Veggies In Dessert – Eggplant Chocolate Chip Muffins

If you missed my segment on First Coast Living, you can watch me talk about Veggies in Desserts by choosing the tab for Food (click the right arrow to see more tabs) and then scrolling  to Wednesday September 26th UNF Nutrition.

I showcased three desserts during this segment: Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes (see previous blog post), Eggplant Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Black Bean Brownies. As I mentioned, none of these recipes were my creation and you can find them at these links:

Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

Eggplant Chocolate Chip Muffins

Black Bean Brownies

The main points from my segment were:

1. Add vegetables to your day in any way you can!

Americans do not eat enough vegetables. The recommended amount for generally healthy adults is 2-3 cups per day and data shows we are eating 1.5-1.8 cups/day (2004 NHANES)! Sneaking vegetables into desserts can help us to baby-step our way towards the recommended daily amount – remember, it’s still dessert so it won’t get you all the way there!

2. Use vegetables to increase the nutritional content of your favorite desserts by reducing calories and fat, increasing fiber, and adding vitamins.

3. Methods (not covered in segment)

If using a puree, replace half of the fat with the puree. If it’s a liquid fat (oil) use 3/4 the amount that you are replacing and if it’s a solid fat (butter), use 1/2 the amount you are replacing. Reduce the oven temperature or check sooner than the recipe calls for or it might over-bake.

If using chopped vegetables, some have a high water content so you may need to reduce the other liquids in the recipe.

Now, on to my favorite of the three recipes – the eggplant chocolate chip muffins!

Start by making sure you have all the ingredients you will need on hand.

Ingredients for Eggplant Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients for Eggplant Chocolate Chip Muffins

Next, figure out how to chop that eggplant! Here’s a suggestion, start by cutting into smaller sections with straight edges so the vegetable will sit flat when you start chopping.

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

Now, peel the eggplant. Honestly, when I make my second batch of these muffins today (yes, they are that good!) I will not peel the eggplant and see how that goes… but the recipe called for peeling, so I did.

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

Finally, chop the section in half (again to give you a flat edge for safer chopping) and make smaller and smaller cuts. These pictures show going from the whole section, to half the section, to slices, to matchsticks, to a small chop.

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

How to Chop Eggplant

Finally - Chopped Eggplant!

Finally – Chopped Eggplant!

Moving on to the other ingredients, you will end up with four bowls of goodies. Top left is the flour mixture, top right is the butter mixture, bottom left is the chocolate chips, and bottom right is the chopped eggplant.

Ingredients Ready to Mix

Ingredients Ready to Mix

The beautiful thing about making muffins is that it is so easy! Simply make a well in your flour mixture (dry ingredients) and add your liquid ingredients. Be careful how much mixing you do! Gluten develops quickly once liquid is added to flour so you want to mix as LITTLE as possible while still combining the ingredients so there are NO DRY SPOTS of flour. Then fold in the extras (chips and eggplant) and mix just enough to distribute those extras throughout the batter. The mixture should be lumpy!

The Perfect Muffin Batter is LUMPY!

The Perfect Muffin Batter is LUMPY!

This recipe yields 24 muffins. Here they are before going in the oven

Muffins Ready for Baking

Muffins Ready for Baking

And after! YUM!

Eggplant Chocolate Chip Muffins

Eggplant Chocolate Chip Muffins

Compared to store-bought chocolate chip muffins, these have 50 less calories, 4 grams less fat, double the fiber, and we’ve added vitamins A and C.

Per muffin:

Calories 180
Carbohydrates (g) 26
Protein (g) 3
Fat (g) 8
Sat Fat (g) 3
Trans (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 30
Sodium (mg) 170
Fiber (g) 2.1
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 2%
Iron 4%

Original publication date: September 30, 2012 at http://newmotivationcoaching.blogspot.com.

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