Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Banana Granola Muffins



I've been snowed in for exactly half a day and have been cooking nonstop...because that's what I do when I don't know what else to do. Tonight the kitchen was finally clean and there was an overripe banana bothering me on the counter. School is already cancelled tomorrow so I figured I'd bake some quick muffins so the kids will have something ready to eat when they get up. Here's what emerged:

Banana Granola Muffins

Whisk together:

3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c oat bran
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon

In separate bowl blend:

1/2 c plain yogurt
1 egg
1/2 c applesauce
1 t vanilla

Add wet ingredients to dry.

Mash up two small/med bananas and fold into mixture. Scoop into sprayed muffin tin, about 2/3 full. Top each with a sprinkle of granola. Bake at 350 for 22 minutes and remove to cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Salmon, corn and leek mini quiches

Anything with eggs is always a hit in our house. It's one of the only ways I can get veggies into my kids.

1 can of reduced-fat biscuits
5 eggs
1/2 c milk (or non-dairy substitute)
1/2 c frozen corn
2 leeks, diced
1 T olive oil
1/2 tin of salmon
salt, pepper

Coat a muffin tin generously with nonstick cooking spray. Split biscuits in half and put one into each cup. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes.

Sautée corn and leeks in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix eggs, milk, veggies and salmon in medium bowl. Pour over half-baked biscuits and put back into oven for another 10 minutes or until eggs are set.

We ate these with rosemary potato wedges and pear slices last night. Leftovers make a great breakfast or lunch!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fun with leftovers

Last week for our anniversary breakfast I made To Die For Blueberry Muffins, which have a yummy streusel topping. These are not my usual healthy muffins; these are a rich treat that my husband loves so I make them on special occasions. The recipe always makes far too much topping...even when I mixed up less I still found myself with a surplus so I popped it into the fridge for another time.

Over the weekend I had a craving for banana bread, so I made some super healthy banana muffins and added a sprinkle of the topping to each. They turned out beautifully!

For these, I use the Mott's banana bread recipe as a base. I cut the sugar down to 1/2 c and use half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour. I love how much fruit my kids are getting when they eat one of these before school.

I also had some leftover pecan topping from some Thanksgiving cookies, which I added to plain pumpkin muffins yesterday and those were also delicious. I started with Dean's Favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and left out the chocolate chips but topped them off before baking. The cookie topping had chopped pecans, a bit of soy creamer, margarine and sugar...you could easily replicate with some chopped nuts and a bit of maple syrup or honey for the same yummy effect. Here's a photo.



I think I will experiment more with toppings because they make ordinary muffins more appealing and you get a lot of bang for your buck in terms of fat and calories...a little bit goes a long way. Happy baking!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mocha Banana Muffins



Had a few minutes before the buses came this afternoon and decided to experiment. My kids are as addicted to chocolate as I am and can be a hard sell in the morning. Maybe they'll go for these.


3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c oat bran
3/4 c sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t instant coffee granules
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon

Mix these dry ingredients together.

1 banana, mashed well
1 egg
1 c buttermilk (add 1 T lemon juice to scant cup milk, let stand 5 minutes)
1 T canola oil

Whisk these ingredients and then gently blend into dry mixture.  Pour into prepared muffin tin and bake at 350 for 15-16 minutes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Something out of nothing: more savory bread puddings

I have really been baking up a storm lately.  It's definitely time for a break, so I made one last batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for my kids' gymnastics teachers today and tackled one more project before beginning my hiatus (which I give a week).

I had some stale french bread (and when I say stale, I mean rock hard) and I had to decide: pitch, process into bread crumbs, or turn into a side dish for a night when I'm too rushed/unimaginative/lazy to cook? I went with door #3.

Much like Spinach Feta Bread Puddings, you can make savory side dishes using leftover stale bread along with any veggie or cheese you might have around.  Think onion slices from that bagel brunch, last of the olives in the jar, handful of sundried tomatoes. No rules.

Once I had sawed - and I mean sawed - the bread into chunks, I added:

3 beaten eggs (I had a lot of bread; if you have half a baguette or less I'd go with 2)
about 2 c chopped baby spinach
1 c diced orange peppers
about 2/3 c of mozzarella cheese
and enough plain soy milk (any kind you like is fine) to douse all the bread through and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so.

As long as there's enough liquid to break your bread down, the amount of ingredients is completely flexible.

Scooped into spray muffin tin and baked at 375 for about 22 minutes.

These will not win any prize for their beauty, nor will they become a dinner party must-have, but they are a great way to turn scraps into something yummy. Get yourself a rotisserie chicken from the grocery and dinner is done!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Warm Strawberry Muffins


Using the same basic recipe as many of my muffins and tailoring for the season. 

I went strawberry picking earlier in the week and thought I should use up some of my haul before they got mushy. Freezing for end-of-year teacher gifts...healthy, yummy, and convenient for busy mornings!

3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c oat bran
1/4 c instant oats
1/4 c wheat germ
3/4 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cardamom

2/3 c applesauce
1 egg
1 c buttermilk (add 1 T lemon juice to scant cup milk, let stand 5 minutes)
1 t vanilla
1 c chopped strawberries

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another.  Stir together until moistened and then add berries.  Pour into muffin tin prepared with baking spray and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.  Let cool five minutes and then remove from pan to finish cooling on wire rack.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Martha's Glazed Lemon Cakes

Made these for a cookout this weekend and they were a wonderful hot weather treat!

Courtesy of Martha Stewart, from my favorite cookbook, Great Food Fast.

1/2 unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c plain yogurt
1 t vanilla
zest of 1 lemon plus juice, plus additional 2 T juice for glaze
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your muffin tin: recipe calls for a 6-muffin jumbo tin but I used a regular 12-muffin kind and plan to try my mini pan with these for an event in a few days. You can do butter and flour or a baking spray like Wilton (what I did).

In med bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.  In small bowl, whisk yogurt, vanilla, zest and juice from 1 lemon.

Using mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of yogurt mixture.

Pour into tin.  Bake about 20 minutes if using the jumbo tins, less if smaller...I set my timer for about 17 minutes and looked to see if they were golden and did the toothpick test.  Let cool 10 minutes, then remove from tin and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Mix your glaze: powdered sugar plus 2 T lemon juice.  I added a splash of milk because it was quite thick. Once your cakes are cool, set the rack over a large cutting board or waxed paper and pour the glaze over them.  Let sit for 30 minutes.  Garnish with berries on a serving plate...delish!!