Do you have a sweet tooth?

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Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which the levels of blood glucose are too high. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 4% of Australians have diabetes and over half of adults are overweight or obese, placing them at a greater risk for diabetes. Consuming more food than is required to meet your energy needs is one of the factors that influences weight gain. In particular, sweet foods can be a source of excessive sugar and calories with low nutrient and fiber content. Recipe modification can be an extremely useful strategy to satisfy your sweet tooth and still get the added nutrients when making desserts at home.

Today’s dish is a popular Australian snack among adults and children – A Chocolate Muffin. The recipe for a basic chocolate muffin is highlighted below:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease the muffin pan with vegetable oil using an oil brush.

2. Combine 2 cups of flour, one cup of caster sugar and 50grams of cocoa powder in a large bowl. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter, one cup milk, two eggs, one teaspoon vanilla extract and stir until combined evenly. Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan.

3. Bake for twenty-five minutes or check if muffins are cooked using a skewer. Allow muffins to cool for five minutes before serving.

An enhanced nutritional content of this dish can be achieved by making the modifications noted below:

1. Line the muffin pans with liner, thereby cutting out the need to grease the pans.

2. Use whole-meal flour in place of white flour. To increase the fibre content further, add a quarter cup of bran, grated tea spoon of almonds and ¾ cup of unsweetened apple puree (found in the baby food aisle in supermarkets). The puree will enhance the texture of the muffin without adding butter, cream or additional saturated fat.

3. In place of caster sugar, use sucralose (Splenda) (in equal quantities to sugar) for baking. This is a non-nutritive sweetener and does not affect the blood glucose levels. Alternatively you could also use ‘LoGicane’ to sweeten the muffin. This has the same kilojoules as your table sugar but a lower glycaemic index.

4. Use low-fat milk and two teaspoons of margarine or canola oil in place of full cream milk and butter.

Just by making the few changes recommended above, you would have significantly enhanced the fibre content and nutrition content of your muffin. Additionally you would have decreased the saturated fat content and increased the poly-unsaturated fat content. You can now have your cake and eat it too – in moderation of course!
Shania Khialani
Medi 7, Suite 2A, 517 St Kilda Road (Cnr Commercial Road)

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