Ms. Hyde has become Dr. Jekyll once again...
It's experiment time.
Did you know that in some recipes, it's feasible to replace butter with avocado? I read that it was true, but I'm not easily convinced about such things. So, in an effort to test this, I found a basic, butter-containing muffin recipe and did three trials. In those respective trials, I replaced a)none, b)half, and c)all of the butter with avocado. The results were amazing and a little bit surprising.
|Half the fat.|
|All avocado, all the time.|
Texturally, the muffins made using all butter were only slightly more moist and cakey. Just a smidgen, seriously, but they did edge out the others. As far as appearance goes, the muffins made using all and half avocado were, well, a bit ragged. Plus, they were bespeckled with green, which may be off-putting to some. Points, again, to butter. The victory flavor-wise, though, goes to the avocado batch, hands-down. They were preferred by 100% of the people who tried them. (Disclaimer: My sample size was only 8 people, so you statisticians out there can take my results with a grain of salt.)
|Forget you, avocado.|
|Split the difference.|
|Beat it, butter.|
I liked the nuttiness the avocado contributed. Even the flecks of green didn't deter me from choosing them as my winner; in fact, I liked the way they looked. It made me feel like I was making a healthy choice, so I can definitely get past the teensy-tiny difference in crumb and mouthfeel. I'm thinking I might be experimenting with the avocado as a butter replacement more often, and I think you should, too! Shave off a little fat and a few calories here and you can feel free to have just one more piece of Christmas crack. (Okay, maybe two.)
Lean Green Applesauce Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup applesauce, homemade (using SweeTango apples, my current fave) or store-bought
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly spray or line a muffin tin.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
Combine the applesauce, sugars, mashed avocado, eggs, and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
Fold in the nuts, then spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill them about halfway.
Bake until a toothpick stuck in the muffins comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before turning the muffins out. Serve warm or at room temperature.