I consider muffins a pseudo-health food because while they’re often disguised as nutritious, in reality, they can be packed with saturated or trans fats, sugar and sodium. Some other misleading “healthy” snacks that come to mind are store-bought granola (often loaded with sugar and hydrogenated oils!) and protein bars (some contain high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils resembling a candy bar!). The power of making our own meals and snacks is in knowing exactly what we are putting into our bodies. Rolled oats and cinnamon can help balance blood sugar and manage cholesterol levels, while cashews are a great source of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants. To sweeten these muffins I used dates and a small amount of maple syrup (which I talked about in a past dessert recipe).
Now, if baking doesn’t seem to fit in your busy schedule (I hear you!), you’re going to love these muffins because a blender does all the work! So toss everything in, relax while they bake, and have healthy snacks prepared for the whole week.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chopped dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups water
- cinnamon to sprinkle on top
- optional: very ripe banana, berries
- Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
- Combine all ingredients into a blender (if adding berries, stir in after blending). Since my blender isn’t high-powered, I blend a couple ingredients at a time.
- Fill muffin liners to the brim with batter. Note: healthy, oil-free muffins like these often stick to the liners. Some tricks are to use silicon liners instead of paper, and to place a cookie sheet with water in it on the rack below the one with your muffins. PS. I would love to hear your tricks!
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and swirl into the batter.
- Cook in oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let muffins cool before removing from liners.
- rolled oats have a low glycemic load and are high in fiber, may help maintain blood sugar levels, and contain tryptophan which boosts serotonin levels for better sleep and a stable mood
- raw cashews may help lower blood pressure, “bad” cholesterol, and improve insulin and androgen levels in women with PCOS (as a tree nut)
- cinnamon may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol and decrease triglycerides in blood
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What tricks do you have for making non-stick, healthy muffins?