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Friday, March 29, 2013

Yogurt Oatmeal Date Muffins

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I love sugar as much as the next person (okay, probably more), but I’m making a real effort to reduce the amount of sugar I intake. Because I’m not going to give up (daily) dessert anytime soon, I try to make sure that I’m not adding more sugar than is needed when baking. Of course, sometimes you just want the full amount of sugar in your chocolate chip cookies to give them that extra chew and classic taste. But more often than not, the amount of sugar in a recipe can be reduced with no adverse effect on flavor or texture.
These muffins don’t start out with a ton of sugar to begin with, but I really took this sentiment to the extreme when I completely forgot the sugar the second time I made these. It wasn’t until I’d filled each muffin cup (a double batch, no less!) and licked a bit of batter from the spoon that I realized my mistake. I quickly sprinkled a bit of raw sugar on top of each muffin, stuck them in the oven, and hoped for the best.
While they were unsurprisingly not all that sweet, they actually tasted fine. The sugar crystals on top of each muffin helped, as did the sprinkle of raisins throughout, but even without sugar in the batter, they weren’t a disaster…and I didn’t feel guilty eating them for breakfast! If you think about it, I don’t add sugar to my oatmeal or my yogurt when I eat them plain, so it wasn’t such a far stretch to omit it from my oatmeal yogurt muffins. I have included the sugar in the recipe below, but feel free to omit and sprinkle with raw sugar instead!

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Yogurt Oatmeal Date Muffins
heavily adapted from Taste of Home

-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1 cup old fashioned oats
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-3/4 cup Greek yogurt
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-1 cup dried chopped dates

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. In a separate bowl combine the egg, yogurt, and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined. Fold in the chopped dates.
3. Divide the batter amongst the prepared muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.