My sister is temporarily on a no-added-sugar diet so I’ve been experimenting with sugar-free baking for a while. She is also avoiding honey and industrially made juices which turned it into a bit of a challenge. So bananas, dried fruit and fresh fruit have all been summoned instead to substitute sugar and make my sister enjoy her meal anyway.
Here are two of the recipes I’ve come up with: oatmeal cookies and muffins with dried fruits and fresh apples.
2 years ago – Birthday Kovrizhka and Chocolate Chip Muffins
3 years ago – While Zucchini Are in Season…
4 years ago – Italian Delicacies a la Russe
5 years ago – Fruit Post
Sugarless Oatmeal Cookies
- about 300 g old-fashioned oatmeal, roughly ground (or a mixture of oats, rye, barley and wheat flakes) plus some quick-cooking oats, whole
- 60 g butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 banana, preferably overripe
- dried apricots and dates, chopped
- sesame seeds, ground
- mixed nuts, roughly ground
- optional add-ins: ground flax seeds (aka coarse flaxmeal), flax bran*, wheat germ
- 1 tsp baking powder
- cinnamon, cardamom
- pinch of salt
First, beat butter with the banana and eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients in no particular order (I added while quick-cooking oats last). Adjust the amount of flour and/or add-ins according to the consistency. Cover and Let chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. Then form dough balls (preferably the size of a small tangerine) and place on a baking mat / baking parchment. The cookies won’t spread so mo need to space them a lot. Slightly flatten the balls with your finger.
Bake in the preheated oven at 180-190 ‘C for about 15 minutes (depending on size). My cookies did not brown much on the top but looked apparently cooked on the bottom.
Remarks: Add more dried fruits for a sweeter result. These smell delicious in the oven!
Result: Cheeeewy cookies for those on a sugar-free diet; for sweet-tooth people these cookies won’t be as attractive though they definitely contain quite a lot of nutrients and healthy stuff.
And here’s the other recipe:
Sugarless Fruit Muffins
- 3 small eggs
- 100 g dried apricots
- A handful of dates
- A handful of hazelnuts, toasted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 150 ml sour cream (smetana)
- 50 ml sunflower seed oil
- Flax bran*, wheat germ, ground flax seeds (aka coarse flaxmeal), ground old-fashioned oatmeal
- 200 g all-purpose flour, adjust the amount accordingly
- A tangerine, peeled and chopped
- Half an apple, diced
- Sesame seeds, for decoration
Scold dried fruits with boiling water, drain, pour some more hot water and let them soak (I usually use a colander placed on a deep bowl). When they get soft enough, drain them (you can use the water in the recipe but I chose sour cream instead) and stone the dates.
In a blender, reduce dried apricots and hazelnuts into a sort of chunky puree (I left dates un-blended). Beat eggs with sour cream, then beat in the oil. Add the fruit and nut mixture into the eggs. Thoroughly mix baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into the flour and add it to the eggs and fruit mixture. Add the extras (ground oatmeal, bran, germ, flaxmeal) and the dates. In a sort of a last-minute inspiration, add in chopped tangerine and some apple. Mix well but do not overmix.
Preheat the oven to 210’C. Divide the batter into the muffins cups and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake for about 17-20 minutes (mine were baking on the upper shelf together with bread below them). Left sit in the cups a bit and then leave them cool on a wooden cutting board.
Remarks: I added flaxmeal hence this somewhat darkish colour but you can add any healthy extras you desire. Same applies to the dried fruits, nuts and the last-minute ingredients you throw in – choose them to your liking but don’t forget to check that the dried fruit do not contain added sugar (sometimes they do add it to the cranberries). You can also add extra chopped dried apricots or mash in a banana for a sweeter result.
Result: Though you have to be on a no-sugar diet to appreciate these in terms of their very low sweetness, the muffins are soft, good in texture (not rubbery as I feared) and they rose nicely.
Adding these recipes to my Sweet collection.
*Flax bran – a recently discovered flax seed-derived thing, looks like very roughly ground golden flax seeds. Might be just a new name for coarse golden flaxmeal (as opposed to the more traditional ‘dark’ flaxmeal). Been adding it to my sweet baking.
This post was made using mobile phone pictures. But I think I’d rather keep to my good ol’ camera!