Try these healthy raisin muffins. Made from 100% wholemeal flour, containing loads of fibre but with no added sugar or salt. They get all the sweetness they need from the raisins, along with the nutrients and fibre contained in the fruit.
Makes: 12 muffins
400g plain wholemeal flour
100g extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
2 free range eggs
2 tablespoons yoghurt or buttermilk
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 teaspoon natural vanilla or almond extract
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
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Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a muffin tray or line with 12 paper cases.
Add the raisins and water to a saucepan on the hob, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes while preparing other ingredients. Let cool. (Speed up the process by transferring the mixture to a bowl and immersing the bowl in cold water.)
Add the flour to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients, except for the bicarb and sesame seeds.
Drain the raisins and reserve the liquid they cooled in. Measure 250ml of liquid (if not enough, add more water as needed to reach 250ml). Add the liquid and raisins to the flour mixture. Mix well. You may need to add a bit extra water or buttermilk to get the right consistency. The mixture should cling to a spoon. Finally, stir in the bicarb.
Spoon out the mixture into muffin trays and sprinkle with sesame seeds (or any other seeds or chopped nuts work well). I sometimes add a little squeeze of runny honey to each muffin half way through filling up the moulds.
Bake int he preheated oven for about 55 minutes. Check to ensure they are risen and cooked properly. Allow to cool on a wire rack. (This fairly low temperature gives a softer muffin than using a higher temperature for a shorter time.)
I use potassium rather than sodium bicarbonate (available on internet) to avoid adding any sodium or salt, but this is optional.