As I was recently going back through all of my recipes to add them into my new app (which is doing awesome, thank you all for supporting it!), I was a little surprised to notice that some of my older recipes used a bit more sugar and oil than I would have liked. I mean, it was never a ton, but as my cooking and nutritional knowledge have evolved, I have stopped using sugar and oil almost completely. I’m even planning on revamping some older recipes to omit or replace the oil & sugar where possible.
What does that have to do with muffins? Well, one of my favorite recipes is my strawberry cornbread muffins. They’re delicious, but they have a quarter cup of both maple syrup and coconut oil. Ugh. Really? So recently, I decided to work some magic (namely pureed dates and almond butter for a sweet, rich, creamy texture) in order to make a new cornbread muffin that is 100% free of oil and sweetener. There is nothing flashy about these – they aren’t overly sweet or rich or anything special – but they’re the kind of recipe I’m making more and more lately. Simple, staple foods that actually make you healthier if you eat the whole batch in one sitting. 🙂
The most surprising thing about these muffins? They are fiber champions. I’m working on an article about the benefits of fiber (which would be my #1 dietary recommendation – get more fiber) and corn has a surprising amount. If you use medium-grind cornmeal (it has more fiber than fine) like Bob’s Red Mill, we’re talking upwards of 40 grams of fiber in this batch of 10 muffins (the average American only gets 15 per day).
Simple. Fast. Unprocessed Ingredients. These muffins are classic One Ingredient.
Makes: 10 muffins
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal (fine or medium)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup water (or more)
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 6 pitted medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 cup berries (any kind)
Preheat the oven to 350º F
Prepare a “flax egg” which is standard practice around here. Mix 1.5 tablespoons flaxseed with 2 tablespoons water and set aside for 5+ minutes until it turns into a gel that’s a perfect egg replacer.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, and a dash of salt. Gently whisk until combined.
In your blender, combine the almond milk, almond butter, dates, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar and blend until smooth.
Pour the liquid mixture into the cornmeal, along with 1/4 cup of additional water and the flax egg. Whisk / stir until fully incorporated. Unlike a wheat-based batter where you have to be super careful not to stress the gluten, just whisk to your heart’s content! At the last second, quickly stir in a cup of fresh or frozen berries.
[NOTE: Cornmeal doesn’t immediately absorb liquid as well as wheat, but it will as it cooks. This means it’s fine for your batter to be slightly more runny and gritty than typical muffin batter. Since all cornmeals are slightly different, you need to use a little judgement to get it right. You can adjust it by adding a tablespoon of water (if too thick) or cornmeal (if too runny) until it’s just right.]
Spoon the batter into a non-stick cupcake pan (you may need to grease the pan if it’s not non-stick) and bake at 350º F for about 30-35 minutes until they rise slightly and the edges just start to brown.