On discovering coconut sugar for the first time at the supermarket, I sent out this instagram asking people what they did with coconut sugar. Some very delectable suggestions later, I realized that baking with it was the way to go. It has been a while since I concocted a dense and wholesome muffin for breakfast. Using coconut sugar as my sweetener, I baked a muffin studded with fresh strawberries and topped with a generous sprinkling of chia seeds and cacao nibs (two of my favourite breakfast sprinkles that work well in my smoothies and adorn my mueslis). Coconut sugar made from coconut palm blossoms is the world’s most sustainable form of sugar. It is a low GI alternative to cane sugar, rich in mineral with a deeply caramel flavour. This recipe has butter, because I love real butter! I have also tried baking these with macadamia oil and coconut oil. They turn out just as beautiful. They only keep well for 2-3 days in the fridge, but they might be long gone before that.
Chia is a member of the mint family. I bet you didn’t know that. Sarah Wilson has some great information on the health benefits of chia on her website. Cacao nibs are another favourite of mine. I try to use them in place of chocolate chips whenever I can especially when I know I can get away with it where the kids are concerned. I have stirred them through frozen yoghurt and a smoothie or two on a number of occasion. How do you use chia seeds and cacao nibs. I would love to find out more ways to use them besides muesli, salads, cookies and cakes.
STRAWBERRY COCONUT MUFFINS WITH CHIA SEEDS
A moist, wholesome breakfast muffin studded with juicy strawberries and baked with the goodness of coconut sugar makes a great mid-morning pick-me-up snack.
Makes – 8
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup coconut sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
125g butter, melted
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
chia seeds and cacao nibs to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 170C. Line 8 holes of a large muffin tray with paper cases.
Place almond meal, flour, coconut, coconut sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir to mix.
Make a well in the centre. Add the butter, lemon zest, egg and milk. Using a wooden spoon, mix in a clockwise direction gently until the batter is just combined and lumpy. Fold through the strawberries gently.
Fill each paper case two thirds full. Sprinkle the top with chia seeds and cacao nibs. Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 25-28 minutes until golden and cooked through the middle when tested with a skewer.
Serve warm with an extra sprinkling of coconut sugar.
You can substitute the spelt flour for regular wholemeal or plain flour.
You can use raw sugar instead of coconut sugar.