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Strawberry Muffins

Try these delicious muffins while strawberries are in season or use your frozen berries in mid-winter for a taste of Spring.

When I discovered Raspberry Muffins back in April I read about Strawberry Muffins.  I had never heard of using strawberries in muffins so I determined to try them as soon as strawberries were ripe.

They are wonderful!  The fresh strawberry flavor really comes across.

The original recipe came fromwww.muffinrecipes.net in case you want to check it out.  I had to make lots of adjustments since I don’t cook with sugar and I didn’t want to use an entire cup of oil for muffins.

I was going to use a 1/2 cup of honey, but I decided to try them with stevia instead.

I never have used artificial sweeteners and I am just finding out about Stevia Powder in the last year. The Stevia plant is grown for its sweet leaves and is known as sweetleaf, sugarleaf or simply stevia. The powder is made from the leaves of the plant and has no calories or chemical aftertastes like other artificial sweeteners. It holds very well in baking and has no side effects like some of the artificial sweeteners do. The kind I buy is said to be produced using a 100% water extraction method, and contains no additive processing aids, carriers, or other sweeteners.

I buy a 4 oz. bag for $8.99 at Nutsonline. Even using stevia for baking that would last me a long, long time.

I order fromNutsonline regularly and find them an excellent company who really tend to their customers.

The recipe makes about 19 or 20 muffins.

When I started to take them out of the oven after 15 minutes the strawberry “juice” was boiling up in the muffin cups so I cooked them 5 more minutes.  They were extremely moist inside wherever the strawberries were, but the batter part cooked up nice and dry.  I think it would have been too done if I had cooked it longer.

These muffins are certainly a treat that I will want at least once during the year when strawberries are in and probably at least once or twice during the winter using frozen berries.  I’m sure I could improve on this recipe if I tried, but even as is ——–its delicious!

The only thing that bothered me about these muffins was the extreme moistness where the berries were. After thinking some about this, I think next time I will ever so slightly chop the strawberries after slicing them.  This might help distribute them more evenly and prevent the “pockets” of moisture. I will go back to the original baking time of 15 minutes.

Because of all that moisture in this batch, I did not want to keep them overnight at room temperature even in an air tight container. Thus, I put the extras in a plastic zip lock bag, took the air out with a straw, and put them in the freezer for another time.  It might be a little fanatical but I had rather err on the side of caution when it comes to food.

Thanks in advance for letting me know if you try these and what changes you make.  It’s helpful when readers can see what other cooks have done to improve on the original recipe.

Makes 19 or 20 muffins

Ingredients:
4 medium eggs, beaten
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
2 teaspoons of stevia (equal to 2 cups sugar)
1 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt (I use 1/2 tsp)

Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 400°F (210°C).

Lightly coat full-size muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. (I fill muffin tin liners and place on a cookie sheet.)

In a suitably sized bowl, combine the flour, stevia, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

In a another bowl, combine the eggs, strawberries, vegetable oil and applesauce.

Mix the contents of the two bowls together. (Mix just until all is moist.  Over mixing will make muffins tough.)

Gently fold in the chopped walnuts.

Fill the muffin tins about two-thirds full and bake for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool.

*This is how I arrived at 1 2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce:
To replace the bulk that the sugar would have supplied I used 1 cup of applesauce.
I replaced the omitted 2/3 cup of oil in the original recipe with applesauce as well.

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