Of course, there are exceptions. Muffins are handy for grabbing on the way out the door early in the morning, so I'll often make these uber-healthy ones. This weekend I wanted something a bit more decadent but not as toothachingly sweet as your average muffin. I had a large chunk of fresh ginger in the fridge, so I started searching around for a good recipe.
I know you don't frequently see me lighten up recipes, but there are occasions where it's justified. You won't even miss the extra butter and sugar in these babies, I promise. They have a tender crumb and the most perfect balance of fresh lemon and ginger flavors. I added extra yogurt to make up for the lost butter and subbed half the all purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. We gobbled them up. The ginger plays especially well with homemade apricot jam.
Fresh lemon-ginger muffins (makes 16, heavily adapted from this recipe)
- A 2-ounce piece unpeeled ginger root
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest with some pith
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line (or grease) 16 muffin tins.
:: If you have a food processor, process the ginger until it is in tiny pieces. And yes, 2 ounces of ginger is a pretty substantial hunk. In my picture above, I used the entire piece of ginger. I was skeptical about leaving it unpeeled, but it was fine. Or, hand chop it into fine pieces. You should have about 1/4 cup. It is better to have too much ginger than too little.
:: Put the ginger and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture is hot. Do not walk away from the pan - the sugar will melt quite quickly. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
:: Put the lemon zest (because the recipe calls for zest with a bit of pith, I didn't use my zester but instead sliced off pieces of the lemon peel, leaving a bit of pith on, as seen here) and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the food processor and process until the peel is in small bits. Or, sprinkle the sugar over the zest and chop by hand. Add the zest and sugar mix to the ginger mixture and set aside.
:: In a mixing bowl, beat the butter slightly, then add the lemon and ginger mixture. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the yogurt and mix until blended. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix until just combined and relatively smooth.
:: Spoon the batter into the muffin cups so that each cup is about 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutrition facts - 129 calories per muffin, 4 grams of fat (2.2 grams saturated), 19.9 grams carbs, 1.1 grams fiber, 7.8 grams sugar, 3.4 grams protein