We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But really, who has time to make scrambled eggs with whole grain toast and fresh fruit salad every morning? I return once more to the muffin, God’s gift to the working (wo)man. The challenge remains, to pack as much nutrition as possible into a handy grab-and-go package.
What you want at breakfast is something thats going to sustain you, body and mind, through the first big push of your day. From a nutritional standpoint, protein will keep you feeling full longer, but the mental aspect of satiation is just as important. Studies show that people who plan something sweet into their day are less likely to overindulge than those who restrict themselves. Whole wheat flour and fat-free cottage cheese provide the protein you need for fuel, while the richness of dark cocoa is sure to stave off your chocolate cravings, sprinkled with refreshing pockets of tart raspberry fruitiness.
As far as sugar is concerned, most of it is provided naturally by the orange juice. As published, this recipe is rich and chocolatey, but not overly sweet — a dark chocolate lover’s dream, but perhaps not every baker’s cup of tea. You should taste your batter before baking and make sure that the balance is to your liking. Adding chocolate chips or an extra dash of sugar would make these more kid- or sweet-tooth-friendly.
- 1/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp white sugar (or substitute)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
Preheat oven to 425°F and grease 10 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan (or line with cupcake liners).
With a fork, beat together the cottage cheese and egg. Once they are well combined, stir in the sugar until dissolved, then add milk, orange juice, and orange extract. In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Toss raspberries in flour mixture to coat, then combine with wet ingredients and stir just until evenly incorporated. Distribute amongst 10 muffin cups and bake 15-18 minutes.
While I like to have smaller muffins (to more easily control portion size to fit my hunger at any given moment), Brendan prefers them larger (so that he doesn’t have to grab more than one). Since this is my post, not his, I’m publishing the recipe as I would make it, but if you prefer heftier muffins, go ahead and double the recipe, distributing the batter between 12 muffin cups, and extending baking time as necessary.