Saturday, 31 July 2010

Anyone for cake? Diet-friendly lemon muffins!

I'm going on holiday tomorrow! AAAAH! Madrid is currently 38 degrees - so you can count on me to be utterly miserable, burned and whiny from the outset. Sadly I have several unfinished posts in the making, but nothing concrete except for this (and I am rather proud of it, if I do say so myself...) So here is a recipe I've hodge-podged together... Because beauty isn't just about makeup, it's about how you feel and how you are (was that the most twee sentence or what?!). And I know I feel great knowing I can eat something tasty and not be scared of the read-out from the scales.

My terminally sweet tooth led to problems during my (now-lapsed but soon to be reinstated) Shred period, and I was constantly in search of a little sugar hit to satisfy the delicious tastiness I'd had to cut out. I dreamed constantly of cake without the saturated fat and add-ons and bits which you just have cowering guilty nightmares about having consumed the tasty treat.

So, after having consulted various sources (and failed several recipes), I decided the culinary world's current creations were simply lacking, so I added a bit of this, changed that and substituted the thing next to the other thing. And somehow I came up with something amazingly delicious and low-calorie, and muffin-formed. Not perfectly-domed, mind you. These are rustic muffins with character...

And because cake is cake, I won't dither in the semantics and syntax much longer. Here's my recipe for lemon and blueberry (hold the poppyseeds!) muffins. Because beauty blogs aren't just about makeup... They're sometimes about cake. And diet-friendly cake too! (Don't tell anyone that until they've nommed theirs down though - otherwise they may view it with ultimate suspicion, like you're trying to stealth-diet them...)

Lemon and blueberry muffins (makes 12)
2 x large lemons
300g wholemeal flour
50g rolled oats
3 x heaped tsp baking powder
120g caster sugar (but you could use more if you like it a little sweeter!)
250-300g peeled and grated courgette
100ml sunflower oil
150ml skimmed milk
150ml low-fat vanilla yogurt (Rachel's Farm or Onken Bio-Pots work really well)
1 medium egg, beaten
150g blueberries
1 tsp vanilla extract (or more, if you love vanilla)
1 tsp lemon extract (optional!)

To decorate
125g icing sugar
Lemon juice

1. Start by putting the two lemons in a pan of boiling water. Bring to the boil and the simmer for 1 hour.
2. After the hour is up, remove the lemons from the water, cut off the end bits and cut them in half. Remove all the pips and place in a food mixer. Purée them, skin and all.
3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
3. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients - the flour, oats, baking powder and sugar and then mix a little to combine them.
4. In another large bowl mix the wet ingredients - the courgette, sunflower oil, milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon extract (if using) and blueberries. Mix well to combine.
5. Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ones and stir until just combined. You want it fairly lumpy, as a smooth muffin mixture makes dense, heavy muffins.
6. Spoon into muffin cases and bake for around 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean - but do not overbake as they will dry out. Leave to cool.
7. When cool, put the icing sugar in a bowl and add a few squeezes of lemon until the icing is the texture you desire. I like it quite runny so it forms a more drizzly glaze over the muffins.
8. Enjoy your guilt-free snack.

I calculated these to be about 288 kcal per muffin including the icing - but you could always leave the icing off...

For someone who was addicted to the 'skinny' lemon and poppyseed muffins from Starbucks (which are 400 calories, by the way), I think these hit the spot. They're much more lemony, and since these, the Starbucks ones just don't taste as good to me!

I think the amount of oil could be reduced for further calorie-saving in this recipe, but I've not tried it yet.

I hope you all enjoyed my minor foray into baking - my whole family has enjoyed these muffins without even realising they were not as naughty as they'd hoped!




  1. Diet cake? Count me in! I watched Cook Yourself Think or something like that and she made some sort of cake with grated courgette. She promised she coldn't taste it but then, she would say that, wouldn't she? Can you really not taste the courgette? Because, my dear, you may just be a lifesaver for me! xx

  2. Oh dear, apologies for my bad spelling. Way past my bedtime ;) lol xx

  3. @Lollipop YES! I watched that and my muffins from her recipe were a big fat flop, so I mixed a few recipes together and they were perfect! Genuinely, you can't taste the courgette. I definitely can't, as the lemon purée takes over any taste that they have! They basically substitute for the fat in the recipe along with the yogurt :) xx

  4. These look amazing! I'll definitely have to give them a go...and I agree about not telling anyone that they're low-cal, especially if I'm offering them to a male! x

  5. Oh! Are you coming to Madrid? I live here, hope you like it!!!x

  6. these look so de-lish!!! WHY OH WHY must my oven be broken!!! Have an amazing time in Madrid :)

  7. These sound fab, I will definitely have to give these a go!

  8. @LilyLipstick The first rule of dieting is you can't talk about dieting! I made the mistake of telling Kiwi they had courgettes in them before he ate them and he hates courgettes. He loved it from the first bite, but he definitely eyed it with strong suspicion ;)

    @Noris Madrid was lovely and we had a great time - it's still too hot though! :)

    @Jadegrrrl I hear tell your oven is fixed now (as you were eating delicious garlic bread the other night...) No excuse, miss!

    @elephantJuice Ooh, please do and let me know how they go! :)

  9. ahah TOTALLY going to try this, i was about to make pancakes with lemon and sugar mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

    ...i think this might be a tasty and healthier option!!
    Thankyou for the recipe :D


  10. @Lucy Ooh, let me know if it works and if it works for your sweet craving! Personally though, I'd totally go for the pancakes, whatever my health kick status. They're my weakness with lemon and sugar... x


I respond to all of your lovely comments, so be sure to check back or subscribe to email follow-ups, particularly if you've asked me a question!


Related Posts with Thumbnails