Superhero muffins

January 5, 2022 at 8:03 pm (breakfast, B_minus (2 stars, okay), Monthly menu plan - brunch, Muffins and quick breads, Website / blog) ()


I still don’t have a non-dessert muffin recipe I love. I really want something I can freeze and pull out for a quick breakfast on busy mornings. Someone in one of my online parenting groups recommended some “superhero muffins” from a cookbook for runners, and I thought they looked worth a try. I’ve now tried the originals superhero muffin recipe, the chocolate banana superhero muffins, and the vegan red velvet (beet chocolate) muffins. I liked all of them and would make all of them again. There are over 20 more variations to try. Maybe I should buy the cookbook!

I first tried what I think was the original superhero muffin recipe, which makes a zucchini carrot nut muffin. The recipe calls for 1 cup grated zucchini from 1 zucchini, but I only used about 1/2 of a zucchini. I wish the recipe gave amount in grams! The recipe calls for 2 cups of almond meal, which is a lot! I used a 200g bag of dried almonds. It also has 1/2 cup of maple syrup, so 2 tsp. per muffin. That’s not as much sugar as a dessert muffin, but definitely enough to make them taste sweet. The recipe is quite rich. Along with the 2 cups of almond meal it has 3 eggs and 6 tablespoons of butter (so 1/2 Tbs. per muffin). But they didn’t end up greasy like the other muffin recipe I tried. Derek liked them—he didn’t even add jam or butter! Alma’s opinion was less clear. She just picked at her muffin at breakfast, but at lunchtime asked for another one and ate the whole thing. I froze the rest and will see how they do defrosted.

One thing I didn’t like—the recipe says it makes 12 muffins but it made a bit too much batter for 12 muffins. The muffin papers were so full the batter leaked under the papers and then got baked on in the oven. It took forever to clean the muffin tin.

Apparently they’ve since updated the original recipe. Here’s the superhero muffin version 2.0. Comparing it to the original it looks like they’ve changed quite a bit. They lowered the cost by changing from 2 cups of almond flour to 1 cup almond flour and 1 cup oat flour, increased the rolled oats from 1 cup to 1.5 cups (not sure why? there was too much batter already!), reduced the maple syrup from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey), switched from 6 Tbs. of butter to 1/4 cup coconut oil, dropped the nuts from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cups (or use chocolate chips), swapped the 1 cup grated carrot for 1 cup grated sweet potato, increased the salt from 1/2 tsp. to 3/4 tsp., dropped the optional 1/2 cup currants or raisins, and instead of the 1/2 tsp. nutmeg they also offer cardamom or ginger as options. They also seem to have dropped the vanilla?

Their newest cookbook, Rise and Run, has about 24 different varieties of muffins, and I recently tried (by Alma’s request) the chocolate banana superhero muffins. They call for 1/4 cup of honey instead of the 1/2 cup of maple syrup in the original recipe, but also have bananas and chocolate chips for sweetness. Again the recipe made slightly too much batter, but this time instead of overfilling the tins I made a 13th muffin in a ramekin. They didn’t spill over and the muffin tin was much easier to clean. I also left the muffin papers underneath the foil muffin “papers” and that might have helped as well. I thought these muffins were pretty good. I’d definitely make them again. They’re chocolatey and satisfying and quite filling. Alma said they were too filling, and next time I should make them into mini-muffins. I agree. When I just wanted something chocolatey and yummy I don’t necessarily want a huge super filling muffin.

There are a ton more variations to try—24 in the new cookbook. I’m curious about the vegan red velvet (beet) muffins. The lemon blueberry chia and spelt blueberry yogurt both look good, but Alma doesn’t usually like fruit in her muffins. I’m also curious to try some of the savory variations.

Update March 2022: I tried the vegan red velvet muffins, i.e., chocolate beet muffins. The recipe calls for 1 medium beet but I had what I thought were 2 medium-small beets and I didn’t have enough, so I added some grated zucchini to get to the 1.5 cups. Again I had too much batter, and had to make a few mini muffins. Alma liked the mini muffins, although she said she could definitely taste the beets, which she found slightly odd. I’d make these again. I found they satisfied my sweet tooth while still having a bit of substance to them.

  • 1½ cups grated peeled raw beet (supposedly about 1 medium, I would say buy 2 medium-largish beets to be on the safe side?)
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened full-fat coconut milk (see tip if your coconut milk has separated)
  • 1⁄3 cup coconut sugar (I used white sugar I think)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1½ cups almond flour or almond meal
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chunks (chopped from a bar) or chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Update September, 18, 2022: I made the chocolate beet muffins again. Here are my notes.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups grated peeled raw beet (I had one medium-large beet and after peeling it I grated it on my microplane grater. It made only a bit more than 3/4 cup of packed beet. But maybe since I grated it so finely it would have been more if I coarsely grated it? I added 171g of beet in the end. I think probably 200g would be better, and would have added more moisture so I could have not added the extra soymilk at the end.)
  • 1⁄3 cup coconut sugar (I used 59g of a light, fine whole brown sugar. According to the internet 1/3 cup of coconut sugar weights between 57g and 75g.)
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened full-fat coconut milk (I used 200g coconut milk, which was a but short of 1 cup, so I added another 25g soymilk. But the batter seemed quite dry so I added a bit more soymilk at the end, maybe another 20g?)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice (I forgot this!)
  • 2 cups oat flour (I ground it myself from quick rolled oats, and it weighed 205g. According to the internet 2 cups of oat flour should weigh between 176g and 218g)
  • 1½ cups almond flour or almond meal (I had a rather coarsely ground almond meal, and it weighed 168g. Maybe this should have been closer to 144g or max 150g?)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chunks (chopped from a bar) or chocolate chips (I used 100g chocolate chips, whereas I think 1/2 cup is closer to 80g?)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional, I used 57g walnuts)
  • 1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (mine weighed 35g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (I skimped a tad because I was using table salt, but Derek said they needed more salt. Alma said they were fine as they were.)

Instructions:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin or a 24-cup mini-muffin tin with paper liners and then tin foil liners. (We prefer these as mini muffins!)
  2. Grate the beet on a microplane grater or in a fine blade of the food processor. Add to a large bowl along with the tablespoon of lemon juice, the coconut milk, and the sugar.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, almond flour, chocolate, walnuts (if using), cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until firm on top and a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes for large muffins or 25 minutes for mini muffins.
  5. Store leftover muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven at 300°F for 10 minutes or microwave on low power for 30 seconds.

My notes:

I used my larger-sized ice cream scoop and had extra batter leftover. I ended up making a second batch with just 5 mini muffins, so 29 mini muffins in the end. I think I could have made the muffins just 20% bigger and it would have worked out, so next time I will use all the batter in a single batch of 24 mini muffins.

When I first tasted the muffins I thought they tasted not very sweet and rather coarse in texture, but relatively moist. I could barely detect any beet, but Alma said she could taste it and wouldn’t have wanted any more. I think next time I will try adding 200g of finely grated beet, so I will probably need to buy a 250g beet, to account for what I lose peeling it and the very end which is difficult to grate. The muffins could have been a tad richer. Next time I will make sure I have the full cup of coconut milk (228g rather than the 200 I added.

Even though the muffins aren’t super sweet Alma enjoyed them and Derek said they were good too. They are definitely very filling. I ate 1.5 mini muffins and felt very full.

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