Sunday, January 8, 2012

Recipe Makeover: Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Last year, I became completely obsessed with this blood orange chocolate chunk muffin recipe after reading about a new blog in town White on Rice Couple in the Sunset magazine.  Throughout citrus season, I made their recipe and loved it.  The flavors were just so fresh, the texture so fluffy and spot on for my morning and because it had fruit in it, I felt it was a pretty good breakfast.

Well, I think it's pretty common knowledge now that I've lost over 20 lbs since July 2011.  I'm using Weight Watchers--a program I always admitted was not for me because I couldn't drink my milk or have any fruit.  But recently, they changed the program to allow many fruits and vegetables to have no point values at all so that people would still get the nutrients they needed on good foods instead of skipping them altogether.  On a trip to Las Vegas in July, I weighed myself and learned I was 10lbs greater than I had thought.  This had to change I decided and I followed in the footsteps of my friends Kate & Jon and stepped on over to WW and joined up.

Following the program has not been nearly as difficult as I expected.  I really found that I learned how to moderate my eating and limit my consumption of terrible foods that taste wonderful (pizza) to one time per week at the most and increase my consumption of free foods (blackberries/blueberries/raspberries) so that when everyone at the office was snacking, I could too--on little bursts of delicious sweetness to hold me over until dinner.

I also learned that some of my favorite recipes really aren't that healthy.  For instance, my favorite muffin of 2011 turned out to be 7 points! That's a lot of points for one muffin when it's not that filling in the first place (for your comparison, I get 28 points a day, although there are also flex points I can use each week).  The problem is, citrus season is upon us and I WANTED my favorite muffin.  So I decided that I would have my muffin but I would revise the recipe to make it a more reasonable breakfast points value (I aim for 3-5 points for breakfast because breakfast is NOT my favorite meal of the day).

This is the first time I've ever done a recipe makeover. I think the results taste just like the real thing except maybe I cooked them a dash too long.  I will revise the cooking time here so that when you make them you can bake them just right!

1 Muffin = 4 Points+

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Muffins
*These muffins can be made with any citrus fruit of your choice. This time I used regular oranges because blood oranges are apparently not yet in season. The flavors are still excellent, although a little more orangy than when using the scarlet beauties.

Yield 12 muffins
1 C whole wheat whole grain flour
3/4 C all purpose white flour
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4t sea salt
grated zest of 3 blood oranges (I used 3 small oranges for the zest)
3oz dark chocolate, cut into small chunks
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce (measure in a liquid measuring cup)
2/3 C fresh blood orange juice (I used the same 3 small oranges AFTER zesting and also juiced 1 large orange as I was short)
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a 12-cup regular muffin pan with muffin liners or if necessary grease with cooking spray
2. In a large bowl, mix together the first 7 ingredients. Stir in chocolate chunks and combine.
3. In a smaller bowl combine applesauce, orange juice, extract and eggs.  Make sure to beat the eggs to fully combine.
4. Pour liquid mixture into dry and mix with a spoon until just combined being sure to scrape the flour from the bottom and edges of the bowl.
5. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tins into rounded scoops--these muffin cups will be very full and that will make them into rounded muffins in the oven.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean
7. Cool slightly before serving.  When the muffins are completely cooled, store them in a ziploc bag or airtight container. These also freeze well.  If you freeze them you can defrost one the night before on the counter or in the microwave. I think they taste best when warmed because the chocolate gets all melty

What did I change?
1/2 C butter became 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce.  The butter added 24 points to the recipe, the applesauce is worth 0 points
1 C all purpose flour became 1 C whole grain whole wheat flour. This actually only shaved off 1 point from the recipe but I had this whole wheat flour I wanted to use so I did it
6 oz Chocolate became 3 oz chocolate.  I don't remember how this changed the points value but I do know that it was significant.  While dark chocolate is high in antioxidants it is still dessert.


Jenny said...

Great work at making over a favorite of yours!

Chris said...

This is wonderful! I'm bookmarking for the future! Yay for eating healthier!