Sugar Free Dates & Coffee Muffins

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free.

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free.Coffee or “gogo juice” as Mark likes to call it is a must have for most of us each morning. We drink it to boost our energy levels so we can start to face the day ahead… but this is only partially true isn’t it?

In the last few months the new “healthy me” hasn’t found the need for a cup of coffee in the mornings. Most days I have a protein shake packed with matcha and I am just as ready to go, yet I still have my coffee each day simply due to its unique flavour. Coffee is a wonderful ingredient not only for drinking but for cooking and baking too… tiramisu, cheesecakes, truffles, these are all delicious desserts made with coffee and if you are a coffee lover you really should give them all a try some day… but for now… back to earth and my muffins 😉 so what do I need I hear you ask…

Ingredients:

  • 250g dates; finely chopped
  • 200ml full fat milk*
  • 50ml very strong espresso from good quality coffee
  • 140g white flour
  • 2 eggs; beaten lightly
  • 2tbsp coconut oil; rounded
  • 2tbsp coconut nectar
  • 2tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

*If you aren’t a huge fan of full fat milk, you can use any milk you fancy or even a water but full fat milk adds something a bit special to these muffins; I am not quite sure (apart from he taste) what it is but it does make a world of difference.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones. The recipe will make 10 full size muffins but I assume there isn’t a 10 muffin tin out there.

Brew 50ml of strong, good quality coffee (Lavazza is a perfect choice). If you make it from espresso make it a triple or even a quadruple shot.

In a medium size cooking pot place the dates add milk and coffee and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 3-5 minutes or until all liquid has incorporated into the fruit and don’t forget to stir ever so often to reduce the risk of any sticking.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In the meantime, sift your flour and cocoa powder and mix with bicarbonate of soda then in a separate small bowl or a mug beat the eggs.

Now back to our dates…

Add two heaped table spoons of good quality raw virgin coconut oil and stir until melted and mixed in, finally add the coconut nectar and again stir until incorporated into the mix.

Fold in the dry ingredients being the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda mix, finally add the eggs and stir until fully combined but not over mixed.

Use a table spoon or an ice cream scoop and spread your batter evenly between 10 muffin cases. You can make 12 muffins if you have a mild case of OCD but they are going to be slightly more flat and just a bit on the small size.

Pop into your earlier preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes at 180C fan. In case you made 12 muffins check them 1 or 2 minutes earlier just to be on the safe side.

The muffins should be firm to the touch and a toothpick pushed into the middle of one should come out dry and clean.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from the baking tray and place on a wire rack allowing them to cool completely.

Serve and enjoy!

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free. Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free. I have to admit with my podding (aka listening to my Slimpod) I hardly ever eat sweets lately and if I do I find that half of something is usually more than enough… well this wasn’t the case with these muffins… I had two as soon as they became eatable (aka cool enough to eat without burns or blisters) and then finished half of Marks one whilst he was distracted… ooops! These are by far my most favourite sugar free creation to date.

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins

Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day.

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. New year, new me… and yes, I am still on my journey to a healthier eating me. The main goal is to try and eliminate sugar, especially refined ones. These muffins do not contain any sugar or any sugar substitutes, they are simply sweetened by the dry fruits included in them, so all natural and much friendlier for our body. Despite not having a need for a wheat free diet I’ve decided to use a spelt flour to up the nutty flavour… the results are truly yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 100g dates; chopped
  • 75g raisins
  • 50g prunes; chopped
  • 50g pecans; chopped
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 140g spelt flour
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2tbsp coconut oil; rounded
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4tsp salt

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones.

In a medium size cooking pot place the dates, prunes and raisins (Whitworths dry fruit selection is perfect for baking), add coconut milk and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until all milk has incorporated into the fruit.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a meantime, sift your flour and mix with bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the eggs.

Now back to our fruit…

Add two heaped table spoons of good quality raw virgin coconut oil and stir until melted and mixed in.

Add salt and vanilla essence and stir well.

Finally fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda mixture, add the eggs and nuts and stir until fully combined but do not over mix it.

Use a table spoon and scoop one heaped tablespoon of mixture into each muffin casing.

Pop into earlier preheated oven and bake for 20-22 minutes at 180C fan.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from baking tray and place on wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. Enjoy!

Baking with ProCook – Date and Walnut Loaf

Date and Walnut Loaf
Date and Walnut Loaf

We are in the process of testing the full silicone baking range from ProCook – all 6 pieces of it… At first we thought that we will make something we normally bake, you know one of our favourite recipes, but once the bakeware arrived we noticed that on the external packaging with every mould there was a recipe on the back, a suggested use of the mould… so we decided that it would be good to try and re-create them.

Today is day one of our adventure with ProCook and so we created a Date and Walnut Loaf following the easy steps as provided on the back of the packaging.

Date and Walnut Loaf Recipe - really easy to follow
Date and Walnut Loaf Recipe – really easy to follow

I will write below all the ingredients and steps as seen in the pictures, just in case you want to make it yourself, so it is easier to copy/paste.

That's all you need...
That’s all you need…
... and now in correct measurements...
… and now in the correct measurements…

Ingredients:

  • 100g chopped dates
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 175g plain flour
  • 175g butter
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 25g whole walnuts to decorate

Method:

Ready for action!
Ready for action!

Lightly grease the silicon loaf mould; we had to do this as recommended for the initial use.

Soaking time...
Soaking time…

Place chopped dates in heat proof bowl and add 4 tbsp of boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes.

Mixing steps
Mixing steps

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Sift the flour and add beaten eggs and mix well.

Now drain the dates and add to the mixture with the chopped walnuts, and stir to combine.

Finishing touches
Finishing touches

Turn the mixture into a loaf mould.

Arrange walnut pieces on top and bake in an oven at 170C / 325F / Gas 3 for about 50 minutes.

Ready when inserted skewer comes out clean.

Time to cool down!
Time to cool down!

Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Cut to desired slices and enjoy!

Yummy
Yummy

This was first time we have baked a loaf like this, of course we have had a Date and Walnut cake, it is after all a popular cake, but this is the first attempt at creating one.

The task complete we are left with the impression that it must rank as one of the easiest cakes to make in the world, 15 minutes from initial thought to popping it in the oven. OK that may be extended if like us you own a tired old cooker that wheezes and puffs it way to temperatureJ.

For the hour of cooking, our cake took a little longer than the stated 50 minutes, the kitchen was filled with a wonderful aroma and we were positively salivating to try out the cake. Patience is a virtue often in short supply and this was one of those times…

Once cooked we let it cool for half an hour in the mould before trying to remove it, and what a pleasant surprise, it just fell out there was no need for cutting around the cake to help ease it out like in a traditional tin.

Then comes the part we all love and enjoy, no not the eating… patience remember, I am talking about the washing up! Even this is not a problem for they are dishwasher safe and come up a treat. One thing that you will need to do, or at least we do maybe it’s because of our dishwasher, but when you come to unload the dishwasher the moulds will still be wet so you need to air dry them on a draining board before storing, not bad as problems go hey. For those readers not blessed with the joy of a dishwasher rest assured the silicone moulds are very easy to clean; which is handy as you are not meant to use any scrubbing brushes on them or you will ruin them.

So in conclusion our feelings after day one of six are that the moulds do the job admirably, easy to work with and easy to clean. If you are a traditionalist and only cook in tins then our experience today would make us urge you to try this new fangled modern cooking utensil, you will enjoy the benefits brought from the new materials.