Americans consume only about half the fiber recommended each day which is 25 grams for women and 38 for men.

With fiber intake waning, I decided to try and create a fiber powerhouse muffin that doesn’t taste like cardboard. Here’s some of the ingredients that can turn your next muffin into a fiber machine.

Red Lentils














1 cup = 21 grams of fiber

Lentils are one of nature’s best sources of fiber. Red lentils are a great addition to muffins because they breakdown really fast when cooked and can be mashed into a puree that doesn’t really alter the flavor of the baked good.

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 cup = 10 grams of fiber

Almost always a better choice for baking than all-purpose flour which has had much of its fiber stripped away.

Chia Seed Powder














½ cup = 25 grams of fiber

Omega-3 rich chia seeds are absolutely brimming in dietary fiber. When the seeds are ground into a powder, it makes for a wonderfully healthy addition to baked goods. You can find chia seed powder in some health food stores or online at http://www.navitasnaturals.com/

Cocoa Powder














1/3 cup = 10 grams of fiber

Here’s more reason to love chocolate, it’s a surprisingly good source of fiber.

Parsnips



















2 parsnips = 12 grams of fiber

Here’s the wild card ingredient. I’ve got some parsnip in the community garden so I decided to shred it up and toss it into the batter like you would carrots. But earthy parsnips actually contain significantly more fiber than Bugs Bunny’s grub of choice.

Dried Currants














½ cup = 5 grams

Among dried fruit, currants are one of the highest in fiber.

Hazelnuts














½ cup = 7 grams of fiber

These actually contain more fiber than other nuts that are more often used in baking such as almonds and walnuts. They help give these muffins a rich, nutty flavour.

So after punching in the numbers, each of the muffins below has whopping 8 grams of fiber and could put a serious dent in your daily fiber quota. As for taste, there is no doubt these taste earthy, but they really do grow on you. A high fiber food with lashings of decadence indeed.

Fiberrific Chocolate Muffins



1 cup red lentils

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup chia seed powder

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground cloves (optional)

½ tsp ground ginger (optional)

¼ tsp salt

2 average sized parsnips, shredded

1 egg

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup dried currants

½ cup hazelnuts, chopped

In a saucepan, combine lentils and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until lentils break down, about 10 minutes. Mash lentils until smooth and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine whole wheat pastry flour, chia powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together lentils, parsnip, egg, sugar, oil and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Stir in currants and hazelnuts. Add more oil if the batter looks too dry. Divide mixture among 12 greased muffin cups and bake for 18 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. These will overcook quickly, so be careful.


5 comments:

  1. I can't wait to try these out this week - in school lunches! Bring on the lentil recipes!

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  2. I can't wait to try these out in the school lunches this week! Bring on the lentil recipes! Thank you, thank you!

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  3. THE AZTECS CALLED IT RUNNING FOOD!
    The Tarahumara Indians are an ancient tribe of super athletes that live in the Copper Canyon. Tarahumaran Indian Cirildo Chacarito showed up to a 100 mile Ultra Marathon over 30 minutes late. Cirildo wore his native garb including Hurache Sandals made from the tread of a tire and leather straps. He looked completely out of place amidst these world class Ultra Marathoners.
    The unlikely contender won the race 37 minutes ahead of the 2nd place finisher. To top it off, Cirildo was 52 years old!
    The Media swarmed around Cirildo and asked how he could run such an amazing race. Cirildo said it was the chia seed that gave him all his strength and endurance.
    The Aztecs discovered chia and called it "Running Food". Running Food Chia Flour is Micro-Milled™ Chia seed and is the healthiest raw whole food on planet earth! Running Food Micro-Milled™ Chia is a potent nutritional product. 8 X more Omegas than Salmon, 25% More Dietary Fiber the Flax Seed, 15 X More Magnesium Than Broccoli, 6 X More Calcium Than Milk, 30% more Antioxidants than Blueberries. It makes gluten free baking awesome!. The products are made at a Green + manufacturing plant, that is Gluten Free Certified and Kosher. The use 100% renewable sources of energy (solar, wind, water). We also have: Running Food Energy Bars, Chia Oil Softgels, Granola, Cereal,Pancake Mix, Blueberry Muffin Mix and more!!!! Check out the testimonials on their site - incredible! www.runningfood.com 315-685-2310 main ph.

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  4. Yummy! These muffins look great!! My favorite muffin recipe is for Bay State Muffins! I'm definitely adding yours to my "To Try" list! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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