Sugar, it taste so sweet, and don’t we love it. Nigel Latta, a NZ psychologist, fronted a hard hitting TV series on issues facing all New Zealanders recently. One of the programs focussed on how sugar has become a major health issue in NZ. It contributes to obesity and can cause diabetes. Sugar is hidden in our everyday food. It is found in tomato sauce, marmite, bread, mayonnaise and baked beans. Even bottled fruit juice is full of sugar. The recommended daily limit as per the World Health Organisation is 6-9 teaspoons of sugar a day. After reading the ingredients list on the back of some of everyday food, and I can see that keeping to this limit would be very difficult.
How can we cut down on sugar intake? A good start is to prepare as much as you can from fresh ingredients. Make sure you are aware of the sugar you are eating by checking the ingredients on food labels. I couldn’t live without sugar, but I am looking always looking for ways to reduce how much I have.
The following muffins I consider to be relatively healthy, but when I calculate the sugar content, they still contain 2 teaspoons of sugar per muffin. The dried fruit and golden syrup provide just enough sweetness.
My sugar intake was tested the last time I made these muffins. I was making them one Monday night, so I had snacks for work that week. This time I thought I would melt the golden syrup in the microwave. I did my usual thing, and left one out for lunch and froze the rest of them. It came time for my mid morning snack at work, and I thought “ew yuck”, what’s wrong with these? I managed to chew my way through the whole muffin. I thought I could taste baking soda, maybe I used baking soda instead of baking powder, haven’t we all done that! I thought no more about until later that night. I found some golden syrup sitting in a glass container on the bench. The penny dropped and I realised I had omitted the golden syrup. Initially the muffins were not sweet enough for me, but in the end my tastes adjusted and I found the dried fruit provided me with enough my sweet tooth. So if you are brave omit the golden syrup, or replace it with honey instead.
You can be creative with these muffins, by adding LSA and changing the dried fruit and even the spices. I make them muffins regularly and they get you through the mid morning munchies until lunch time.
EVERYDAY HI-FIBRE MUFFINS
1 1/4 cups low fat milk
1 cup baking bran
1 1/4 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup low fat yoghurt
2 tbsp. golden syrup
1 cup dried fruit, eg craisins, apricots
Mix bran with milk and set aside for 5 minutes
- Combine together oats, flour, spices and baking powder.
- Whisk together egg and yoghurt. Gently heat golden syrup and combine with yoghurt mixture.
- Add yoghurt mixture to soaked bran.
- Add bran mixture and chopped dried fruit to the dry ingredients and mix to just combine.
- Spoon mixture into greased muffin tins and bake at 200 deg C 12-17 minutes.