Being a mother of a 6 year old, we often have full house. Sleep-over friends, play afternoon friends or just the neighborhood kids, all have become a part of our household. When we are at home, our front door remains unlocked and Soeren’s friends have gotten used to ringing once and then just coming in.
I cannot tell you how many times I have jumped out of my skin when I come racing downstairs to find a kid in my kitchen who is not my son. Yeah – that’s the first place they all head to. It does not surprise me – it’s where all the goodies are stored after all.
Soeren once said that he did not know if his friends always came over because of him or because of the treats they get here!
It's almost like déjà vu. Growing up, I often remember having loads of friends visiting at any given time. We too gathered in the kitchen, mostly around the refrigerator because that is where my mother’s cakes or the pastries from the hotel my dad worked in, were to be found.
Recently I was organizing a few family/friends pictures taken this year. Several of them were of Soeren and his buddies “at home” and almost all of them were located in the kitchen! It prompted me to dig out a few of my old pictures from back then and guess what? Most of them were taken in the kitchen! Seriously, imagine the favorite hang-out for 6-13 year olds being a friend’s parent’s kitchen. Is that weird?
Having so many kids around the house, it’s important for me to have sensible, healthy and low-sugar treats on hand. I watch what my son eats and pay attention to his sugar intake so why should I go about carelessly when other kids are visiting? Any mother will know, for kids, cookies and muffins rule and here I try to be a sneaky mum. I often will substitute agave syrup or maple syrup for sugar or simply reduce the sugar amount drastically and allow the sweetness of the fruit to sweeten the pastries and cookies.
Often they do not even realize that they are taking in a lot less sugar. They just find that the muffins or cookies taste great.
One favorite among Soeren’s clan are these chocolate and orange muffins. Looking at them one would think these chocolate and orange muffins are nothing out of the ordinary – but you see there must be. Because I am always prompted to make a batch of these muffins. “When will you be making those orange flavored muffins with the chocolate chunks again, Ms. K?” Made with a mixture of whole wheat flour and regular all-purpose flour the muffins are nuttier in flavor and rustic in appearance. With just 50g of Muscovado sugar they really deserve the "low-sugar" title!
I have no problem making these chocolate and orange muffins over and over – besides being easy to make, I do not have a guilty conscience and the kids love the hassle-free, low-sugar treat.
125g all-purpose flour 125g whole wheat flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 30g almonds, ground 50g Muscovado sugar Juice and zest of 1 organic orange 170g cream cheese 2 large eggs 60g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C. Line a muffin pan with paper forms or pieces of baking paper.
Sieve both types of flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Incorporate the ground almonds and sugar. Make a well in the middle of the flour-sugar-almond mixture.
In a second bowl, whisk together orange juice and zest, cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Pour into the middle of the well in the bowl containing the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula mix the mixture gently. The mixture will be more like a dough rather that the usual fluid muffin batter.
Fold in the chocolate chunks.
Distribute the muffin dough into the molds of your muffin pan, filling each mold only a third full.
Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes until they have risen and turned a gorgeous golden color.
Remove the pan form the oven and allow to cool. Enjoy these muffins as fresh as possible.
Tip: These taste great warm for breakfast with a hint of butter and some orange marmalade.
Giving their verdict for this recipe are the kids from Grade 1 A at Soeren’s school. Back in August when Soeren celebrated his 6 th birthday he wanted me to bake a batch of these chocolate and orange muffins for his class. At the end of the day there was not a muffin in sight. As I picked Soern up that day, I was greeted by the 17 kids “Thanks for the muffins. They were really good!” One cheeky one said “Can you bake these for my birthday next week?” I did not bake them for him but passed on the recipe to his mother. From one mum to another, I am now passing the recipe for these chocolate and orange low-sugar muffins on to all of the mummies reading my blog. Enjoy!
If you are looking for more low-sugar treats then make sure you catch this month’s Monthly Mingle over at the Daily Tiffin on the weekend. The theme is appropriately “ Low-Sugar Treats ” and that is exactly where a batch of these are headed over to.